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"Classic Reprint Series": Avoid like the plague
on 2 February 2010
I shall start with the most important part of the review:
If you were to take my well-intentioned advice, you would not buy this book or any other from the 'Classic Reprint Series'.
Although not actually explained anywhere on this page, the would-be customer really ought to know that these editions are, put simply, photocopies of almost incredibly low-quality. The book itself claims to be 'remastered' (with no further explanation as to quite what that entailed), yet the result of this occult process remains a sporadically blurred, misaligned, faded and flawed text.
A few years ago, I had in my possession a 'pirate' copy of a Noam Chomsky book bought from a makeshift stall in Cambodia for around $3 [US]; I may have later traded it for some fruit, although I don't clearly recall. Anyway, it may amuse the reader to learn that this tatty-specimen, bought from a man who could scarcely read most of the words he had patiently copied page-by-page, was actually clearer and easier on the eye than that now languishing discarded on my coffee table. I should be more than happy were someone to offer me fruit in exchange for this ersatz scrap of ugliness.
Favourite faults include (but are not limited to!):
- a scored text-block due to bad cutting.
- a halo of grey dots around each and every letter: time to change the cartridge, chaps.
- the fact that this is a photocopy of the second edition - not the 'original text'.
- the fact that a University of Los Angeles library sticker has been reproduced at the end (admirable attention to detail and all that...).
But, best of all, is the caveat all these books bear:
"Forgotten Books takes the uppermost care to preserve the entire content of the original book. However, this book has been generated from a scan of the original, and as such we cannot guarantee that it is free from errors or contains the full content of the original. But we try our best!"
Does this not, in essence, say: "We do everything we can to print the entire text, but may not, actually, print the entire text". Nevertheless, I am quite sure that when you find pages missing from the 'book' (for which you have paid handsomely), it will be truly warming to know that whilst not actually checking the integrity of the scans they have bought from a third-party before selling them on in a further degraded form, the hard-working chaps at Forgotten Books are 'trying their best'.
In short, were the brothers Fowler to witness the travesty being callously visited upon their fine work, they would now be turning in their graves, which have been dampened by the former contents of Forgotten Books' collective bladder.
Please note: Forgotten Books = Amazon.co.uk