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The Best of Poe (Illustrated Classics) Paperback – Aug 2005

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Paperback, Aug 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 61 pages
  • Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing, Inc. (Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562548840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562548841
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,856,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Whiteside TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the mutiny on the ship The Bounty. I have read a few books on the subject now and it is interesting to be able to read Captain Bligh's actual account of the events as they happened. It does make for a gripping read.

There are other accounts featured from other crew memebers. I can't in all honesty say that is the best book I have read on the subject. That is Richard Hough's superb Captain Bligh and Mr Christian:The Men and the Mutiny. That book is truly top drawer but this account from the Captain is to be recommended.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Dunn on 5 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
this was not at all as i thought, but luckily enough it was what the recipient expected.i thought it a bit like a grown-up comic book but he was delighted with it as i expect all sherlock fans would be.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Beattie on 10 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
The Book is an account of the mutany by Cpt. Bligh.
Satisfied with purchase and delivery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 188 reviews
92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Disturbing yet enjoyable. 14 Feb. 1998
By Gerry T. Neal (gneal.stu@providence.mb.ca) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Contrary to popular opinion the novel Le Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo is not primarily about the deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo. Quasimodo's role is actually surprisingly small in the story, which makes you wonder why the English translater's chose "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" as the translation for the title. Actually, as the original French title would indicate, it is the cathedral itself that is the focus of the book. This is why in the unabridged editions of this book you will find numerous chapters that seemingly have nothing to do with the plot of the story. This is the books weakest point, and it may turn many people away from the book. Once you get into the plot, however, it is iimpossible to put the book down. The characters are intriguing: composer Pierre Gringoire, archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, once a paragon of virtue now tormented by his corrupt love for a gipsy girl, L'Esmerelda, the naive gipsy dancer, Phoebus, the selfish, egotistical captain of the guards, and of course Qausimodo, a deaf, deformed bellringer. The relationships between these characters are complex and dark but they make an unforgettable story. The story is never, from front to back, a happy one, so if you are looking for a book that makes you "feel good" this is not the one for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a good book to read, that is unafraid to deal with the darker side of reality, I highly recommend "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
When A Public Hanging Was Entertainment For The Masses 27 Jun. 2000
By Loren D. Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Victor Hugo never wrote a book titled THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Some early translator gave it that name. What Hugo wrote was a book called NOTRE DAME OF PARIS (in French: NOTRE DAME de PARIS). This is not a book that is primarily about a hunchback named Quasimodo or a beautiful Gypsy girl named Esmerelda. It is a book narrowly focused on the Cathedral of Notre Dame situated on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris and, more broadly, on the 15th century city of Paris. This was a Paris where public executions or any form of punishment involving public humiliation were the highest forms of entertainment and drew the kinds of crowds that we would see at a major sports event today. If this book is not read with this in mind, the reader might well be disappointed because he came to it with a different sort of book in mind. I would like to congratulate the one previous reviewer who reviewed the book on the basis of its actual scope and intent.
Now to the human aspects of the novel, the plot so to speak: There are no perfect angels in this book. After all, Esmerelda was a part of a band of thieves who came to public gatherings for the express purpose of seeing what they could "gather" for themselves. Quasimodo was not a misshapen humanitarian. He had been known to carry out a dirty deed or two himself. As for the rest of the characters, there's not a role model in the bunch. To Hugo's credit, we really care about Quasimodo and Esmerelda, "warts and all." This is one indication of good writing.
The basic plot, devoid of any embellishments, is rather simple. Esmerelda, out of humanitarian instincts, comes to Quasimodo's aid in a small but meaningful way when he really needs a friend. Quasimodo, as best as he is able, falls in love with Esmerelda. When the arch villain, Archdeacon Dom Frollo, who is also in love with Esmerelda but has been rejected by her, tries to have her hanged, Quasimodo saves her, but only for a while. Eventually she is executed under circumstances where Quasimodo can't came to her rescue. Quasimodo throws our villain, Dom Frollo, to his death from the heights of the cathedral.
In a way, its a shame that when an author creates a memorable character, or an opera composer writes an unforgettable aria, these creations take on such lives of their own that they overshadow the novel or opera from which they come. That has certainly been one of the fates of this book. Too many readers have come to it searching for the cute little Disney Quasimodo, or even Charles Laughton's unforgettable Quasimodo from the 1939 movie. When it turned out that the scope of this book was so much more comprehensive, they were disappointed for all the wrong reasons.
A note about reading Hugo, or any other author worth reading. One should read for enjoyment, and, where it is available, for information that will increase one's understanding of this world. I have noticed that several reviewers, some of whom didn't like this book, talked of its length, or of Hugo's use of "similes and metaphors." Anyone who is busy trying to analyze a book for styles or techniques doesn't have the right inclination to enjoy the book, to enjoy the atmospheres the author has created, or to get the emotional impact that was the author's intent.
I would recommend THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME as a book that is well worth reading if read for the right reasons. Don't read it, or any book, looking for "techniques" or for "neo-modernism," or "anything-else-isms." I guarantee you that's not what the author had in mind when he wrote his novel. He meant it to be read, not analyzed.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
"An Exemplary Edition of Hugo's Classic" 16 Mar. 2002
By Johannes Platonicus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Walter J. Cobb's complete and unabridged edition of Victor Hugo's classic, the "Hunchback of Notre-Dame," is without a doubt the best to be found. His translation retains the original romanticism and tragedy so characteristic of the great novelist's works. One would search in vain to find a better edition than Cobb's full-throated rendition of this great masterpiece of French Literature.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Romaticism at its best! 26 Mar. 2007
By Vivek Sharma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Victor Hugo, the French poet and writer, who wished to change how novels were written and read, wrote The Hunchback of Notra-Dame in the beginning of his career. In contrast to Les Miserables, which is his more celebrated work, and was written several decades after the Notra-dame novel, the present piece is not only laced with more humor and romance but also stands out as a piece where the young poet in Hugo pours out a ravishing range of similes. Just for the pure magic of his metaphors and similes that make all his descriptions so poetic, so powerful Notra-Dame is worth reading.

