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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 8 February 2012
I got this to test out my new Kindle, not so much to read as I have the full version in hardback. I'm glad I don't have to rely on this. The text is all there, but endlessly interrupted by scholarly additions and annotations. These would have been useful as a separate appendix, but are very annoying if you just want to read the Diary. Free, though, so I can't complain, but I think I'll stick to the books.
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on 5 October 2011
Firstly, the diary is a fascinating read, and really gives a window into the lives and affairs of people in the 17th century (albeit, very wealthy, prviledged people).

However, this kindle edition is completely flawed, to the point of being completely unreadable in places. The problem is that the editor has chosen to constantly place notes throughout the text. Not an an appendix or a footnotes but throughout the text, and usually mid sentence. This makes the text almost impossible to read, as every sentence is broken up by long paragraphs of background material.

Unfortunately this is one of those occassions where it's worth steering clear of the Kindle version and buying a paper edition instead.
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on 9 January 2011
*This Kindle review mainly focuses on the technical aspects of the download*

I've spent a couple of days wading through the multiple versions of Samuel Pepys's diary in the Kindle Store looking for a complete and unabridged version that is "Kindle friendly." None of them are what I'd class as truly "friendly" to the electronic format, but this edition - Diary of Samuel Pepys - Complete (with the faux Penguin "orange stripe" cover) - is better than most.

Firstly, you can download this as 10 separate volumes - one for each year - or go for the cheaper edition which covers the entire diary. Choosing to do the latter raises a slight niggle, however: there is a linked TOC to all years and months, but they are contained within a table/frame. It seems impossible to navigate any further than the first year using the Kindle's conventional buttons. The only way I found to do this was to go to an actual location address. Location "80", for example, takes you to 1967/68 (or thereabouts). Once in the contents you can move back and forth with the Kindle's page buttons, but this is a major oversight from whoever produced this version. It's a shame, because most of the other Kindle versions have no such contents linking.

The other issue is the editor's notes within the text. You'll find these popping up quite regularly within the text contained in square brackets. The longer notes are separated as larger paragraphs. Some of these come in the middle of sentences so it can interrupt the flow of the diary. It is a shame that these notes were not included as linkable footnotes which is much more suited to the electronic format. For an excellent example of how footnotes should work on the Kindle, check out The Holy Bible English Standard Version (ESV).

But this is a public domain book - you can even find the "prepared HTML" document which people have clearly used to produce this - so we can only expect limited production values.

As mentioned above, this is one of the better formatted versions of the diary, though. Once you get round the contents problem it's easy to find what you're looking for. Shame about the interruptive notes though. I'd say it's worth the (less than) three quid if you are looking for the complete work in a suitable format.
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on 16 January 2015
Reading this book is like being able to travel back in time and really experience the life of the people of that period.
Basically the 'mundane' life he leads is not unlike our modern day ones.
He gets up, eats, goes to his office, eats out, goes back to work, works long hours, eats and goes to bed.
Weekends he and his wife go to church in the morning and again in the afternoon and either visit friends and family (which he visits a lot in the week too) or goes back home. He worries about money and cash flow, he loves his wife, he hates his wife's little yappy dog that messes in the house, he gets drunk sometimes, entertainment is singing and playing on the various musical instruments he owns on his own or with friends and family.
Of real interest is that he writes at a time when Parliament is arranging to bring the King back from exile in Holland and Pepys, working for the Admiralty Office, is heavily involved in the arrangement of sending a fleet of ships in order to do this. He also writes about the gossip in the halls of Parliament regarding the King coming 'home' and about what the man on the street actually felt about this situation as England appears to be in limbo for not all are ready to be Royalists yet and still a lot of people have old Puritan values.
He mentions that some people are amazed at church services by the bishops dressed in their vulgar finery (Puritans of course didn't have bishops nor would tolerate vulgar displays of dress).
But as his diary is a personal one, much of the book just details his every day life (as you'd expect), which I have to say was very very busy. He comes over as an incredibly humble man and as he rises up the ranks he remains level headed and grateful for his good fortune.
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on 1 September 2014
I have been wanting to read this diary for a very long time and was very happy when I found it on here. very insightful with some laugh out loud moments, sometimes it's like reading a 17th century Adrian Mole. he seems to be something of a hypochondriac at times.

like others have said there's a lot of footnotes dotted about in between the days of the diary but they are written in typewriter style whereas the diary is in proper print, once you get your head around that and ignore the footnotes it's plain sailing all the way.

I'm finding this book most enjoyable and the fact that you get 2,711 pages all for free is fantastic.
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on 17 November 2012
This is an absolute gem of a book, quite rightly regarded as a masterpiece, but don't be put of by that. I found it eminently readable.
There were many contemporary diarists and there have been many others throughout history, but Samuel Pepys stands out in the front. It may be just that he was in the ascendancy at a very interesting and complex time in English history or it may be that his style (of including very personal thoughts and incidents and day-to-day matters) was pretty much unique at the time; although much copied in fiction and faction since.
After reading the diary, I felt I knew part of the the man and would certainly have liked to have met him. He was curious about things outside the realm of his immediate life and had a guilty eye for the ladies. I am not too sure just what his thoughts were about the Restoration of the Monarchy, but he had the sense to keep them largely to himself, only hinting at what he truly thought.
Anyway, even if you don't like History or biography books, I would recommend you try out this book.
As it is a real-time diary, there is some banality, but these bits you can skim to get to the real nuggets, and what nuggets! ( Just like they do in modern "reality T.V." shows"!!?)
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on 24 November 2015
I have wanted to read this forever but it is like most diaries just a routine of boredom. Up betimes, to the office, home for a venison pasty, back to office, fiddle with breasts, if possible, home, count money and so to bed. Nobody could make the plague and the great fire so uninteresting! March 1666 205 people died, April 1666 .... Admin admin admin!

Took me forever to read it and, 2700 pages, maybe read edited version.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 March 2016
Astonishing. A compelling, incredible book that transports the reader into Pepys' time as if you were truly there. No history book could possibly deliver such a phenomenal insight. A cover-to-cover delight that left me wanting more, even if it went on for ten years!
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on 28 January 2013
This review has nothing to do with the content - only the format - but I think it's necessary to warn other Kindle users!

I'm absolutely sure the contents of the diary makes wonderful reading - exactly why I chose it. However, the amount of notes in this particular version make it completely impossible to read in any 'flow' on Kindle.

It's more of a reference or study version, in my opinion. The format is such that you get perhaps one, partial, uninterrupted sentence of the actual diary, then three pages' worth of italicised notes explaining the contents of the partial sentence... So reading it in any kind of continuous way is impossible! The notes aren't the 'hidden' kind that you can use the Kindle controls to switch on and off, btw - they're actually part of the text.

I'm going to pay a bit more and buy a more readable edition!
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on 18 November 2012
Samuel Pepys lived and was involved in a very interesting time in English History. The population was tired of Cromwell's Puritan England and wanted to return Monarchic government. Pepys was amongst those who sailed to France to recall King Charles II to the throne. Pepys witnessed the new king's displeasure towards those who he held responsible for his father's execution; he saw them being disembowelled. Domestically Pepys tried a new infusion for the first time called "Tee" or "tea".
January has not always been the first month of the new year so some dates appear confusing e.g. March 1661-1662 depending which calendar you are working to. A long book, perhaps for bedtime but an interesting read never-the-less.
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