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What made the experience of listening to Le Morte D'Arthur the most enjoyable?
It's an English literature, history and foreign language lesson all rolled into one!
What other book might you compare Le Morte D'Arthur to and why?
It's a combination of all medieval stories, and the holy bible.
Which character – as performed by Chris MacDonnell – was your favorite?
Well it has to be Lancelot and Palamedes for me. The most noble nights, with definite kinks in their armor.Chris did a fantastic job with the Olde English, and the sheer multitude of characters! I can only imagine the chops he earned on this one! It was tough going at first, but Chris's steady, easy tone certainly helped me acclimate and learn. I feel like I learned a whole new language!
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The insight into the struggles for many knights to maintain the code of knighthood added a sense of realism, and made the story more approachable. Was Gallahad a reference to Jesus? Very interesting parallels for sure. I liked how the ending ties into the story of the Knights Templar.
Any additional comments?
Quite taken by the number of archaetypes introduced in this work that resonate throughout literary history. This book seems but just once removed from the Holy Bible itself.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I have a confession. I haven’t listened to this entire recording yet.
Actually, I have. But I was asleep.
Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Let’s start again.
I’m one of those people whom the cares of the day seem to follow to bed. Some chosen few, like Napoleon Bonaparte, fall asleep when their head hits the pillow. Other, less-successful world conquerors, like me, have to come up with strategies for getting the required 8 hours.
I’ve found that long recordings of classic books, when evenly and soothingly read, engage my mind, banish worries and cares, and send me off to dreamland.
Even better, if I wake up in the middle of the night, the story is still there, still soothing, and I can fall asleep again.
So far, I’ve used Ovid’s Metamorphoses (the Naxos recording with David Horovitch), The Iliad and Odyssey (the Robert Fitzgerald translations, read by George Guidall and Dan Stevens, respectively), the Mabinogion (Lady Charlotte Guest’s 1877 translation, read by Richard Mitchley), the Divine Comedy (Clive James’s translation, read by Edoardo Ballerini), and Simon Armitage’s translation of The Death of Arthur, read by Bill Wallis.
I find Milton’s language too involved to lull me to sleep; though I sometimes use Canterbury Tales (full cast, translated by Nicolson) and Faerie Queene (Naxos, read by David Timson), my habit of anticipating rhymes can keep me up.
Please understand, I don’t find these books boring in the least. I know them from my page-and-binding reading and have loved them—some for decades now. When awake, what one reviewer has called Chris Macdonnell’s “steady, easy tone” is a superb vehicle for this epic prose masterpiece. But it also works well at the end of a long day.
I only regret that Beowulf, though read by George Guidall, isn’t long enough to get me through the night.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful