Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2012
*The version of the book that I received is labeled "Classic Edition," not "Classic Collector's Edition." I do not know if there is a difference as I cannot find a "Classic Edition" on Amazon, but this review is about that edition.*
I bought the paperback version of this book so as to have a quick reference to use for some classes that I'm taking. On the positive side, the organization of the book is effective in that it has a modern introduction, some background on the translator, and the text of The Art of War both with and without the commentary. Though the Giles translation is not the most modern, accurate, or readable, it does provide a good basis for the major concepts that Sun Tzu discusses.
My major issue with this edition is that it suffers from what seems like a lack of proofing. There are numerous instances where the numbered paragraphs are run together instead of separated by a line break (on pages 106, 118, 133, 150, 160, etc.). Second, there are too many incorrect words that do not fit into the context of the translation. For instance (misplaced words in CAPS):
"42. If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, THEN will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be UNLESS" (page 178).
From the context, it would seem that the correct words here would be "they" and "useless," though I have not compared this printing to another printing of the Giles translation. If these and other errors are issues in the translation, then a "Note on the Translation" and appropriately marked passages would at the minimum be appropriate for the publisher.
Considering these basic editing issues, I doubt that I will be purchasing any more books from this publisher.