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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best translation
Arberry's masterpiece is the only translation to date that captures something of the majesty of the original. You will have to have good, classical taste in English literature, but if that is no problem for you, definitely go for this book. You might want to read Abdel Haleem's translation simultaneously, as Arberry's can be very literal, whereas Abdel Haleem puts...
Published on 5 Jun. 2012 by Mastery

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A somewhat challenging 'Classical' translation
While a discussion of the various merits and demerits of the content of a religious text is highly inappropriate for an Amazon review, there is scope for commenting on the quality of the translation.

I bought this book unseen having flicked through the Penguin Classics version and was somewhat disappointed. The Penguin version is (for someone with no prior...
Published on 11 July 2006 by Mr. B. Mcardle


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best translation, 5 Jun. 2012
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Arberry's masterpiece is the only translation to date that captures something of the majesty of the original. You will have to have good, classical taste in English literature, but if that is no problem for you, definitely go for this book. You might want to read Abdel Haleem's translation simultaneously, as Arberry's can be very literal, whereas Abdel Haleem puts everything into clear idiomatic English. But for poetic power, Arberry's translation soars far above Abdel Haleem's rather utilitarian effort.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A somewhat challenging 'Classical' translation, 11 July 2006
By 
Mr. B. Mcardle "benmcardle" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Koran (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
While a discussion of the various merits and demerits of the content of a religious text is highly inappropriate for an Amazon review, there is scope for commenting on the quality of the translation.

I bought this book unseen having flicked through the Penguin Classics version and was somewhat disappointed. The Penguin version is (for someone with no prior Koranic knowledge such as myself) an engaging and accessible translation which expresses the text in contemporary (but not colloquial) English.

By contrast, and despite assurances by the translator that he attempted to avoid the 'Biblical' style translations of many of his predecessors, this Oxford World's Classics version is translated into rather dry and laborious language which can confuse and seems bereft of the nuances that one expects were present in the original Arabic.

This is not altogether surprising in as much as the translation itself is some 50 years old, and so both the target audience and the approach to translation might well have been expected to have changed. Nevertheless, it does not make for as easy a read as one could have hoped (even for a religious text). I would recommend the Penguin Classic version over this one and will probably buy it myself as a replacement for this edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fluent English translation, 10 Nov. 2014
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M. Counsell (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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I met Arberry when I was a student, and read his translation of the Koran from cover to cover. Then I lent it to somebody who was marrying a Muslim, and never got it back. So it is good to have it on my shelves again. It is the most fluent of the English translations, and I hope it will lead to better understanding between the English-speaking and Muslim worlds.
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78 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filled with truths, whatever your belief, 26 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Koran (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I am currently reading this version of the Koran, coming from the position of being a Christian by birth, but wanting to explore more about all faiths and the Koran has stuck me as a powerful and true book, whose messages are difficult to express in words because they speak to an inner-intelligence and understanding. Attempting to try and give an impression of this will always be a little inadequate and I apologise if this review offends anyone, I am conscious of the fact that the word of God must be accepted in its totality and I am trying to present this as a literary review (From a position on extreme ignorance, I cannot read Arabic and so my response is only to the work in translation).
Firstly, what stikes me strongly is that the message of forgiveness and the often-repeated phrase that faith in God is like 'A garden beneath which rivers flow' are at the core of this message. Whether you are a Muslim or not the book, the message from God, is compelling and striking. There may be no room for real interpretation as the central core of the philosophy behind the Koran is the worst thing to be aware of the message and to turn away, or try to condense or re-phrase the message of the book - probably why there are so few reviews of it here. It is hard in these terms to be too objective, but certainly if you believe in God, whichever faith you are from, the central message of the Koran will strike a chord with you and you can at least understand the Islamic faith a little better.
Like Christianity, the Koran stresses the need to live a good life, by which it means a life lived in and through God. There are stresses put upon the need to turn away from the man-made world, the world of the busy daytime and to try and live instead in the more contemplative world of God, in touch with mind and soul which is where God must surely dwell (If you believe God to be life, then it is hard to disagree with the sentiment behind this message).
There are many laws, quite specifically about property and women etc that would get feminists up in arms, but is important to remember not to judge the book on our terms. Certainly these sections bear resemblance to the three books that follow Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers.
Yes, there is an emphasis on fear of God, rather than say, Love, and there is a strong emphasis on emnity to non-believers, including Christians and Jews, but importantly this is directed to the non-believers of those faiths, those that misinterpret the word of God. True Christians and Jews, who are true to the word of God, are respected. The coinage of Love is a very western concept, and the word used so readily as to be meaningless, instead the concept manifests itself here as reward, and acceptance back to God. The word is only specifically used to refer to a love of possesion, which in many ways is what the watered down version of the word has now become.
Definately a book worth reading and thinking about, rather than accepting on face-value if you are coming from a literary viewpoint.
To many it is the bedrock of a faith, and in those terms it is a book to be both respected and adhered to.
It's impossible to do it justice in such a small amount of space. It is a book everyone should read and understand. It would help to build many bridges between faiths.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 19 April 2015
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29 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Koran, 16 Aug. 2005
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J. M. Lilley (Kings Langley, Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Koran (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I'm not a religious person and cannot speak Arabic. I just read the book to see what all the fuss was about. The book is supposed contain the revelations of Muhammad from 1400 years ago. However, he seems to borrow much of the content from the Old Testament. All the usual characters are there: God, Satan, Adam, Noah, Joseph etc. To update the story Jesus gets a mention, although only seen as a messenger, not the Son of God. Unfortunately, the revelations tend to repeat much of this information many times, to the point where it becomes a very tedious read. Also towards the end, nearer to Muhammad's death, he gets a bit inward looking and suggests that his personal enemies will burn in hell. In fact, burning in hell seems to be the suggested fate for all unbelievers and homosexuals. It's full of contradictions, such as God is all forgiving, but likes to chastise people when ever he feels like it. Also, its treatment of women is not very PC, but you have to remember how long ago it was and the fact that woman have only recently gained equal rights (In the west)!
If set in today's context, it is a very divisive and socially unacceptable text. There is absolutely no mention of tolerance and respect for other people's beliefs. I can see why it has lead to problems.
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4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very cheaply made,pages fell out!!!, 26 Jan. 2010
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L. Allen - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Koran (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
It would've lasted if i'd never read it but this is not well made and if you read it often the glue that holds the pages in gives way.
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The Koran (Oxford World's Classics)
The Koran (Oxford World's Classics) by Arthur J. Arberry (Paperback - 18 Jun. 1998)
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