There are four French-to-English translations of this haunting novel presently offered for sale in the Kindle Store. Two of them are particularly good and worthy of praise: this one by Frank Davison and another by R. B. Russell. The other two, by Jennifer Hashmi and Robin Buss, are not bad, but come across, comparatively speaking, as less smooth and natural. For instance, instead of using an ellipsis of three or four dots (periods), Hashmi regularly uses many dots (...........................) to indicate incomplete statements; this translational gimmick (unique to her) is quite distracting and draws undue attention to itself (especially when several such appear on the same page/screen). And to me, Buss's English syntax occasionally seems stilted. Again, neither is terrible, but given the luxury of comparative choice, Hashmi's and Buss's translations are not as much to my liking as Davison's and Russell's. (Please sample all four to decide for yourself.)
As to the merits of the novel itself, I have written about this wonderful and quite amazing book in my previous review of Russell's translation (and I would invite you to type "Russell Le Grand Meaulnes" in the Kindle Store searchbox to read that review). This is a very special book depicting one young man's mysterious transition from childhood to adulthood; it should be read by those who can still remember what it was like to be young and impressionable, a time of discovering life and the world, and being in love (for the first time) with one very special person in that world. Events depicted in this enchanting story seem quite real as we encounter them, but their reality ultimately proves to be not unlike the reality of dreams, which we (upon waking, recalling, and reflecting) ultimately recognize as having been more fanciful than factual, rooted in reality but operating somehow outside it. But whether real or a dream, whether fact or fancy, at some level, everything we read herein is undeniably true to human nature and all quite unforgettable to those still receptive to (or who can recall) the stirrings of adolescence and young-adulthood. This is a magical tale, one which will pleasantly haunt you for the rest of your life IF you approach it with the requisite suspension of disbelief required of all such fantasies. Author John Fowles, so affected, credits this book as being a major influence on his own bestseller "The Magus." Admittedly, any objective literary critic will recognize and must admit the work is stylistically flawed (even the admiring Fowles says as much), but only a curmudgeon would choose to dwell on this truly one-of-a-kind book's imperfections. The brilliance of this unique work overcomes ordinary criticism, and as we read and fall under its spell, we experience something quite hard-to-define and truly special (not only AS we read it but lingering long afterward--indeed, for many of us, a lifetime).
Although Davison translated the previous Penguin edition (which I own and have enjoyed reading in paperback), Penguin opted for Robin Buss to translate its current edition; in my opinion, Davison's is the more natural (and better) of those two. But as much as I like Davison's version (and I like it very much), I ultimately prefer the translation by R. B. Russell for two reasons: (1) It is, to me, ever so slightly smoother, more natural and, therefore, even more enjoyable than Davison's, and (2) it costs only half as much. Price aside, however, you can't go wrong with either Davison's or Russell's translation. But you CAN go wrong if you read too much ABOUT this book (either in plot-revealing reviews or in analytical introductions) before you actually read it. Russell's edition is refreshingly free of all editorial comment, but this one has an introduction which can adversely affect the magic. SKIP IT until after you have finished reading the book.