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Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Paperback – October 20, 2009
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|Paperback, October 20, 2009||
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Actress Elizabeth McGovern reads this acceptable abridgement with precise, clear diction. Her expressive voice is pleasant, effectively using breath sounds and pauses to recreate dramatic moods. Her usually quick tempo keeps the text from being ponderous, but it can be slower when necessary. Given the time period of the original work, her formal tone is appropriate. Her speech changes slightly for the different characters, but there is not much dialogue. The abridgement retains the continuity of the story. Consider purchasing this version for special education students who can't handle the longer, original text.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"[Nathaniel Hawthorne] recaptured, for his New England, the essence of Greek tragedy." --Malcolm Cowley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
The Dover Thrift Study Edition makes everything so easy to understand while still giving the reader a chance to find their own way through the text.
The book itself is in the front, but the back holds character descriptions as they come in, chapter (or chapters) summaries and then an analysis of what has happened and what it means in the bigger picture.
Whenever I must read a classic my go to is to see if they have it in a Dover Thrift Study Edition. It makes my life so much easier and I also get so much more out of the book than if I had just read it alone.
The prologue, leading to the tale of the discovery of the story (the Scarlet Letter is presented as a story-within-a-story) is long and leaves the reader impatient. Since it pertains to a different location and time from the main story, it is not quite clear how it enhances the tale.
The depictions of human feelings are exquisitely detailed, which is fairly remarkable because they are almost invariably gloomy feelings of guilt and shame. The pace, very slow at first, picks up towards the dramatic denouement, followed by a rather unsatisfactory conclusion. One wishes that the author would have thumbed his nose at the Puritans and allowed Hester Prynne a happy life ever after, but Hawthorne does not violate the moral conventions of the age and the conclusion would therefore have satisfied the most moralistic readers. No happy ending here, except for the one innocent character, so everyone who sinned paid the price, amen.
Seen in the light of the moral tradition in which the novel is set, and the barely less strict society in which it was written, the quality of the writing serves the purpose of moral edification beautifully. The long sentence, with their complex embedded clauses and dated vocabulary, is sometimes hard to follow, but always limpid once parsed. In that sense it is reminiscent of another moral tale of the age, Melville's Moby Dick, minus the see and with a different capital sin involved.
Overall, this is one of the canons of literature that should be part of the weel-educated reader's collection.
On the other hand, Young Goodman Brown and The Birthmark are excellently told, as those works really needed that level of detail, the former being a mix between fantasy and horror, and the latter involving elements of science fiction.
this early period. I will not go any further. Well worth reading and also well worth a full five stars. Thank you for your attention.
Simply put: do not buy this addition of the book. Setting aside the totally unaesthetic cover art, which quite frankly looks like a compressed google image superimposed upon a black background, and lack of a synopsis or any key information on the back cover, the pages themselves are difficult to read as there are no clear paragraph indentations or chapter breaks thus making scansion difficult. Likewise, I have noticed editing errors as well. Stick with Penguin or any of the other staple publishers other than this disgraceful Millenium publication.