The story itself reads like a fanciful movie, an ugly hunchback, Quasimodo is brought up by a Priest Frollo, the archdeacon of Notradame. The hunchback is hence attached like a dog to his master to him. The English title of Hunchback of Notra-dame is a misnomer, for the original is called Notra-dame de Paris, and English title lets us assume that it is the story of Hunchback as hero, while the original title asserts it is story set in Notradame and has charaters who reside in it, or live in its shadows. The Priest Calude Frollo, leaving his pursuit of science and philosophy meanders to a path of unrelenting lust for the gypsy dancer, Esmeralda. A writer, Pierre Grigorne, gets into a set of bizarre circumstances, where a token marriage attaches him to the gypsy. Phoebus, captain of King's Archers is the object of the affection of Esmeralda herself.

Besides these characters, there is a madwoman who lives in confinement, pining for her lost child, who was carried off by gypsies, and hates Esmeralda. There is the goat Djali, who performs tricks with Esmeralda, Jehan who is Claude Frollo's irreligious brother, King Louis IV - who interacts with Claude on issues of science, and the most important character, who lurks like an existence all though, is the Notra-Dame itself. The romances criss cross through a series of interesting episodes and drama, and that forms the crux of the story that I won't divulge here. Readers will benefit by discovering surprises and mystery for themselves, in process getting enchanted by a story that has been a popular read for centuries now.

What makes this novel a masterpiece, besides the poetic descriptions, is

Hugo's description of the cathedral of Notra-dame and the city of Paris, and his discussion of how the arrival of printing press signaled an end to the importance as architecture as the expressive art of intellectuals. The views of the author expressed in these pages and pages of delightful reading provide the reader not only with historical and architectural prespective on the buildings in Paris, but also gives us a word image of buildings, roofs, rooms, carvings, modernism, and more. In his commentaries and comparisons between writing and printing as form of expression in contrast to architecture, Hugo unmasks a wide array of issues that arrival of every new media (TV, Cinema, Internet, Digital Photography) bring. How existing precepts and concepts are revised, how adaptations occur, how each age has its own expression through any of these means- and all Hugo says so passionately about architecture or literature allows us to feel the essence of why we make monuments of stones or words in the first place.

Victor Hugo had great skill in developing characters, and describing their lives over an extended period of time, capturing how situations and people led to certain choices, behavioral changes and thought process of each. His ability of doing this, in a very detached manner, where narrative is like a camera floating into a room, and staying long enough for a distant observer to watch and identify traits of every person present there, makes him a great novelist. The novel, like all classic reads, looks formidable in size, but can be read at a formidable pace, especially after the first half of the novel is over.

