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The Epic of Gilgamesh Revised Edition
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--Times Literary Supplement
- Publisher : Penguin Classics; Revised edition (December 30, 1960)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 014044100X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140441000
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 3.53 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.7 x 5 x 0.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #20,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There is apparently no definitive version of the Gilgamesh epic. The Kindle version is a scholarly discussion of the various tablets that have been unearthed by archaeologists over the years. Nowhere does the actual epic appear except in small excerpts. Very disappointing.
My favorite part when Enkidu make intimate with girl. Also, when Gilgamesh wear lion skin. Favorite character is Humbaba. I will name my next dog Humbaba! Utnapishtim is like awesome guy who survive flood. Some people say Utnapishtim is Noah, but don't think they look the same based on pictures I've seen.
Sumerian things is really awesome!!! Everyone should read Gilgamesh and learn how to be content with dying and pain and stuff. Long live Humbaba.
But what a patchwork! In addition to the sheer literary joy of reading beautiful and elegant English prose, this version rings true. My first serious introduction to the legend (or myth, or tale, whatever you prefer) of Gilgamesh was the outstanding course "Between the Rivers - A History of Ancient Mesopotamia", by Professor Alexis Castor (The Teaching Company). From all I learned there and elsewhere about this masterpiece of ancient literature, Professor Sandars's version seems to be absolutely faithful to the message of the Mesopotamian sage(s) who first put the story down on... tablet.
In short, by all means look for a more scholarly version, perhaps in poetry (as the original), if you can get over all those indications of "[text missing]". But do not pass this one up. It is a version to be read and reread, to be enjoyed, and to be pondered. There is wisdom and there is beauty and there is truth. What could be more faithful than that?
Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is it has opened me up to reading more of these ancient stories, like the Iliad.
The introduction is well worth the read, and actually makes up the majority of the book. For people like myself who had no prior knowledge of what the Epic of Gilgamesh really was, this intro is invaluable. It gives not only the history of the tablets, but also goes into the meaning of the tale, and tons of historical information that really added to my enjoyment of the story.
The actual Epic goes from page 61-119 and is very interesting to those who have read other mythologies. The characters are very human though I won't say that in today's frame of mind that they are entirely likeable. The story follows King Gilgamesh who is 1/3 human and 2/3 god though the discovery of his brother, their quest to fight Humbaba, their battle with the Bull of the Heavens, and Gilgamesh's search for immortality. To be honest, I wouldn't say that this is a "must read" but it is certainly a very interesting read, simple to follow (at least in this translation) and a real eye opener to the beliefs and customs of the time.
I highly recommend this version to those that are reading it outside of a classroom or discussion setting, because the intro was a lifesaver with the background and historical context that it gave. The version I read was the Penguin Classics translated by N. K. Sandars.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2020