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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reader's Edition - Essential, but without the Illustrations
NOTE: This a review of the READER'S edition - and the Reader's Edition DOES NOT include the facsimile images (art and calligraphy) of the original "Red Book: Liber Novus." I suspect many of those who ordered the book unaware of this will be surprised and disappointed. This distinction was not made clear in Amazon pre-publication information. If you wish to see the...
Published 20 months ago by Lance S. Owens

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unillustrated edition which only tells half the tale.
Having seen the wonderful illustrated edition, admittedly somewhat oversized, I believed that the 'Reader's edition' would be a more compact edition of the same work (especially given the price). However, nothing could be further from the truth. The book, despite the handsome cover is merely the text and completely diminishes the pleasure of exploring Jung's creation in...
Published 20 months ago by Hermes 3Magistus


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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reader's Edition - Essential, but without the Illustrations, 25 Dec 2012
By 
Lance S. Owens (Salt Lake City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
NOTE: This a review of the READER'S edition - and the Reader's Edition DOES NOT include the facsimile images (art and calligraphy) of the original "Red Book: Liber Novus." I suspect many of those who ordered the book unaware of this will be surprised and disappointed. This distinction was not made clear in Amazon pre-publication information. If you wish to see the original book in all its visual glory, pay the price and order the complete folio-sized facsimile edition.

So, why then publish, and why purchase, a "Reader's Edition"? Why is the this edition important, even essential?

Because the text of "Liber Novus" (as Jung formally titled his "Red Book") is really more important than the art. Jung experienced and recorded his visions and then composed his draft manuscript of Liber Novus before beginning on the art. The art and calligraphy came later, they were composed over the following 16 years or so. The text - compiled principally between 1914 and 1915, with a last section added in 1917 - is Jung's primary record of his extraordinary odyssey across the threshold of consciousness, and into the heart of mythopoetic vision. As he said: "This inner world is truly infinite, in no way poorer than the outer one. Man lives in two worlds." This is the journal of Jung's exploration of the inner world - and it ranks as one of the most important journeys of exploration in the record of human exploration. Dr. Shamdasani, who spent thirteen years editing Liber Novus for publication, has strongly suggested that one should read the text before even looking at the images. I agree.

If you are ready to start that reading, there is another reason this "Reader's Edition" is an essential purchase: the big folio edition of "The Red Book: Liber Novus" is huge and physically very difficult to read. Holding it on your lap, or finding a way to prop it up and read it, is a painful task. God have mercy if you wear bifocals! This edition is formatted in a normal book size, and allows a more comfortable reading experience (if reading Liber Novus can ever be a "comfortable" experience). You will not be disappointed with the beauty of this smaller edition; it is bound "bible style" in soft faux leather with rounded corners, and printed using three colors of ink to add the distinctions in headings and text (this replicates the style of the folio edition). And of course, there is a marker ribbon sewn into the binding. I have no idea how such a finely crafted book can be sold at this price.

But the text is much more difficult to meet than is the beautiful art. The calligraphy and artwork are immediately stunning, even overwhelming. I know - based on the several seminars about Liber Novus I have taught over the last three years - that most people simply never make it past this visual experience; they do not read Jung's account of what happened to him between 1913 and 1916.

What confounds 
the reader now is the same 
issue that confronted Jung 
then: Though imaginative, 
mythic, apparently fictive, and ultimately subjective, what Jung met in his wanderings spoke with the voice of an objective fact. It was independent, ineffably ancient, and yet intimately and synchronously involved with human history. He perceived it as real, and the story it told had the tenor of a revelation. Without some introduction, some guiding insight into what the man was doing, most readers become quickly disoriented.

To guide your first journey through Liber Novus, I highly suggest you start by reading (again) Jung's biographical memoir, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections." At very least, study again Chapter 6, "Confrontation with the Unconscious." Then closely read Shamdasani's very fine introductory essay that prefaces Jung's text in this Reader's Edition. Next, get Dr. Shamdasani's beautiful new book, "C. G. Jung: A Biography in Books" - you will see my full review of that volume on the Amazon product page. After that, there are several hours of free lectures online from my seminars on Liber Novus. Thousands of people have them found useful, and you can find them easily by searching online for "The Red Book Lectures" or "C.G. Jung and the Red Book."

