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I don't think this is the best Aeneid on audiobook -- if you have to choose, get the Charlton Griffin one -- but it's not bad. The translation is wonderful: pithy, hard-hitting, and tough; it's worth having this one to get Fagles' take on Virgil, if nothing else. But the performance, though I liked it, is definitely not to everyone's taste. Simon Callow (or the producer?) decided to do it as if it were a one-man stage show, rather than a studio reading. If you've ever seen Callow doing Charles Dickens, you get the idea: it's a very broad performance.
On the other hand, Aeneas needs a boost. As epic heroes go, he's a pill and a half: dutiful to a fault, self-righteous and self-justifying ("well, I never actually used the word MARRIAGE, did I?"). Virgil takes received wisdom and the Grandeur that was Rome at face value, where Homer delightfully subverts everything he touches.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
Although the narration is dramatic and in keeping with the quality of the translation, the narator's voice becomes unintelligible at the end of each passage. I gave up trying to listen while driving or exercising. I simply could not understand what was being said. If you purchase this title, I suggest you also buy the book and read it while listening to the narrator's performance, or else listen in a very quiet environment.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful