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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of truly epic proportions
It pains me to think that 'Paradise lost' sat gathering dust, unappreciated, on my shelf for over 2 years. Having tried about 3 times to wade into it, I'd find myself beaten back by its immensly dense, flowery language. But to anyone who is even remotely put off by the 'thee's and the 'thou's or who thinks that Milton is inaccessable to all but the most learned scholars I...
Published on 9 April 2003 by Mr. P. E. Laughton

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Poem, terrible format.
One of the great masterpieces of literature but in Kindle format the text is absurdly spaced out that makes it nearly unreadable.
Published 5 days ago by S. Wills


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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of truly epic proportions, 9 April 2003
By 
Mr. P. E. Laughton "ewart" (Kettering Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It pains me to think that 'Paradise lost' sat gathering dust, unappreciated, on my shelf for over 2 years. Having tried about 3 times to wade into it, I'd find myself beaten back by its immensly dense, flowery language. But to anyone who is even remotely put off by the 'thee's and the 'thou's or who thinks that Milton is inaccessable to all but the most learned scholars I would implore you, you simply MUST read this book. Once you've made your way through the first few pages you'll be amazed at just how accessible this piece of literary genius is.
For those who don't know, this is an adaptation of the 'Genesis' creation myth, centering around the temptation of Adam and Eve by a rather disgruntled Satan. The poem begins with the expulsion of Satan and his rebel hoardes from the kingdom of heaven, and as he and his crew writhe in 'tartarean sulphure and strange fire', Milton guides us into a dark mythical world where armies of winged serephin clash with fallen rebel angels in battles of truly epic proportions, and where the fate of mankind hangs in the balance. Absolutely everything about this poem is epic and monumental, the subject matter, the language. And although there are times when Milton tends to waffle (I can hear the sound of a thousand English professors aghast with rage...!) but with Milton, when its good, its REALLY good.
This certainly isn't a book that you can skim read over coffee, you do have to work at it,(a dictionary to hand is advisable) but the rewards are massive. I found 'Paradise Lost' a truly enriching experience that I cannot praise highly enough. Thankfully I have Paradise Regained to look foward to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic work, 27 Dec. 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Of Man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till on greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat
Sing, Heavenly Muse...
Not a lot people know that 'Paradise Lost' has as a much lesser known companion piece 'Paradise Regained'; of course, it was true during Milton's time as it is today that the more harrowing and juicy the story, the better it will likely be remembered and received.
This is not to cast any aspersion on this great poem, however. It has been called, with some justification, the greatest English epic poem. The line above, the first lines of the first book of the poem, is typical of the style throughout the epic, in vocabulary and syntax, in allusiveness. The word order tends toward the Latinate, with the object coming first and the verb coming after.
Milton follows many classical examples by personifying characters such as Death, Chaos, Mammon, and Sin. These characters interact with the more traditional Christian characters of Adam, Eve, Satan, various angels, and God. He takes as his basis the basic biblical text of the creation and fall of humanity (thus, 'Paradise Lost'), which has taken such hold in the English-speaking world that many images have attained in the popular mind an almost biblical truth to them (in much the same way that popular images of Hell owe much to Dante's Inferno). The text of Genesis was very much in vogue in the mid-1600s (much as it is today) and Paradise Lost attained an almost instant acclaim.
John Milton was an English cleric, a protestant who nonetheless had a great affinity for catholic Italy, and this duality of interests shows in much of his creative writing as well as his religious tracts. Milton was nicknamed 'the divorcer' in his early career for writing a pamphlet that supported various civil liberties, including the right to obtain a civil divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, a very unpopular view for the day. Milton held a diplomatic post under the Commonwealth, and wrote defenses of the governments action, including the right of people to depose and dispose of a bad king.
Paradise Lost has a certain oral-epic quality to it, and for good reason. Milton lost his eyesight in 1652, and thus had to dictate the poem to several different assistants. Though influenced heavily by the likes of Virgil, Homer, and Dante, he differentiated himself in style and substance by concentrating on more humanist elements.
Say first -- for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell -- say first what cause
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator and transgress his will,
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Milton drops us from the beginning into the midst of the action, for the story is well known already, and proceeds during the course of the books (Milton's original had 10, but the traditional epic had 12 books, so some editions broke books VII and X into two books each) to both push the action forward and to give developing background -- how Satan came to be in Hell, after the war in heaven a description that includes perhaps the currently-most-famous line:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, that serve in heav'n.
(Impress your friends by knowing that this comes from Book I, lines 261-263 of Paradise Lost, rather than a Star Trek episode!)
The imagery of warfare and ambition in the angels, God's wisdom and power and wrath, the very human characterisations of Adam and Eve, and the development beyond Eden make a very compelling story, done with such grace of language that makes this a true classic for the ages. The magnificence of creation, the darkness and empty despair of hell, the manipulativeness of evil and the corruptible innocence of humanity all come through as classic themes. The final books of the epic recount a history of humanity, now sinful, as Paradise has been lost, a history in tune with typical Renaissance renderings, which also, in Milton's religious convictions, will lead to the eventual destruction of this world and a new creation.
A great work that takes some effort to comprehend, but yields great rewards for those who stay the course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise regained...indeed., 16 Jan. 2013
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An excellent buy. Not only does this compilation contain '...regained', but it also has excellent illustrations. A worthwhile investment for anybody with even a passing interest in this area.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics on the move, 29 Mar. 2013
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So good to be able to build up a library of classic titles on my iPad - Kindle books are a godsend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Kindle Edition)
Classics don't need reviewing. Mystical and wondrous. A window into Miltons view on the world in another time FAB..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Kindle Edition)
Something I should have read years ago
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5.0 out of 5 stars Our second-greatest English poet, 14 Nov. 2013
By 
D. M. Roberts (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Kindle Edition)
Milton is the second-greatest English poet (after Shakespeare of course)and Paradise Lost is his masterpiece. The sequel, Paradise Regained, is sadly inferior but still has plenty of good things about it. (This is a comically short review, as I am aware. See volumes and volumes of criticism by experts.)
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1.0 out of 5 stars Great Poem, terrible format., 22 Mar. 2015
By 
S. Wills "Thing-Fish" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Kindle Edition)
One of the great masterpieces of literature but in Kindle format the text is absurdly spaced out that makes it nearly unreadable.
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3.0 out of 5 stars paradise lost, 12 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Kindle Edition)
I realise that the fault is in myself,but I find the book too difficult for my more modern taste. Sorry
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first photo of the book is misleading, 12 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Paradise Regained (Hardcover)
The item arrived and it is indeed a great piece of work, even though it is generally not very popular or regarded as highly as Paradise Lost.

What is disappointing and misleading is the photo of the cover. The book that I received is plain blue and there is no artwork on the cover or any external sleeve. Just a plain blue cover with golden letters on the side (there is nothing on the front or back).

I wanted this for a gift, hence I went for the hardcover, but I was looking for something a bit more nice looking that what I got.

So if you care about what the edition looks like, you might want to look for something else.
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