Then, read. Take it slowly, give it deep consideration. It is quite a journey.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mostly about The Readers Version, 10 Jan 2013
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
Many of the reviews of this volume appear to have been lifted from the full version of Jung's Red Book, which was published a couple of years ago. My own review concerns mainly the Reader's Edition mentioned above. However, I borrowed the earlier publication from my local library, so will make comparisons that are hopefully helpful for people deciding which to buy, or both.

The Red Book by Jung, Carl Gustav(Author)Hardcover is a beautifully produced facsimile of writings, drawings and journals that Jung transcribed from his dreams and fantasies at a time described as his "confrontation with the unconscious" in Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Flamingo). These are all beautifully presented and have the look of a Medieval book transcribed by monks, printed on quality paper. There are also introductions, translations and notes on the text by the editors.

Yet, for all the beauty and care putting this book out, it probably always will be a specialist's book. Firstly because of the price- though sales suggest this has been less of a problem for Jung enthusiasts. The main problem is more practical. The volume is slightly larger than A3 size which makes it cumbersome and physically difficult to read, apart from on a large lectern or table. This also makes cross-reading the pages containing translations, and looking at notes and the introduction difficult. After borrowing it, though fascinated, I decided not to buy this edition for that reason.

The arrival of this Readers Edition changes matters. It has been designed for those who mainly want to engage with the text, or who want something more portable to be used in conjunction with the larger volume. The text is transcribed to a normal hardback size and cross-referenced to illustrations in the larger volume, and is in a red cover reminiscent of some editions of the Bible. As with the larger volume, the production can be barely faulted. The paper is high quality. There are the introductions by editors and translators from the larger book about how the Red Book was produced, its publication history, as well as Jung's own text. My one disappointment is that there are no colour plates (none at all!) of Jung's illustrations, though there are some copies of pencil drawings.

To fully engage with The Red Book probably does require the full illustrations in the larger volume. Yet, that said, the text is fascinating in its own right, and will still give much, because it contains Jung's record of his engagement with various characters who appeared in his imagination. As the introduction suggests, these partly reflect Biblical influences as well as Goethe and Nietzsche. Many of the writings have a poetic and aphoristic flavour with meditations on, for example, the nature of mind, good and evil. They also have a tone reminiscent of William Blake's Prophetic books, or more contemporary poetic texts like Rilke's "Duino Elegies," which was composed at around the same time. This book can be read in the same vein.

In the end, what one makes of the content will largely depend upon one's view of Jung. For those who see him as a madman and crank, it may suggest insanity. Those who see him as a visionary will take much of this as as spiritual insight, and may read it as a prophetic work. One of the psychological fascinations of this text, for me, is when Jung deals directly with his material. In this we can see origins of many ideas that were to resurface later in his writings.

Interestingly, Jung himself regarded the book as a journal of a psychological experiment with his unconscious. He was also seeing patients and discussing some of the things which came up with his colleagues and friends. This, to me, suggests that this much more than a diary of psychotic material. But as Sony Shamdasani suggests, the one certainty is that in the long-term term the publication of this work will revolutionize scholars' views of Jung, not least because it provides first-hand material of what was happening in his mind.

At times the book is a heavy read. It is heady material. But for those sufficiently interested, it will yield much of interest and value. A fascinating book for those with a deep interest in Jung and his work.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unillustrated edition which only tells half the tale., 19 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
Having seen the wonderful illustrated edition, admittedly somewhat oversized, I believed that the 'Reader's edition' would be a more compact edition of the same work (especially given the price). However, nothing could be further from the truth. The book, despite the handsome cover is merely the text and completely diminishes the pleasure of exploring Jung's creation in presenting nothing but the text. What made Jung's original work exciting for the scholar and the reader was and is the beautiful illustrations in bright colours by Jung himself. A symbiotic relationship was presented between the glorious illustrations, almost like a 20th century illuminated manuscript, and the text. Instead the 'Reader's edition' is simply dry text without the pleasurable distraction and journey into Jung's mind and psyche to enhance the growth and understanding of the reader.

