The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer. Revised version of http://ota.ox.ac.uk/id/1678 . The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer / edited by F.N. Robinson Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400 Robinson, F. N. (Fred Norris), 1871-1966 2nd. ed. xliv, 1002 p. :  leaf of plates ; 1 port. ; 25 cm. Oxford University Press London Copy consulted for transcription: Bodleian Library, 27976 d.135 = A4.783 1957
Ackroyd's retelling of Chaucer's classic isn't exactly like the Ethan Hawke'd film version of Hamlet, but it's not altogether different, either. Noting in his introduction that the source material is as close to a contemporary novel as Wells Cathedral is to an apartment block, Ackroyd translates the original verse into clean and enjoyable prose that clears up the roadblocks readers could face in tackling the classic. The Knight's Tale, the first of 24 stories, sets the pace by removing distracting tics but keeping those that are characteristic, if occasionally cringe-inducing, like the narrator's insistence on lines like, Well. Enough of this rambling. The rest of the stories continue in kind, with shorter stories benefiting most from Ackroyd's treatment, though the longer entries tend to... ramble. The tales are a serious undertaking in any translation, and here, through no fault of Ackroyd's work, what is mostly apparent is the absence of the original text, making finishing this an accomplishment that seems diminished, even if the stories themselves prove more readable.
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For School work
I had to use this book for school my senior year of high school. It really cut down on how much weight that was carried to and from my classes, locker, and home.
The only thing I don't like about it is the spelling. Its confusing because its spelled like the word sounds. For example, the word KING is spelled KYNG. It takes a while to figure out what the book says, but its worth it.
This is a fun tale. It's actually in middle English so it is not nearly has hard as old English--so don't shy away. They are really fun tales.