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4.3 out of 5 stars60
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 24 March 2002
Many books have been omitted which degrades the overall structure of meaning. Considering book-1 in particular there are also omissions within the book, which have a serious effect on the meaning of the poem. The delivery is often, but not always, rushed and lacking in expression, perhaps due to time constraints?
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on 16 August 2005
Of the ommissions I missed the scenes with Raphael the most, especially given the absence of any of the scenes [other than in paraphrase] dealing with the father, the son or the angels.
On a personal note, I think it's quite disappointing that Sin was voiced by a man. It didn't really sound genuine when she describes the horrors she endures at the hands of her children coming from a male voice.
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on 26 April 2013
Simply breathtaking in it's scope, the 12 chapter poem details the fall of lucifer from paradise where he chooses to reign supreme in hell and in the ultimate act of revenge decides to sabotage God's greatest creation; Man. Whether you believe the stories from the bible/old testament, if you take this as a separate piece of fiction, it is simply unrivalled in it's lucidity and creativity.
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This review is about the Oxford World's Classic edition of Paradise Lost.

I thought the introduction got terribly bogged down about different theories of interpretation of the text and suspect there are better ways of approaching Milton than it offered; however, the font size and layout of the poem itself was really good. Generous margins on both sides leave lots of room for notes to myself as I wade through Milton's dense verse, and the paper is nice for writing on with a strong, sharp pencil.

The footnotes tended to be of two types: either brief synonyms or modern equivalents of a word whose meaning has changed over the years, or brief explanations of allusions (mostly to either the Bible or Ovid). Sometimes, a summary of an obscure phrase or passage would have been helpful, but not often forthcoming.

Overall, this seems a good text for anyone who's of the calibre to be reading (or in a position to be assigned to read) the full text of Paradise Lost.
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on 5 August 2015
Written in the early part of the Enlightenment or Age of Reason period, a wonderful, poetical, 17th.C. attempt to explain the human condition based on the mythical, biblical account of the creation of planet Earth. In short a text so good, I suggest, that it might easily make today's, 21st.C. non-indoctrinated, free thinking, materialist reader sad to be so enlightened! The 'kindle' format I received was in ten chapters with no notes so 'not the one to be with' if you're memory of and ability to understand the text is to be questioned.

To call it 'illustrated' is an insult to anyone capable of reading it; the text most worthy of illustration I personally, have ever read, painting pictures continuously before ones eyes is supplemented here by a landscape 19th.C. painting at the beginning of each chapter by artists such as Anton Hlavacek and Albert Bierstadt not to detract from their works in any way.

'Mustn't grumble', mind, @ 99p, worth every newpence and more.
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As Blake so rightly says, Milton's Satan is the true hero of PL - however unwittingly and however horrified Milton might have been to think it. Rebellious, over-reaching, full of pride and arrogance, he yet leaps off the page at us with his intelligence and his rhetoric and his plots.

In a way it's not that surprising: taking classical epic as his model, Milton creates an anti-hero in the mould of Achilles, also driven by pride and the urge to impose himself on his world. One of the many pleasures of Milton's great narrative poem is precisely the identifications of classical epic conventions and the innovative uses to which he puts them.

It seems it's not fashionable to read poetry these days, especially not narrative poetry (as opposed to `personal' lyric) but it's a huge shame to miss out on writing as thrilling as Milton's. With his great rolling sentences and complex diction it might take a little while to get into his rhythm but the effort is well worth it. From the opening scene where Satan and his minions are thrown out of heaven, to the quiet ending as Adam and Eve walk hand in hand away from Eden, Paradise Lost truly is a reading experience to savour.
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on 18 August 2012
The rating is specific to this edition and not a reflection on Milton's epic masterpiece.

The free audiobook link is just a link to librivox.org and not a professional recording (as I expected). Librivox is a collection of volunteers who record chapters of public domain books and give them back to the public for free, however, most are not professional voice artists and so the quality can vary. I feel Amazon's attempt to profit from the librivox community in this way is highly contemptible.

The ebook itself is just the standard public domain text and doesn't include any additional notes or annotations (not that I really expected it to).
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on 14 June 2013
Yes. Another classic. What more can I add? I could only read it one page at a time then follow all the footnotes and endnotes to ensure I was really getting the most out of the text.
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on 16 July 2014
I enjoyed the story, imagery and the language. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, but I found it funny and engaging.

I was studying the text and discovered that for me I preferred listening to it as an audio recording together with reading it. I'd happily listen to it again.

It is thought to have been dictated by Milton after he went blind and therefore lends itself very well to audio. I'd recommend anyone finding it hard to follow to find a good audio version and listen to the story rather (or as well as) reading it. It's well worth a read and I liked this edition.
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on 23 June 2011
This is horrible. There is no introductory material, no contents page, no navigation, and the text is run on without line breaks, as if this poem were oddly punctuated prose.
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