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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed!
I was impressed with the time it took to get the book to me, packaged very well, good price and imaculate condition. I am impressed!
Published on 25 Feb. 2011 by Wato

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This isn't the right Penguin to buy.
This whole series "Penguin Epics" consists of nothing but excerpts. What you get here is the text of the 1972 Sandars Penguin Classic without any of the introduction at the front or any of the glossary of names at the back.
Don't buy it - if you are interested in Gilgamesh, buy the complete 1972 Sandars Penguin Classic AND the 1999 Andrew George Penguin Classic...
Published on 27 Nov. 2009 by Fuficius Fango


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This isn't the right Penguin to buy., 27 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Penguin Epics : The Epic of Gilgamesh (Paperback)
This whole series "Penguin Epics" consists of nothing but excerpts. What you get here is the text of the 1972 Sandars Penguin Classic without any of the introduction at the front or any of the glossary of names at the back.
Don't buy it - if you are interested in Gilgamesh, buy the complete 1972 Sandars Penguin Classic AND the 1999 Andrew George Penguin Classic. Notice that two of the reviews here are actually for Andrew George's edition - that's a big blunder by Amazon!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed!, 25 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Penguin Epics : The Epic of Gilgamesh (Paperback)
I was impressed with the time it took to get the book to me, packaged very well, good price and imaculate condition. I am impressed!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Window Into Ancient Civilization - but not an epic, 15 July 2010
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MLA (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Penguin Epics : The Epic of Gilgamesh (Paperback)
The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest recorded stories, arising out of the ancient civilization of Sumeria. The Penguin Epics version is a narrative translation of the original tablets and is a reproduction of a 1972 version by NK Sanders. The Epic is a must-read for those who have an interest in the ancient though it is perhaps more satisfying to have read it than it is during the reading. It is fascinating to pick out elements that feature in later works elsewhere in the world not least the description of the great flood that features in the Old Testament of the Bible. What the Epic of Gilgamesh is not is a gripping tale or insightful moral fable.

Gilgamesh himself is a great king who is so powerful he can test the gods. Gilgamesh dominates his society to such an extent that he claims first right to every new bride in his city. Partly as punishment, the gods create a rival from the wilds to challenge him. The rival, Enkidu, is designed to be as strong as Gilgamesh but Gilgamesh defeats him.

Reading the tale as it unfolds with a modern eye would identify two main themes - the intense bond between two powerful men and the futility of the eternal search to conquery mortality. The former of these two themes may or may not have been intended by the original crafters of the legend but there is no doubt that Gilgamesh's love for Enkidu is a powerful motivation for his later actions. Gilgamesh is not a round or deep character and he displays few graduations of action but his love for Enkidu and his own fear of death are his most notable features.

As with many ancient epics, it is between the lines where most fascination lies. The allusions to events and legends that stretch back thousands of years is what excites about the Epic of Gilgamesh. The references to older narratives that would have been familiar to listeners at the time but now are harder to understand are tantalising glimpses into a world order long gone. The tale of the flood which is an historical event that also features in the Old Testament is a powerful reminder that these stories are rarely just the imaginings of talented bards but are often the closest to a record of the times they and their predecessors knew.

However, it must be said that the Epic of Gilgamesh is not much of a story. Apparently the versions with greater depth of explanation of character and place as side notes by modern authors are more interesting but the core narrative as described in the Penguin Epics version is not particularly interesting. Gilgamesh engages in a couple of adventures, mostly with his sidekick Enkidu, and defeats legendary opponents mostly through sheer strength. The role of women in Sumerian society is fascinating, the insight into what comprised a hero in those times, and the tales that are alluded to are nice snippets of history but the Epic of Gilgamesh should not be mistaken for a magnificent tale.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gilgamesh revisited, 28 July 2009
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Unicorn 336 (Derbyshire. England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Penguin Epics : The Epic of Gilgamesh (Paperback)
Its some times very difficult to get obscure titles at reasonable prices but at least this vendor sold good quality at a fair price. T
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Penguin Epics : The Epic of Gilgamesh
Penguin Epics : The Epic of Gilgamesh by N K Sandars (Paperback - 4 May 2006)
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