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32 number of pages are missing! Page#65 to 96. Penguin is THE leading publishing house in the world. This edition is printed in India (at Thomson Press, New Delhi, no less. A renowned printing establishment themselves). No wonder. This is not the first time I've encountered some mishaps in a Penguin book which is manufactured in India. I'm not being sceptical, but surely something strange is happening with the book production industry in our country, even if the book is from a famed publisher such as Penguin. You tell me guys. Aren't the Penguin India (a part of Penguin Group worldwide) books oddly underwhelming (qualitywise) than the same title but printed elsewhere? What am I missing here?
(Though this is perhaps not the ideal expression of emotion from someone who is trying to read a book written by a stoic philosopher, right? But remember, i couldn't able to finish the book.)
The edition sold here by Penguin Books India needs to be withdrawn from circulation. The type size varies from small to miniscule and often makes the writing illegible. The book is carelessly printed on the cheapest of papers by a careless printer which causes the ink to dab on the paper like that on a cheap handbill or fading photocopy. The paper itself is yellowish, soggy, and worse than cheap newsprint; at its best, the book wouldn't last for more than five years.
_Regarding the edition:_ Robin Campbell (the translator) randomly selects 40 out of Seneca's 124 letters to Lucilius. Often, he clips his selected letters according to his strange criterion of "personal" choice. His translation is stiff and formal, and reads like the neighing of a tired and extremely bored horse trying to drag Nero's carriage than the voice of the relaxed Stoic thinker that Seneca was (or pretended to be).
If you are looking forward to read Seneca's Epistles in full, look for the 2015 University of Chicago Press translation by Margaret Graver and A. A. Long--called "Letters on Ethics". Or try the 1917–1925 translation by Richard M. Gummere (originally published by Harvard University Press, and partially available through the Dover Thrift Edition "Letters from a Stoic"). If these cause a severe pocket pinch, look for public domain translations freely available on kindle or the internet which, despite their archaic phrasings, would serve you better. But stoically reject this Penguin Classics edition (and Penguin classics Indian editions in general). Seneca's ghost would salute you. _Vale_
Usually Penguin classics are very good and informative, which is why I bought this book. What I found is that this author as missed out certain key letters. He should not have done this, my advice is if you want a hard copy look for something better.
The paper quality was pretty bad to begin with, as a lot of other reviewers mention here. But that is something that is still bearable. I rate it 2/5 because the random letters were missing from the text. The book starts with Letter 2, then skips Letter 5, then Letter 8 and so forth. The page numbers are continuous, so this is not a printing problem, it is a content issue. Returned the book. will get it from an actual store instead of purchasing online.
Delivery, Packing was top notch. No issues with that.
This version of Seneca's letters was less than desired in that it doesn't contain all the letters from his writings. And from reviewing with others some of the 'key' letters are not included. This leaves the reader wanting more and getting a slightly misrepresented look at Seneca's writings. The translation was good in that it was ease to read and understand.
The quality of the writing/translation is good, definitely worth reading and keeping in a personal library. However, the quality of this particular printed book itself is poor. If you don't have great eyesight, you will need a magnifying lens to read the text.