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3.4 out of 5 stars
Complete Nonsense (Children's Classics)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
This is most certainly worth a download considering it's free. Edward Lear's limericks are witty and fun - drawings are certainly not mandatory for their enjoyment and although the formatting is not pretty the content delivers. I feel some of the other reviewers are being somewhat harsh. If you enjoy the e-book you can always buy a hard copy afterwards.
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125 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2010
I think the previous two reviewers are missing the fact that these are the first ever limericks, written by the person who invented the form. Yes, they're not very funny today, and despite having the same AABBA structure as they do today Lear always used to end the first and last lines with the same word, which sounds false to the modern ear. However, for anyone interested in poetic forms this is a must.

Or in other words:

There was a (now dead) man called Lear
Who had something he thought we should hear
His brand new verse form
Caused a comedic storm
But sounds wrong to our modern-day ear.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2012
Some books aren't for reading from cover to cover. This is one of those fine free offerings from Kindle that repays the occasional look. It has very many limericks as:
'There was an Old Man of the Dee,
Who was sadly annoyed by a Flea.
When he said,"I will scratch it!"
they gave him a hatchet,
Which grieved that Old Man of the Dee'.
On 12 May 2012, the 200th anniversary of Lear's birth, a plaque was placed on 15 Stratford Place in Westminster where he lived for a time, [BBC News onlin2 12 May 2012]. Curiously, an annotated copy of 'A Book of Nonsense', which was owned by Ronnie Barker the comedian, will be sold at auction on 21 June 2012, {BBC News online 13 June 2012]. In Barker's copy he took issue with the original limericks, observing:
'There was an old fossil named Lear,
Who's [sic] verses were boring and drear.
His last lines were worse -
Just the same as the first!
So I've tried to improve on them here'.
Barker's last line to the Old Man of the Dee, for example, goes, (or should go):
'And he cut off his leg at the knee'.
But we should all thank Lear for this light verse form and perhaps we should have a go ourselves:
There was a young man of Carlisle,
Who hadn't broken wind in a while.
So, once he let rip,
It caused him to skip,
And touch-down was after a mile.
But there again, perhaps not?
Ian C.Mason
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This Kindle version is not formatted correctly so the poems do not appear as poems, PLUS all the illustrations are missing. It's all a bit of a waste of space. Beware of getting something for nothing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2011
This is a collection of old limericks where the first and last line are (mostly) the same rather than homonyms as we would expect today.

It was Kindle-ised by a group of volunteers, no doubt motivated by a desire to preserve these original works. From a historical point of view such endeavours always have merit and this, along with the problem-free formatting, is the reason for the 3 stars. Illustrations, which presumably accompanied the original text, have not been included which is a shame but understandable.

Don't read if you simply want to be entertained; chances are you won't be. Do read if you have an interest in this particular form of poetry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2012
Stimulated aged memories of being inspired by the English language. Nonsense verse just makes me chuckle when I think about it. Drift off to sleep with a smile after bedtime reading. The kids will love it, and if they don't you will.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Whilst many of the limericks are dated here, there are still a few that will raise a chuckle. the style of limerick show their age slightly with the first and last lines being so much the same, but you have to remember that was the style.

A few formatting errors here and there - splits mid line, but that is just nit-picking. If you have an interest, curious as to what Edward Lear was about or want to be able to say you have read some of his nonsense, then it isn't going to cost you a penny to do so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2012
This book is a funny read and very simple to understand so is great for adults and for reading to children, it takes me back to my childhood and would be perfect for English teachers to show examples of limericks. very enjoyable classic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2011
Half the joy of this book is in the pictures. Without them it is quite hard work, the best way to read this is to browse it with a child letting the illustrations draw them into the world of nonsense - this entirely loses that possibility. I gave 2 stars for content, if you can find a copy that has illustrations and is properly formatted it will be worth 5.
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on 6 June 2012
Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense is great to dip into now and then but try reading more than a few There Was An Old Man limericks and you begin to feel queasy as if you have O.D'd on Syrup of Figs. It's not that Lear is anything but excellent; it is just that limericks are most efficacious taken in small doses. Also, he preferred to stick rigidly to the rules and use the first line, only slightly altered, as the last line too. As a poet myself, I can say I prefer to change up the last line to rhyme with first; for instance no. 92 could end with: Perhaps everyone went to hell.
As I got the book free when I doownloaded the Kindle app,however, I would definitely say it is good value!
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