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Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative Paperback – Black & White, July 8, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Mason's verse narrative is strikingly purged of place and time specific references. In his hands this complex monument of Babylonian literature has become just "an old story... that can still be told" about friendship, loss and human mortality. In Mason's popular retelling, the character Gilgamesh has been reduced to a sentimental simpleton, who cannot deal with the facts of life. Such a retelling can be recommended for children, but it is too full of anachronistic references to "thoughts" (unheard of in early texts) and other modern phenomena to deserve the attention of grown-ups. From Mr. Mason's recreation of the poem alone it would seem unlikely that the Epic of Gilgamesh had held the fascination of generations of writers and scholars, ever since it was rediscovered in the 19th century.
One former reviewer states: "If this wonderful epic were familiar to everyone in our culture, as it was to the Babylonians who made it their national epic back in the third millenium B.C., we would be the richer for having a wealth of images to sustain us as we encounter our tragedies and walk through our dark valleys.Read more ›
I don't know anything about which translation is best. I tried to make sense of that issue, but I gave up. I do know that this version of Gilgamesh is very readable and easy to comprehend. It's also one of the cheapest poetic versions available on the Kindle. I believe any editing Mason has done to this version was to get to the heart of the story: a man's confrontation with mortality.
He does that successfully. It's fitting that one of our oldest stories should be about such a topic. Though The Epic of Gilgamesh is filled with gods and monsters and magical locations, the tale is still deeply relatable; the grief and longing Gilgamesh feels at the loss of his friend is something we all have to face in this life.
The epic itself is very short and can be completed in just a few sittings.
Overall this is a great reading. Shouldnt take too long to finish either, although I recommend that you take your time reading this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book for a mythology class in college. I absolutely love it! I keep it on my bookshelf so it is easy to find when II any to reread it.Published 8 months ago by JoAnne Cochran
Well this was depressing....
And remember kids; if you're reading this for a test, read the back of the book to. Might get you some extra points.
This is one author's attempt to create a coherent narrative poem out of one of the oldest and greatest tales ever written. Read morePublished 17 months ago by reader
This was a very good book. Simply written but very easy to comprehend and visualize. It is a wonder that more people do not know about The Epic of Gilgamesh.Published 20 months ago by Juan E. Brown