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Editorial 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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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.
© and (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By JerryT on 05-10-05

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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16 of 19 people found this review helpful


By Aurora on 08-23-12

Had A Hard Time Following.

What disappointed you about Beowulf?

My brain is not smart enough to process Old English. Ha!

What could Robert K. Gordon and translator have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing! I just don't think it was quite up my alley.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the monster came into the Hall and tore them all apart. :)

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I wanted to read it to add to my 'classics' list. But the wording was hard to focus thru.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By S(ean) on 08-08-12

One to read before you die

A great version of this classic.

Not sure if it would be easier to read than listen to as it is in old English/Anglo Saxon English.

Nevertheless one of the hundred titles to read before you die.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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