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Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Nathaniel Hawthorne , Brian Harding
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales (Oxford World's Classics) Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales (Oxford World's Classics) 2.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

15 Oct 1998 0192836005 978-0192836007 New edition
This selection of twenty of Hawthorne's tales is the first in paperback to present his most important short works with full annotation in one volume.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (15 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192836005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192836007
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 19.6 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,603,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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An excellent edition of this seminal story by Hawthorne, with a helpful introduction to these tales, and excellent explanatary notes.' Lionel Kelly, University of Reading 'This collection offers a good selection of the well known and the less available tales. The introduction presents a stimulating analysis of Hawthorne's art and hios view of the role/identity of the writer. The notes na dbibliographical details anr excellent.' K.M.Parkinson, Roehampton Institute of Higher Education. 'Although I don't expect to use the text myself at the moment, I'm greatly pleased to see these early examples of the genre being published in so accessible a form. (B.D.Ingraham, Teesside Polytechnic.) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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IN the course of the year 1656, several of the people called Quakers, led, as they professed, by the inward movement of the spirit, made their appearance in New England. Read the first page
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, but invariably gloomy 9 Dec 2008
Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of "The Scarlett Letter", which was made into a beautiful film some years ago, knew a lot of the period of the Witchhunt of Salem, because one of his ancestors was in the panel of the judges. This fact makes the author feel uneasy and gives him a lasting preoccupation with these disgraceful events. Most of the novels in this book describe the narrow-mindedness of the so-called devout Christians of Massachusets, who made themselves guilty of many crimes against humanity in those dark times. Not against Indians or any other heathens, but against fellow Christians of a different flavour of Christianity, thinking that only their own "brand" is the right one, and the heresy of the others must be crushed in the most severe manner. Not to mention witches...
Hawthorne is divided between pity and anger and most of the novels in this book are so grim that it does make for a heavy read, despite the outstanding prose and the masterful attention to psychology and detail, with an ironic note that gives some much-needed relief. Not enough, though. And it is saddening, on reading of these things and condemning those short-sighted bigots, to know that we have no reason to be smug, as in our own times, centuries later, there are still so many people around the world who,at this very moment, are killing and torturing other human beings in the name of religion. Dawkins does have a point!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Things you wish you hadn't bought 16 Oct 2009
I went to New England last year and this book was recommended as background reading to get a feel for the country at the time of the settlers. The book is full of short stories, some are good but most a quite boring and you wish you could get back the time you had wasted reading them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In The High Puritan Style 23 April 2010
By Alfred Johnson - Published on
The old social democratic literary critic and editor of "Dissent", Irving Howe, once noted that Mark Twain, and his post-Civil War works represented a dramatic break from the Euro-centric ante bellum literary establishment. And on this question I agree with him. As I do on his choice of Nathaniel Hawthorne as an exemplar of that tradition. Certainly his most famous work, "The Scarlet Letter", reflects that European influence, as do the collected short stories under review here.

As the reader, perhaps, knows Hawthorne made his living writing short stories for the women reader-oriented literary magazines of the day long before he wrote "The Scarlet Letter" and some of these have turned out to be classics of the early American Republic. Moreover, and this is one of his attractions for me, I know virtually every place where the action of the short stories takes place from the Merrymount May Day pole to the granite mountains of New Hampshire and beyond. More importantly, I know the weight, the dead weight of that grinding Puritan foundation that drove much of the early American experience here in New England. Hawthorne, in short, knows where the WASP-ish bodies are buried and is here to tell one and all the tales. Sometimes with pathos, sometimes with gothic effects, but always with a sense of some underlying moral purpose. You see Hawthorne too is smitten and bitten by that same Puritan ethos and that is the secret to the power of his writing.

As is usually the case with compilations, literary or otherwise, not all the work here is top-shelf. The best, and most representative to my mind, are the high Puritan "The Minister's Black Veil, the chilling "The White Old Maid', the swamp Yankee classic "Peter Goldthwaite's Treasure", the prophetic "The Birthmark", the Gothic classic "Rappaccini's Daughter", and another high Puritan classic "The Maypole of Merrymount.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil Made Me Do It 8 July 2006
By Jon Linden - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This publication of collected Hawthorne stories is a quite useful anthology. With 20 separate stories of the greatest renown and variety included; the reader gets a very fine spread of excellent short stories by one of America's most accomplished writers.

The title story, "Young Goodman Brown" is perhaps the best example of his famous short stories. In this tale, Young Goodman Brown takes a small trip down a path into the forest to contemplate a pact with the devil. His guilt is overwhelming. But, he notices something special on his way to meet Satan. He notices all the fine people of Salem who are gathered in front of himself, already in good association with the Dark Lord.

Hawthorne's descriptions are stark and heavily descriptive. His imagery is inescapable. And his social commentary is quick of wit and not very accepting of hypocrisy. He truly crafted his stories in a fine and substantial manner, such that they read fresh, even today so many years after their initial publication.

Of special note is "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment." The good Doctor wishes to conduct a behavioral experiment. He invites 4 of his close and elderly friends to the house. And he produces a flask of water from the "Fountain of Youth." The Doctor is successful in getting his guests to believe the source and act in accordance, seeing themselves all of a sudden much younger and spry.

Of particular interest is Hawhorne's own footnote to the story at the end which indicates that some have accused him of plagiary from another story by Alexander Dumas, but since he had written this one far before Dumas'; it is but Dumas' who gives him the honor of borrowing his original idea.

The book is particularly useful in its provision of endnotes that are very helpful in absorbing and imagining the totality of what Hawthorne was saying; particularly from a historical perspective. The book is recommended to all readers of classic American fiction, especially those lovers of Hawthorne.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way of the Transgressor is hard 10 Sep 2010
By Unless - Published on
Another great American puritannical author, Cormac McCarthy wrote in BLOOD MERIDIAN (his masterwork of 1985): "...when God made man the devil was at his elbow..."
Nathaniel Hawthorne was cut from the same sober, black cloth as McCarthy, and as deeply, obsessively fascinated and horrified by the power of darkness in the human heart. These magnificent short stories reveal Hawthorne's understanding of the innate warp in the human soul, and his profound distrust of those who would attempt to overcome or ignore that mortal knowledge. That is to say Hawthorne perceived that the durable core of Biblical wisdom as it concerns Mankind's wretched, Fallen soul had nothing to do with dogma, revelation, or even "Faith". Into this "existential" dilemma he was born over one hundred years before his time, and thus resembles many of the 19th century's deepest, most troubled skeptics.
At the core of this sad understanding as expressed in his art is Hawthorne's greatest & most heartbreaking tale, "Young Goodman Brown"--It is no less wrenching to feel the power of its bleak wisdom keenly once more today across the gulf of nearly eighteen decades...In the naivete & delusions of our technocentric Cyberfaith, we ignore its Hard Truth nonetheless, and increasingly, at our own peril.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars spooky 6 Feb 2013
By Diana Wilson - Published on
This is only just the best-est spooky tale in the world. It starts off-ff so-oo slow then moves on to a crecendo ending that is unforgetable...I felt much sympathy for young goodman after he discovers his wife along with the town in which he lives are involved in a big secret. Imagine choosing not to get involved then choosing to live in the same place knowing what the people are and knowing what the people do...
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