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Penguin Classics Middlemarch Hardcover – Jul 26 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic (July 26 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141196890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141196893
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 5.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 953 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Fisher on May 29 2004
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in a college course about self-deception as a theme in literature. This was by far my favorite of the things we read (we read such other things as Vanity Fair, The Ring and the Book).
This is really a long book about ordinary circumstances in a 19th century rural area in England. So why is a book such as this one considered such a classic even though not many particularly grand events happen?
The book is the study of the ordinary in many ways. You end up seeing how different people live and deal with different situations and what kinds of people they are. At the same time that the reader comes to judgments about the people in the book, George Eliot manages to portray most of her characters sympathetically. Even the worst people in the book are rounded out in some ways and Eliot tries to imbue a sense of humanity. It portrays an "adult" view of the world instead of the simplistic view of the child. In fact, Dorothea makes a journey during the book from a child with a romanticized view to an adult with a more rich understanding through life experience and wisdom.
If you're looking for a book about exciting events, with high drama, with a fast pace, don't bother picking this book up since you'll probably dislike it. This is a book written by a woman and expressing some criticisms of a woman's place in the world of her time. It is also a book that explores a more ordinary setting and viewpoint than perhaps most male authors of the time would write in such depth about. She brings a different experience than most male or female authors of the 19th century. Male authors focused on grander events (their characters often fighting to get somewhere in life) while many female authors showed a romanticized view of life and love.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 28 2007
Format: Paperback
This one deserves 10 stars, it is really one of the most incredible books I've ever read. I think I've only given a brilliant rating to the Count of Monte Cristo and Bleak House. This is a fascinating character study of the people of Middlemarch, a town in Victorian England. I can't even begin to try to describe the story -- there is Dorothea who makes a dreadful first marriage to an older man, Dr. Lydgate and his disastrous relationship and marriage to the self-centered Rosamund, Fred Vincy and Mary, and much much more.

The way the author pulls her story and characters together is incredible, and the insight into the characters is nothing short of brilliant. To quote from the book jacket and Virginia Wolf "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."

Just be warned, this is not a sit on the edge of your seat, can't put it down until it's finished type of novel. This is a story to savour and enjoy the multi-faceted characters and the author's glorious prose like a fine red wine or a box of chocolates (or both). If you are looking for high action and adventure, this is not the book for you. Highly recommended for any lover of 19th century English literature, not as dark and brooding as Hardy can be, but the prose is just as lovely, if not better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter L. Swinford on Sept. 8 2003
Format: Paperback
George Eliot (actually Mary Ann Evans) created a remarkable story. One would think a 794 page story would have to contain a fair amount of filler. Yet Mary Ann Evans had so much to say, so much humor to share, insight to express, and story to relate that no less than 794 pages would have sufficed. This is a tremendous book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20 2005
Format: Paperback
Middlemarch has to be the greatest novel ever written in the english language. Why do I make such a sweeping statement? The reason is that this book has everything romance, suspense, wisdom,plot, philosophy, beautiful prose, real characters that are flawed and not judged by the author. Underlying all this is the large layer of feeling that we are all worthy, that we are all capable of so much good. One leaves the novel with such a sense of peace. I'm probably making this book sound boring when it's actually a page turner. However along with the page turning there's the more than occasional moment of profundity when we stop and think. Also for the romantics out there nobody can beat george eliot when it comes to a great love scene. This book is well worth buying for you'll read it more than once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "me-jane" on Feb. 12 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had to read "Middlemarch" for a Victorian literature course, and I approached it with certain trepidation: it's a tome, for a start, and by the time I braved it, I'd heard pretty much everyone in the class muttering about how dense and difficult it was. I had that reaction, too, for about 100, or even 200 pages. But I fell in love with it slowly. You have to almost re-learn how to read when you approach a novel like Middlemarch; it was not written to cater to short, wandering attention spans. But the brilliance of this book gradually reveals itself. Eliot is subtle and serious, but she is also witty and very humane, and in "Middlemarch" she tackles so much: science, art, religion, politics, love, morality.
I noticed by the end of the course that everyone who had previously been whining about this book had come to feel a certain sense of awe toward it. "Middlemarch" certainly demands a lot of time and thought to fully appreciate, but it's not difficult to understand why this is considered the great Victorian novel.
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