Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

  • by Simon Armitage
  • Narrated by Bill Wallis
  • 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous Northern England poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage. This audiobook features a brilliant reading of the translation by Bill Wallis; as a bonus, Wallis also masterfully tackles the poem in its original Middle English text. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager. The virtuous Gawain accepts and then decapitates the intruder with his own axe. Gushing blood, the knight reclaims his head, orders Gawain to seek him out a year hence, and departs. Next Yuletide, Gawain dutifully sets forth. His quest for the Green Knight involves a winter journey, a seduction scene in a dream-like castle, a dire challenge answered, and a drama of enigmatic reward disguised as psychic undoing.

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What the Critics Say

"'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' is one of the eerie, exuberant joys of Middle English poetry....Simon Armitage has given us an energetic, free-flowing, high-spirited version. He reminds us that 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' still wields an uncanny power after 600 years." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

great original, translation, and reader

I loved this in Middle English, in grad school, and it was a huge treat to encounter a skilled reader, a very good new translation AND the original as well, competently read.

The story is really good, and the poetry remains to a fair extent in the translation. The reader is outstanding.
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- Mary

English to the core

Wonderful to hear the gritty reading, with an appropriate but understandable northern accent, which to me (born long ago in Northern England) brings a great sense of reality to the performance. A great change from the upper class accents that so often accompany English readings.
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- Stephen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-20-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.