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We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(8) Snow Line

A little bit shorter and with a plot that's quite a bit simpler than many of those in the other Canterbury Tales, "The Reeve's Tale" is a good "starter tale" for those wanting to try out Chaucer for the first time. The only potential difficulty to be aware of is the northern English dialect in which John and Aleyn speak, replacing the o's in their words with a's and using some obscure regional colloquialisms. With a good edition of the Tales that has a glossary and notes, though, you should be just fine.

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