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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best available complete translation of this wonderful book
This translation of the Decameron is the best I know of currently available. It's ideal not only for students but also for general readers, since Boccaccio is incredibly accessible and enjoyable to read. If you don't know the bawdy tales, it's worth the price of entry just for those. Sheer pleasure to dip into or read straight through.
Published on 15 July 2008 by Gilgamesh

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version [ Start Publishing Co edition] Not as advertised!!
Beware!! The Amazon advert states that this is the GH McWilliam translation and refers to him as also being the commentator of the book. This is not his translation nor is there any commentary in this e-book.

There is no indication here as to whose translation this is. I suspect that it a very old, possibly genuinely Jacobean translation. It is very likely...
Published 23 months ago by Edelbee


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best available complete translation of this wonderful book, 15 July 2008
This review is from: The Decameron (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This translation of the Decameron is the best I know of currently available. It's ideal not only for students but also for general readers, since Boccaccio is incredibly accessible and enjoyable to read. If you don't know the bawdy tales, it's worth the price of entry just for those. Sheer pleasure to dip into or read straight through.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant translation!, 3 Oct. 2009
By 
L. Reid (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Decameron (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The length of this work may seem daunting to some but it is a fantastic book to dip in and out of without it losing any of its integrity or humour. Despite being written in the 14th century, it is full of innuendo and blasphemy and bound to keep any of it's readers entertained for a long time. The notes at the front and back of the Penguin edition are invaluable and I would fully recommend this book to anyone who is considering buying it.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb edition, 4 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
A reader from Durham has complained here about the shoddy modern editing, but unfortunately it is unclear which edition (Oxford or Penguin) this refers to. So it should be pointed out that the Penguin edition is amazing - the culmination of a lifetime's work on 'The Decameron' by McWilliam. The footnotes are informative and drily witty, there are maps, a comprehensive index and an introducation that amounts to a book within a book, surely one of the most extensive introductions of any Penguin Classic. All in all a beautiful edition that reads well and is consistently entertaining.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version [ Start Publishing Co edition] Not as advertised!!, 24 May 2013
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Beware!! The Amazon advert states that this is the GH McWilliam translation and refers to him as also being the commentator of the book. This is not his translation nor is there any commentary in this e-book.

There is no indication here as to whose translation this is. I suspect that it a very old, possibly genuinely Jacobean translation. It is very likely available in the form of a public domain free download.

If you want the real deal plus the commentary go for the Penguin edition. It is far more expensive than this one but is worth the extra outlay in cash.

Do not be misled! Amazon - your advert is sloppy and factually incorrect. Correct it now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the foundations of world literature, 24 Jun. 2012
By 
Censuwine (Balzan, Malta) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Decameron (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I am fluent in Italian so I could have also read this in its original language. The English version is absolutely impressive and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Italian classics. One might easily be tempted into regarding this as fourteenth century pornography but this perhaps just goes on to prove that plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose! We've always been the same I suppose.

One must remember that, in all probability, the style of recording stories by different characters was what gave the idea to Geoffrey Chaucer to write The Canterbury Tales - just to show the extensive influence that medieval Italian literature had on other literatures
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmatched book, 27 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: The Decameron (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
After reading it and enjoying it the whole time, I must say that Decameron is a book that will entertain you: the tone is light and the stories are all entertaining. It is a book you can easily dip in and out without losing much. Considering the nature of the book, the main characters are all developed well.

The penguin edition is brilliant: it comes with comprehensive notes and heavy introduction.

Fully recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Love are Timeless, 23 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Decameron (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron is a true classic which should be read by so many more. It contains 100 short stories, told by a group of ten who has escaped the great plague in the 14th century. Many of the stories are on the topic of love and/or sexual relations, and are told with a great sense of humor. The topic of love is somewhat timeless and even if concepts of "true love", "perfect love" etc are changing throughout our social and cultural history, stories on the topic of love always seems to fascinate us.

Boccaccio cannot be said to be preoccupied with morality or religion, but instead is more concerned with earthly values, and the book of Decameron is described as a "towering monument of European literature and a masterpiece of imaginative narrative" by the publishers of this edition - and it truly is a masterpiece! This freedom from some of the heaviest institutions can also be a reason to why so many can find pleasure in reading him still today, hence the earthly concerns of human have not changed too much since the late middle ages, believe me or not!

The tradition of short stories in this form can be said to start with Boccaccio and he has been followed by many writers. Marguerite de Navarre, queen of Navarre and sister to king Francis I, writes her Heptaméron (1558) as a French version of the Decameron and in the prologue she praises Boccaccio saying that he is admired among the royal family in France. Boccaccio was translated early into several European language and he is still read and regarded today as one of the most important writers in the history of European literature.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic masterpiece!, 29 July 2012
This review is from: The Decameron (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The "Decameron" is a collection of 100 short stories written by the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio between 1350 and 1353.
It's about a a group of seven young women and three young men who flee Florence during the plague and end up living together in a villa in Fiesole for two weeks. To pass the time, each person tells a story to the others in the group. In this manner 100 stories are told which revolve around different amorous episodes, the lust and greed of the clergy and the adventures of a few merchants. The author elevates different moral values like the power of intelligence, quick wit, ethics and good manners and takes up different social behaviors like the tricks that women play on men or that people play one each other.
The book is realistic, historical, philosophical, satirical and human.

Joyce Akesson, author of The Invitation, Love's Thrilling Dimensions and Majnun Leyla: Poems about Passion.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Alert!, 27 Sept. 2013
By 
Kevin Fitzmaurice (London W10) - See all my reviews
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I must agree with the other one star review. This is Amazon at it's sloppiest. The version is a very old, almost unreadable, version. Don't buy the Kindle Edition by Start Publishing - it's not going to be the value for money you think it is. Other, better, versions do exist for Kindle - possibly the JM Rigg translation - but it's probably worth rooting around to find the one to suit you...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard Work!, 5 Feb. 2015
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I gave up on this I'm afraid. But it served to remind me just how deeply embedded religion was in those times, and how boring religion is if you're not a believer. Wish I'd chosen the free version.
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The Decameron (Penguin Classics)
The Decameron (Penguin Classics) by George Henry McWilliam (Paperback - 27 Mar. 2003)
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