Besides the merits of the novelist, and the beauty of his wordplay, the story itself is a charming one, and has been brought to screen versions many times. Reading Hugo's two major works allows one to get the same keen insight into French society of the respective times, as does Thackeray and Dickens novels for England and Tolstoy in Russia. Reading any of these masters takes time, but trust me, it is worth the patience and the effort. Recommended highly.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 4 April 2002
By Pedro Paulo Sotto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Three Musketeers", "Frankenstein", "Around the world in 80 days", all those samples of nineteenth century literature have become true icons of popular culture in our time. Acknowledging that, I decided to read the literary works that originated some of those cultural concepts, in order to better understand their true meaning. That's how I decide to read "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". This little review is based on my impressions on this great piece from Victor Hugo. Since the high quality of "Hunchback" is universally accepted, a text intended to prove that Hugo's work is a good book would be truly pointless. Rather. this review is meant to comment on why it would be interesting for readers going beyond the popular imagery generally surrounding this important piece of literature and actually reading it.
Though I've read an English version of the book, I know the original French title reads just "Notre Dame". That's probably because the focus of the story is not really Quasimodo, the deaf and deformed hunchback in charge of ringing the bells of Notre Dame. The true main character in the book is the cathedral itself. In the story, this edifice is in the center of a series of plots that help to portray medieval Paris.
In fact, one could approach "Hunchback" as a true history treaty, due to extensive descriptions of the medieval city and explanations on medieval culture that the scholar Victor Hugo included on his work.
However, in Hugo's romanticized portrait of a Paris of times gone by, it's possible to list some characters that stand out as true key figures in the drama. Those most outstanding in the book's plot are the aforementioned Quasimodo; Dom Claude Frolo, the taciturn Archdeacon of notre Dame and Quasimodo's foster parent; La Esmeralda, the gypsy girl, who seems to enchant all around her with her charm; Gringoire a foolish and impoverished poet and Captain Phoebus, a selfish and feeble spirited nobleman who holds a position of military officer.
Another misleading notion about "Hunchback" is the belief that it's some sort of gothic version of "Beauty and the Beast", staring the bestial Quasimodo and beautiful La Esmeralda. Quasimodo indeed falls deeply and thoroughly in love with the pretty gypsy, yet, the only feelings her beloved can offer in return are pity, gratitude and tenderness. Despite that, the lady never quite overcomes a deep feeling of disgust towards the bell ringer's hideous figure. Contrary to what many might think, this book is not some mild hearted fable about love and kindness overcoming exterior appearance. In addition to being a historical study about medieval Paris, this piece of literature is an amazing essay on human wickedness. The book is a powerful portrait of several manifestations of evil in the hearts of people. Because of some twists and turns in the story, all those samples of human cruelty portrayed end up being channeled against poor la Esmeralda, causing the complete undoing of she who is the only truly good hearted character in the whole book. Among the examples of how evil can manifest in human's hearts present in the piece's pages, there is the case of Dom Claude who, torn between celibacy and lustful feelings for the gypsy girl, nourishes a love for La Esmertalda stained by mortal hate towards her. There are the towns people who, while charmed at the little gypsy who make dancing performances on the streets to collect some spare change, also despise her for being a vagabond and supposedly a sorceress. There are the officials of law who ruthlessly and mercilessly ensue penalties of torture and deaf under the most improbable accusations. We also see Phoebus, a petty and vulgar man used to taking advantage of women for the sake of his own sexual satisfaction, who, although does not perform any evil toward others, is responsible for the most tragic events just for omitting himself in face of the distress of others. This huge gallery of malefice conspires to bring La Esmeralda her doom, and the only one who comes forth to protect her against such a dark state of affairs is the crippled hunchback Quasimodo. This book conveys a rich yet dark portrait o human psique. Therefore it is truly not advisable to draw from its story a script for some light hearted animated movie for children.
As a final remark, it's important to reinforce that though one might think that is well acquainted with the concept of the popular icon "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", the piece of literature that has given rise to it can prove to be much richer than any preconceived notions we might have about it. The purpose of this tiny review is to provide a very brief idea of what one can expect to find by actually reading this great book.
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