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The Most Dangerous Game Paperback – July 13, 2011
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Audio CD, Abridged
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About the Author
Richard Edward Connell Jr. (October 17, 1893 – November 22, 1949) was an American author and journalist, probably best remembered for his short story "The Most Dangerous Game". Connell was one of the most popular American short story writers of his time and his stories appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and Collier's Weekly. He had equal success as a journalist and screenwriter and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1942 for best original story for the film Meet John Doe.
Ziggurat Productions employs multiple voices to tell this haunting classic short story about a hunter becoming the hunted. Accomplished big-game hunter Sanger Rainsford is washed ashore on a South American island owned by General Zaroff, a maniacal sportsman whose quarry is the two-legged kind. When Rainsford finds himself the prey of the madman, he must kill or be killed. The readings are quite good, and the story is enhanced by appropriately menacing music. The script sticks fairly close to the original tale, with only minor enhancements and additions, and a shift in the narrative voice. S.E.S. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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It has also been the basis for numerous TV shows. According to Wikipedia, at least nineteen episodes of television shows are based on this short story. A recent example was part of an episode in Game of Thrones: Season 5.
American author Richard Connell lived from 1893 to 1949. "The Most Dangerous Game" was published at a time when World War I was still known as the Great War. The Great War ended in 1918, just four months after the Communist overthrow of the Russian imperial tsar Nicholas II. It is no accident that General Zaroff in this story had been an officer under the tsar, and that Rainsford had seen combat in the war. This story appeared less than six years after those events. Memories were still quite vivid.
For me, this story is interesting--and thrilling--for several reasons. As a story it is superb. The text is economical, with some print versions as short as fifteen pages. The pace keeps accelerating, with several surprising pauses, such as when Rainsford finds himself up a tree. The philosophical questions of life, death, and the deadly role of killer are as keen today as in 1924. The answers are found in survival, trial by combat, and winner-take-all. While this story is of single combat between Rainsford and Zaroff, the answers have some validity in combat between nations. I don't say it's pretty. It's not. This story, however, immerses us in these questions and answers in a way that mere discussion never accomplishes.
This story is also of interest because it was my father's favorite short story. A veteran of WWII in Europe, James W. Walsh saw combat and was briefly captured at least once. As a U.S. Army medic he saved lives while risking his own. The experience of combat, of being hunted while without weapons, stayed with him until his death thirty-five years later. And yet, THIS was his favorite short story. For me, that puts a stamp of authenticity on the thoughts and feelings of both Rainsford and Zaroff.
Finally, a comment on the copy editing of this ebook. I noted ten errors in this short story. Punctuation errors were easy to figure out. Several word errors were less clear--"rowers" should be rowels (as in spurs); "traits" should be trails. I actually cross-checked with an old hard copy of the story to be sure. These are speed bumps for readers when the path of the story should have no obstructions. Even at just $0.99 for the Kindle version of a story in the public domain, the reader should suffer no speed bumps.
"The Most Dangerous Game" is a short story that everyone should read. I highly recommend it. And, I hope you find this review helpful.
Having first tried the other version available, The Most Dangerous Game - New Century Edition with DirectLink Technology, and finding that it had an unwelcome abundance of typos, I downloaded this version instead. Unlike the other version, this version actually breaks the text into paragraphs, this very welcome and make the story much more pleasant to read. There are two notes built in to the story as editorial comments on what certain words mean. Although these comments are unnecessary to the understanding of the story, they are not unwelcome. The biggest plus is that I haven't noticed typos in this version like I did in the other version.
Overall, I think formatting is well done and works perfectly for the kindle. If you want to purchase this story for your kindle buy this version.
P.S. There is another reviewer of the kindle edition that mentions some of the text disappearing. I have not experienced this problem. It's possible this problem did exist and was fixed, but the problem isn't there anymore.
I actually like the old cover to the book better than this one, I think it was a line illustration/drawing and it seemed to fit better, but that is a comment that has no bearing as to the subject matter!
Please do yourself a favor and buy and then read this book!