Beowulf

  • by Robert K. Gordon, translator
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 2 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Beowulf is considered the finest heroic poem in Old English. It celebrates the character and exploits of Beowulf, a young nobleman and warrior, as he proves his superhuman strength and endurance. He also represents the ideal lord and vassal, rewarding his men generously and accomplishing glorious deeds to honor his king.
The narrative falls into two parts. Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters; then, after having ruled his people for fifty years, he is called on to combat a dragon that is terrorizing the countryside.
The poem combines mythical elements, Christian and pagan sensibilities, and actual historical figures and events in a narrative that ranges from vivid descriptions of fierce fighting and detailed portrayals of court life to earnest considerations of social and moral dilemmas. Remarkable for its sustained grandeur of tone and its brilliance of style, it is presented here in an authoritative prose translation by Robert K. Gordon.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: The oldest epic in the English language was passed down for hundreds of years as an oral tale, so there is no better way to experience the saga of Hrothgar and Beowulf and Grendel than by listening to it. Robertson Dean's narration is lively and admirable, and the production makes it more powerful than a 10th century bard ever could. —Chris Doheny

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Translator Preferred

While I would personally prefer the translation of Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien the Gordon translation is generally preferred and is quite excellent. Well read and presented by the reader this is a must read for those interested in early literature of the early Middle Ages. No one who's picked up at least a B.A. in English or the humanities has missed reading this classic of European literature, but it's interesting to revisit it in an audible format.
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- JerryT

Clear and exciting narration

Probably the best unabridged recording of "Beowulf" available. It's the whole thing, in an old-fashioned but easily-followed translation, read with force and emotion by Robertson Dean. I have only one small quibble: the pronunciation of "Geat" is inconsistent. It's not the easiest term to pin down; in readings by different people I've heard "geet," "gat," and "gay-at." (I believe the original pronunciation was something like "yat.") I don't care which one is right, but I heard two of the three in this recording (it finally settles on "gat"). The story does ramble a bit after Grendel's mother is killed, but neither translator nor reader should be faulted for that.
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- Tad Davis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-18-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.