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Beowulf Audio CD – Audiobook, Abridged
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“Accomplishes what before now had seemed impossible: a faithful rendering that is simultaneously an original and gripping poem in its own right.” (New York Times Book Review)
“How did he do it? How did Seamus Heaney fashion verses, singularly handsome verses that not only capture the somber grandeur and mythic vigor of the Anglo-Saxon original, but also reflect the rhythm and timbre of the English we speak today.... This newborn translation makes accessible to everyone the first supremely great poem to be written in the English language.” (Colin Campbell - Christian Science Monitor)
“Magnificent, breathtaking.... Heaney has created something imperishable and great that is stainless―stainless, because its force as poetry makes it untouchable by the claw of literalism: it lives singly, as an English language poem.” (James Wood - The Guardian)
“Excellent . . . has the virtue of being both dignified and sophisticated, making previous versions look slightly flowery and antique by comparison. His intelligence, fine ear and obvious love of the poem bring ?Beowulf?alive as melancholy masterpiece, a complex Christian-pagan lament about duty, loss and transience. . . . Heaney has done it (and us) a great service.” (Claire Harman - Evening Standard) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The audio CD version omits many lines and even some sizable chunks of the original work. The only word for that is "Abridged" and the publishers should be ashamed of themselves for calling it anything other than "Abridged".
Amazon should update the listing accordingly. I'm giving the edition a 1 star rating simply to call attention to the deceitful packaging. I have no other complaint aside from that.
Amazon nis selling you half a book on Kindle, not the entire book. This is very deceptive and one wonders how many other Kindle books have been butchered by Amazon.
I have read other reviewers at this site discrediting Seamus Heaney due to this very reason, but in my view if a translator doesn't add passion to his translation then it is a waste of time to translate at all. It may not be exactly true to the text, but true enough. One thing I love most about his translation is the fact that he stays true to the meter. With four alliterations per line, he provides the feel of the original text upon the reading.
Another thing I loved about this translation is the very first line. He makes (a true) comment that while previous versions begin the entire text with a "Lo!" or a "Hark!" or a "Behold!", Seamus Heaney starts off with the simple yet modern "So." -- with a period -- not even an overused and ecstatic exclamation mark.
Finally, for those who don't dabble in the egoism of stuffy "scholarly" expectations will also enjoy glancing at the original text that displays directly next to the translation. Here you get the feel of Seamus Heaney's decision to translate the way he did. You won't understand the original text, yet with the translation sitting next to it, you will.
This is the story of the heroic Beowulf , and his timeless story is stark in its simplicity, made sonorous by the poetic reading given by Seamus Heaney. It is, in its simple narrative, a story that was meant to be read aloud. After all, between the seventh and the tenth centuries, few people could read.
Seamus Heaney gives a remarkable reading, his soft brogue and cadence capturing the dark, epic mood of the piece. His verse translation gives the story an accessibility that should make it a much more enjoyable experience for many who may have shied away from this early English work.
What is there not to like about this story? It is about a hero who vanquishes monsters and lives to fight another day in the quintessential battle between good and evil. Its message, undoubtedly relevant when written, is still relevant today. Those who are new to this work should consider purchasing the audio cd and listening to Seamus Heaney's rendition of this ancient work.
That said, if you want a real treat, check out the audio version of Beowulf. Heaney's translation is good enough on page, but to hear him read it is marvelous. It makes you feel like you're sitting around a campfire, listening to an elder spin some wild yarn. Be warned, however: even though this Amazon page says "UNABRIDGED", the audio versions are really unabridged SELECTIONS. You don't get the full text of the poem, but you get the necessary parts - enough to make it enjoyable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a nice story which used a symbolic message throughout. I felt it really captures the emotion of the characters.Published 17 days ago by Dez
Fantastic translation, great for those of us attempting to learn Ænglisc. The translation lines up well to the original so it's very easy to read both versions and reference the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
So happy to have read this. It was a bit of a slog on my own, but this is an excellent translation. Bravo!Published 1 month ago by LiteraryDiva
Such vivid use of language. I confess I don't have a deep understanding of Old English epic structure, but I do love the way Heaney weaves a tapestry of words that's faithful to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Questor
Everything depends on the translation, and for a work as old and remote as this, the translation really has to be an original work in its own right while retaining its character as... Read morePublished 3 months ago by cebepe