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Customer Review

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Exam-pie, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: After Virtue (Bloomsbury Revelations) (Paperback)
This book is full, and I mean completely and utterly loaded, with typographical errors. Often two or three in a paragraph. Sometimes two in a sentence. Throughout the entire book. It is clear that what bloomsbury have done is just to scan the original, slap a new cover on it and give it a hip and unusual font and then throw it on the shelves without double-checking the contents first. I know that this is what they've done because I have the original, that I've taken out from my university's library, and I've been comparing the two. The most commonly occurring typo is just a random hyphen left in the middle of unhyphenated words for no obvious reason. So "incomplete" inexplicably becomes "in-complete." I had an inkling as to why this was happening so I checked the original to see if I was right and, lo and behold, I was. The original text often cuts words in half and moves half the word to the next line, which of course is fine. But for the new book all the words were moved without being edited, so the hyphens remain, but now they just make no sense. And there are other typos as well. A (really) common one I've found is the word "and" being changed to "arid," and you can sort of see the logic as to why the software might have made that mistake. My favourite so far has been "exam-pie" which, after consulting the original text (of course), turns out actually to be "example." That makes two typos IN ONE WORD! Have you ever heard of a book that was so full of typos that you had to have a different edition of the same book to hand just to read the original? I would just read straight from the original copy I have if it wasn't falling apart.

Why is this such a problem? Well, for two reasons. Firstly, at £15 the book isn't cheap. It is less expensive than the other editions that can be found on Amazon, but given that it's just a badly photocopied version of the original you sort of have to wonder what could justify that price-tag. Secondly (and more importantly), this isn't a Dan Brown novel, this is a book about virtue ethics. Precision in language is absolutely crucial to understanding what MacIntyre's trying to convey. It's not easy at the best of times, and the fact that there are so many typos makes you question whether what you're reading is what MacIntyre is actually trying to communicate.

This book is so important, what a shame the publisher ruined it to save a bit of cash. I never ever review books on Amazon, but in this case I really felt that I had to let people know what they were buying.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2013 13:38:40 BDT
Palmer says:
Exact same problem with Ronald Dworkin's 'Taking Rights Seriously' - errors everywhere, very disappointed and disheartened that Bloomsbury would let this happen.

Posted on 17 Jul 2013 22:35:53 BDT
Don Berry says:
I noticed this too, almost immediately. One telling sign is that Collingwood's name is rendered 'Colling-wood' in the preface -- must have been across two lines in the edition they copied. I was also wondering today whether the point of the review system is to review texts themselves or particular editions of them -- do you think people might see a negative rating and ignore the book entirely?

Posted on 30 Jul 2013 17:33:37 BDT
Don Berry says:
I've sent them an email -- they're 'suspending all stock of the current edition as they embark on a thorough reprint and overhaul of the text to correct the errors that have crept into the new setting'. So hopefully there will be a version with less errors available soon.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Aug 2013 13:07:25 BDT
Mark O'Neil says:
Hi Don,

I've been thinking about what you said. I don't think that the rating system should be limited to the text itself, but the product as a whole. My (admittedly superficial and quick) reasoning is that there are many other products sold by Amazon that are not books, and clearly they are not rated according to the texts that they do not have. In addition, there are other editions of this book which clearly have different ratings, and I think people will be able to see the difference. I've made it clear in my post that it is an important book, but that it is this edition that is bad. It's particularly frustrating to me because it is the main source for the dissertation I'm writing for my masters' degree. I've been reading and re-reading this book for months - typos and all!

Best wishes,
Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Oct 2013 22:28:33 BDT
Don Berry says:
Hi Mark,

There is a new version out now with most of the typos corrected. Good luck with the master's dissertation -- sounds interesting!

Best wishes,

Don
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