To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
4.0 out of 5 starsConcerning the 1995 Dover Thrift Edition
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2013
Thomas de Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater gives an insightful glimpse into the pleasures and pains of opium usage. In this brief yet intriguing work, he catalogues his encounters with the drug and its ensuing psychological effects. His complex syntax is immediately noticed, and although it often becomes unnecessarily lengthy and scattered (perhaps a product of both his time and excessive drug use), his flowery prose is truly among the most beautiful that I have ever read. Personally, I learned to enjoy many of the drawn-out sentences, eventually choosing to simply let my eyes and mind be dazzled rather than comprehend how the last fragment has anything to do with the first few lines. Through this eloquently written account, the reader is easily led to empathize with and vicariously live out the heavenly euphorias initially found and the horrific phantasmagoria that later plagued his life. One of the things that amazed me about this book was that de Quincy continued to glamorize opium until the very end, even after his joys had left and his psyche damaged. I realize that this account was intended to detail one subject, but it would have been interesting to see how drug usage affected other facets of his life, such as his family, which is hardly mentioned. Overall, it's a very quick and fascinating read that I would suggest to any classic literature fan with a free afternoon.
I am writing a biography of a major 19th-century figure who was addicted to laudanum; and I read this book to try to better understand the affect her addiction would have had on her mentally, physically, and psychologically. Although it did not answer all of my questions, I found it thoroughly engaging because of its vivid and very personal style -- and it made me want to want to read more of De Quincey's works.
5.0 out of 5 starsI listened to Side I.... which ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2016
I listened to Side I.... which only had one track and lasted over 70 minutes!.....and sadly I had to return the recording to the supplier. I've never read De Quincey and was most surprise to learn of his early life, which was horrendously poverty-stricken. The reader sets a brisk pace never dawdling and drawing the listened in. On the strength of side 1, would I but another set? Probably not: I was expecting opium to play a major part . However, De Quincey writes well and I might change my mind; I've had the book for 20 plus years! I congratulate Naxos for this issue (and Tale of a Tub) for bringing out classics of non-fiction as well as their valuable fiction recordings. Try ebay for much of their catalogue: their recordings can be dire, because volunteers read them but, on the other hand, some ebay versions are in the professional category. And at about £2 or £3 for say Desperate Remedies who's complaining? Side One - a single track, over 70 minutes!