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The Three Musketeers (Oxford World's Classics)

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,157 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199538461
ISBN-10: 0199538468
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-With swelling musical background, the clash of swordplay, and the occasional thump of a head being cut off, the St. Charles Players bring back the feeling of radio theater in their rendition of the classic tale by Alexandre Dumas. The players' voices emit every nuance required to let listeners experience the swashbuckling deeds of the famous heroic threesome and the boy called D'Artagnan who wants to join their ranks. When the young man arrives in Paris with the wish to enlist with the King's Musketeers, he finds himself challenged to three duels in his first afternoon in the city by men who turn out to be Porthos, Aramis, and Athos-the Three Musketeers. Instead of fighting against them, the twists of fate have D'Artagnan battling for them against the evil Cardinal Richelieu's guards. After demonstrating his worth with a sword, D'Artagnan proves more of his mettle by journeying to England to foil a plot to embarrass France's Queen Anne, the former Anne of Austria. D'Artagnan saves his queen but loses the woman he loves, so he seeks vengeance and, in turn, instills himself firmly in the ranks of the Musketeers. The flavor of the original is evident even though this abridged version includes only highlights in its retelling.
Joanne K. Hammond, Chambersburg Area Middle School, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

From Library Journal

A perennial favorite, this work continues to hold appeal for adventure lovers. Full of intrigue, swordplay, and revenge, it is the story of d'Artagnan, a young nobleman who travels to Paris in hopes of joining the Musketeers, a group of swashbuckling adventurers who serve King Louis XIII. His wit and fighting ability make d'Artagnan a welcome addition to their ranks, and together the four young men work to foil the King's evil rival, Cardinal Richelieu. Despite the period setting and constant violence, the story captures and sustains the listener's interest as the Musketeers vanquish the villains. Michael York reads superbly, his rich baritone voice giving each role convincing clarity. The audio format is particularly suited to the tale. The production quality is excellent. Recommended for general collections.
- Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199538468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199538461
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.5 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #962,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The only reason I picked up the book was because it was one of "those" books in the school library. You wanted to read it for the points, but everybody who picked it up gaze up and put it back down. *I* even tried to read it once and gave up. But I'm always up for a challenge. The next year I checked it out and informed everybody I knew that I was going to be one of the first people in our school to read the book. Then I decided to begin reading.
The first couple pages are basically one long paragraph that doesn't make sense unless you're re-reading it and already know the characters and what's going on. I was tempted to put it down, but I wasn't going to back down. By about page 30, it was easy to read, and I began to get into it.
What I discovered was that this is possibly one of the best pieces of fiction ever written. I couldn't put it down, and spent a whole Saturday reading it. I never expected it to be what it was from what I'd read on the back. But then, the plot is so complex, and there are so many sub-plots that you wonder how anyone can do it justice.
I read once that many people associate the word "classic" with the word "boring". As I've discovered, this is entirely not true. When I thought about it, the reason books become classics aren't because they're old and boring, but because people love them, because they are read by millions. The reason that they lasted for so long is because people kept them alive. I'm sure that in a century from now, only a select few books that we enjoy will still be in print, and those particular books will be the best of our time, just as The Three Musketeers was the best of its time.
I'm sorry if this review didn't suffice, I'm just hoping that maybe somebody will read it and give it a try.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An "endless adventure" breathlessly moving from one scene to the next: sword-fighting, court espionage, sex scandals, poisonings, assassinations, undying love and so on.

'Les Trois Mousquetaires', first published in 1844, was soon translated into three English versions by 1846. One of these, by William Barrow, is still in print and fairly faithful to the original, available in the Oxford World's Classics 1999 edition. However all of the explicit and many of the implicit references to sexuality had been removed to conform to 19th century English standards of morality, thus making the scenes between d'Aragnan and Milady, for example, confusing and strange. The most recent and new standard English translation is by award-winning translator Richard Pevear (2006). Pevear says in his translation notes that most of the modern translations available today are "textbook examples of bad translation practices" which "give their readers an extremely distorted notion of Dumas's writing." Thankfully we have high quality translations like this one now available.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If one were to search for "The Three Musketeers" in Amazon's Kindle store, you might find several listings, some free, some for $0.99. AVOID THEM! Most are repackaged versions of the same stilted translation by William Barrow which reads like a 2nd year French student's term paper. It captures nearly all of Dumas' words and none of his nuance. Also, be warned that some of these packages are abridged versions and do not advertise themselves as such.

I heartily recommend the Lowell Bair 1984 translation printed by Bantam Books and available for Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Three-Musketeers-ebook/dp/B000FC29H0/ref=tmm_kin_title_7?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1301931164&sr=1-1-catcorr. This most excellent translation is fresh, modern and faithful to both the spirit, grace, and the character of Dumas' authorized editions (there were at least three). Bair's translation is both literate and elegant. Unlike the Mobi/Project Gutenberg/Barrow version(s?), it never forces you to rearrange 19th century French grammar and syntax into modern 20th/21st century English. Bair does this for you without distilling out any of the flavor and panache that Dumas (et alia) infused into the original serials.

Similar to Bair's artistry is that of LeClerq (http://www.amazon.com/The-Three-Musketeers-ebook/dp/B000FC1KNY/ref=tmm_kin_title_popover?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1301931164&sr=1-1-catcorr) and Pevear (http://www.amazon.com/Three-Musketeers-Penguin-Classics-ebook/dp/B000Q9J0QA/ref=tmm_kin_title_8?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1301931164&sr=1-1-catcorr). Why the Pevear Penguin edition costs three times what Bair's and LeClerq's do is beyond me since I only sampled the Kindle version. However, I have read Bair's in hardcopy and recommend it for your Kindle reading pleasure. If you really are hard pressed for cash, then by all means: go for the free/cheap versions. Just remember, cheap does not bode well for quality.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All translators must struggle with two competing goals: 1) being faithful to the original author and 2) making the translated text accessible to the reader. In this translation of _The Three Musketeers_, the translator, Richard Pevear, generally gravitates towards the first goal. His vocabulary choices almost always favor the original French usage rather than modern English usage. For example, early in the book, Pevear refers to Milady as Rochefort's "interlocutrix". Now I don't know about you, but I grew up going to California public schools, and if I ever used a word like "interlocutrix", I'd get my face bashed into a locker. My background notwithstanding, I think it's clear what's going on here. The word "interlocutrix" is an uncommon yet legitimate English word with French roots. Pevear has chosen to use the uncommon word in order to remain faithful to Dumas' original French text which presumably used the French cognate for "interlocutrix" whatever that is.

I could come up with literally dozens of such examples, and eventually I just started keeping a separate list of obscure words and definitions so I only needed to refer to a short list rather than slog through the dictionary every time I came upon one of those recurring obscure words. By the time I finished the book, I had a five page (12 pt. Times New Roman type, single-spaced) list of obscure words. They range from 17th century French clothing ("tabard", "doublet", "jerkin") to horse-related terminology ("caparison", "sorrel", "croup") to 17th century military terminology ("counterscarp", "revetments", "circumvallation") and many others. In all these cases, I'm convinced that Pevear chose to use the English cognates of original French words rather than more modern English equivalents.
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