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The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne Paperback – August 12, 2012
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A MUST read and easily worth 5-stars, but you must bring an appetite for the art of writing, not contemporary action & adventure.
Minimal functionality, no illustrations, no GoTo-linked table of contents. It does support the dictionaries and will display hardcopy page numbers. I found no typo oddities that can crop up in the remaster from paper to digital form. e-Book publication quality, ★★★☆☆.
House of the Seven Gables is principally a study of human nature. Very little happens, but each character is an archetype of honesty or deceit, goodness or evil, kindness or greed. The reader may speculate throughout whether good or evil will prevail.
The novel portrays social mores and conventions, and is populated with amusing minor characters. Hawthorne favors lengthy, descriptive, preachy sentences, with great faith in the reader's patience. Reading some of the sentences is like stepping into quicksand. The reader starts out on solid ground, but sinks into a morass of clauses before struggling up the opposite bank.
A surprise ending awaits the reader who perseveres to the end. I was relieved to finish the entire novel.
The font in this edition borders on bizarre.....while generally clear, legible and sharp, certain letters are run together, such as "r"and "n", making the word "urn" look like "um" and sending one to the dictionary for an alternate esoteric meaning (there isn't one, it's the font!)... Or "c" and "a" concatenated into a new diphthong if vowel and consonant as with "c" and "o".
While these are avowedly minor nuisances and the stories are pre-Gothic horror, or shock and awe, or even just pleasant ramblings through American life of the 1830s or so, the existence of minor typos as well as the absence of a preface or other explanatory Introduction (you can find Hawthorne's introductions by Googling for them!) leads one to believe this edition was stolen off the Internet.
While there is a proper ISBN number on the rear if the book, shockingly, no page with the publication date, ISBN number(s) in either format, date of printing or address of the publisher is present, through carelessness or intention.
Buy this edition for the stories if you must....they are classic Americana and a great assortment in affect and mood, if not point of view (Edgar Allen Poe did not care for this worthy competitors style at all) that make for an enjoyable and interesting view of parts of American society, its strengths, weaknesses and transformations through art, politics, science, religion and other institutions and developments.