Top critical review
I generally enjoy Dover publications
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 17, 2015
I own several editions of this book; the rating is not for the work itself, which rates an unconditional five-stars, but for this particular edition. Please disregard this review if you are not bothered by typography issues, which is mainly the source of the criticism.
I generally enjoy Dover publications, however this modification of Worst Journey is rather odd. The dates have mostly been Americanized (month/day instead of the original British day/month), and there are some quirks to the typesetting that I found interesting but probably not worth implementing. For one example: ship names are not italicized as is customary, but in an old book with lots of references to ships, this proves to be a little incongruous in appearance. Far more taxing to the eye is the abandonment of setting off long quotes in a paragraph of reduced size ~ which is the classical way of dealing with long quoted passages, and there are a LOT of these. The result of having long quotes look exactly the same as the narration is a fair amount of visual confusion regarding who is speaking. There is evidence that this may have been set on a word processor: among other things, small caps are not true small caps but the faux version (reduced capitals), which is a giveaway of enthusiastic but, shall we say, amateur typesetting.
I am all for simplification, but I think a work such as this is too intricate to deserve a streamlined format. So with respect I give it a "fair" rating, and suggest looking at other editions if you are a connoisseur of the Scott Expedition as I am. If not, then this edition will probably serve adequately for informational purposes, but perhaps without the appropriate mood of other versions.