Disappointing for any readers hoping for a pocket edition to enjoy in all it's glory but on a reduced scale. Instead readers are no longer treated, but will be very sorely let down and will only experience a fraction of the pleasure of the larger, more beautiful edition which has received so many glowing reviews, here and elsewhere.

Avoid disappointment, and avoid this edition! It simply is not the same without the vivid colours and designs lending, rather than detracting, from the wonder that was Carl Jung.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic-beautiful!, 12 April 2013
By 
Ms. Janice S. Lucas "J.LUCAS" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
I chose to buy this because the real big red book is more like a collectors edition and it is literally too big to read. I am studying this exact copy of the big book and digesting the material slowly like a good meal or banquet. It might take the rest of my life and more lives to come to fully understand this work. It is truly a book that keeps on giving.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Book Reader's Edition, 1 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
The Red Book of Carl Gustav Jung is a mystical manuscript of mythic proportions. It is a work that sheds illuminating light on all of his other works. There really isn't enough cliched words in English language to describe the greatness of it, so I will not even attempt it!
What I would like to review is the actual Reader's Edition. It is simply fantastic. Finally, the affordable Red Book for everyone. While it doesn't contain colour reproductions of Jung's visionary art, it does contain the full text for your reading pleasure. The book is bound in gorgeous red 'leather' hardcover, it's surprisingly light and compact, even though it's almost 600 pages long. It's sheer pleasure to even hold it in your hands. In other words - it's a must!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should have this book in their library, 12 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
Not for the faint hearted as it demands total concentration and dedication. This is Jung at his best. It will take you through visions that will lead you to the answers of quintessential spiritual and mystical questions...
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5.0 out of 5 stars The inner Jung, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
If you really want to get an insight into the genius that was Jung this is the book to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent vade mecum, 22 Mar 2014
By 
A. McGuire "Alec McGuire" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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Go back to the 1980's and it seemed that we had a complete and comprehensive edition of Jjung' works, ably edited and co-ordinated by R C Hull. There was a small pamphlet called the Septem Sermones, which didn't quite fit. But with the letters, it was possible to feel one had a handle on Jung's work.
But then came the Seminar Notes to amplify the corpus. Now we have too to add volumes like the correspondence with Victor White, and. - and it is not the last part of the picture - the Red Book. What each stage has shown is how far Jung's work is comprised with his inner conflicts, and how say, the anima, is a reflection of and projection of his inner world. Shamdasanu and Hillman in Lament for the DeadLament of the Dead: Psychology After Jung's Red Book argue, indeed, that there must now be as many Jungian theories as there are readers, for what he is describing is a purely individual odyssey. One may not need to go that far, but with more volumes of seminar notes, etc, on the way, it becomes plain that the way we as therapists use Jungian ideas, as tutors introduce Jungian theory, and how as analysands we understand how our inner journeys are all going to need revision; and that process will take some years to come.
The Red Book is the most significant element in this - at least to date - and everyone interested in Jung's work simply has no option but to engage what Jung reveals of himself in this work.
Other reviewers have commented on the difference between the different issue, so beyond saying one needs a text volume and the facsimile I'l leave that unexplored.
What becomes certain, though, is that Jungians are in for interesting times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 24 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) (Imitation Leather)
Soo i'm told.
I got it has a present for a friend of mine and he told me that he loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One to come back to over and over, 9 Jan 2014
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Even though the readers edition didnt contain pictures which i made up for by referring to the online source, this is book is a brilliant view into the depths of a brilliant mind. Jung writes with a great intimacy which i find to be a privilege and am deeply thankful to the family for finally releasing this book for the public, although I would have loved a readers edition with pictures of his illustrations and his calligraphy. This book is truly a fount of wisdom for those who are able to understand the nature of symbols. I wanted to hold onto each word from the beginning to end, and would love to read this book over and over, for it to unfold itself to me slowly over time like a good friend.
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