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The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary [Kindle Edition]

Robert Alter
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £38.00
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Book Description

"A modern classic....Thrilling and constantly illuminating."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

Through a distinguished career of critical scholarship and translation, Robert Alter has equipped us to read the Hebrew Bible as a powerful, cohesive work of literature. In this landmark work, Alter's masterly translation and probing commentary combine to give contemporary readers the definitive edition of The Five Books. Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation and the Koret Jewish Book Award for Translation, a Newsweek Top 15 Book, Los Angeles Times Favorite Book, and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book.

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"Robert Alter's translation with commentary of The Five Books of Moses can be fairly described as a godsend." Seamus Heaney, Books of the Year, The Times Literary Supplement "In this remarkable translation... a monument of scholarship... Alter brings a kind of sensitivity to bear on moment after moment of his translation..." James Wood, London Review of Books "The commentary is at least as important as the translation, and the two together make up a unique contribution both to biblical studies and to the understanding and appreciation of a text that is central to Western culture." John Barton, The Times Literary Supplement "...a new translation with fascinating annotations..." Robert Crumb, Summer Books, The Guardian"

About the Author

Robert Alter's ongoing translation of the Hebrew Bible, the magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarly work, has won the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation. His immense achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century European novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned Alter the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Five Books-- A Critical Review 2 Aug. 2009
By Andre Lawrence TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Update: Jan. 2010
I wrote to Prof. Alter to inquire about any other biblical translations because, quite frankly, his translation (and, Prof. Everett Fox' translation) are some of the most exciting and intriguing books to be published in any genre. Here is Prof. Alter's response:

Dear Mr. Lawrence,

Many thanks for your enthusiastic response. The next installment of my Bible translations, the Wisdom Books (Job, Qohelet, Proverbs) will be published in October [2010].

All best,

Robert Alter
***** ***** *****

The Five Books Of Moses, a scholarly translation of The Torah by Dr. Robert Alter is nothing short of magnificent. I've been wanting a book such as this for quite some time and to be quite frank, I was greatly disappointed with the recently released Oxford Jewish Bible.

The Five Books of Moses, is just that a translation of the first five books of our Bible, but it also has substantial and thorough annotations which entices the reader to reconsider age-old beliefs about the text and how one perceives the patriarchs, matriarchs and the Torah in general.

In addition to the text, Dr. Alter offers alternative translations based on the oldest historical usage of individual words. In some cases, he also he focuses on the history of the letters and how that might affect translation.

This is an indispensable book and one that should be owned with Everett Fox' competing version of the same topic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid sympathetic and readable translation 9 Jan. 2011
This translation shows a real appreciation of the original Hebrew, as well as the wants of a modern Western reader. A wry sense of humour makes the commentary a jolly reference. The author also resists the temptation to show off his obvious learning and comments only on important or stylistic points. Highly recommended.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I already had the hard back but wanted this to take on holiday. I like his litery angled comentary which balances/ compliments nicely against others like Artscroll.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars alter, the five books of moses 21 Dec. 2007
This book reveals just how much more there is to learn from an area that has been worked through from century to century. An indispensible guide to those who wish to learn, with new insights into the OT on every page.
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