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Burton Raffel is the crown prince of Old and Middle English translators in my book, and his Chaucer is another masterpiece. The rhyming is more subtle than in other translations of Chaucer, but it's there; and the tales unfold with seemingly effortless clarity. This is a high-quality, multiple-reader production, and it includes all the tales (including the Tale of Melibee and the Parson's Tale). The only thing marring the production are the chapter breaks: they are geared to the CDs rather than the individual tales. If you're planning to listen straight through, that's not a problem, but I would have preferred the ability to be more selective.
It's amazing that in only a few months, Audible has gone from a skimpy selection of Chaucer to three outstanding recordings of the complete set of Tales: one from Charlton Griffin, one from Blackstone, and this one from the BBC. Any one of them provides a wonderful listening experience. This one is my favorite because of Raffel; others may suit your taste better. But for heaven's sake get ONE of them.
41 of 42 people found this review helpful
This is a wonderful reading of Chaucer's tales. The different narrators really bring each of the stories to life. I have read this book (or sections) numerous times and I have to say that this translation was by far the most easy to understand and the most engaging. I really recommend this version of Chaucer's tales. The only problem I had with it has been mentioned by others (Audible, take note) the chapters are not designated by book, but by presumably Audible's convenience, that means, you cannot skip around to different tales, you have to listen to it front to back. This was irritating, and is the only reason I give it less than 5 stars.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful