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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.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
I've been a huge fan of Fagles' translations before buying this book and this translation does not disappoint. For epics such as this, the Iliad, and the Odyssey I've chosen to to read the actual book as I'm listening. For people, such as myself, whose concentration is not the greatest (I've had a couple strokes so I have an excuse) the combination of listening while reading is terrific.
I think the narrator is terrific and Rober Fagles is just amazing. If you like Fagles Aeneid, be sure to read and/or listen to his Iliad and Odyssey. Also, check out Steven Mitchell's "Gilgamesh", also availble from audible.com.
27 of 28 people found this review helpful