• The Canterbury Tales (Unabridged Selections)

  • By: Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Narrated by: David Butler
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-28-03
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Findaway World
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (175 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

This modern English edition of Chaucer's classic begins on a spring day in April. Sometime in the waning years of the 14th century, 29 travelers set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Among them are a knight, a monk, a prioress, a plowman, a miller, a merchant, a clerk, and an oft-widowed wife from Bath. Travel is arduous and wearing; to maintain their spirits, this band of pilgrims entertain each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres.
© 2001 Sound Room Publishing, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Sean on 05-27-03

Still enjoyable, relevant, and beautiful

By happenstance, I started listening to The Canterbury Tales on Palm Sunday, the same day that the narration begins. As I pulled out of my driveway on an April morning, I had Chaucer's famous description of spring in my ears as a Christian procession marched by, led by a bag-pipe player. I was on a trek to Niagara Falls, but I was hearing the account of a different sort of pilgramage, written 600 years ago, but still sounding beautiful to the ear. In fact, I much preferred listening to these tales rather than reading them silently myself from the page. This is poetry, and the scansion and lyricism can easily get lost as the modern reader struggles with the early spellings and olden vocabulary. Be advised that the first tale, that of the knight, is extraordinarily long, formalistic, predictable, and maybe even just kind of boring. It must be a purposeful tip of Chaucer's funny-looking hat to the epic poetry of Homer. But don't give up early! Chaucer rewards the patient with the following tale from the miller which is the exact opposite--short, mean, and bawdy! You'll be shocked at just how old some of the English language's four-letter words are. This pattern continues as Chaucer has each of his pilgrams take turns telling stories in their own voice, and the diversity and contrast is enjoyable. BEWARE: Although this is advertised as an unabridged reading, I was dubious when I saw its rather short length. After listening to the entire program, I looked at my very thick printed version and found several tales there that were not included in the audio reading. I have made Audible aware of this. Nonetheless, such editing may be for the best--except for purists and academics--as this version certainly offers the lay reader/listener a representative sample of what Chaucer could do with an earlier version of our language.

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71 of 71 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Avshalom Houri on 07-02-03

Not really unabridged

Even though the narration is excellent it is very disappointing ot find that the audio does not cover all the book only half of it.

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43 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Rogayah on 09-03-09

To Canterbury!

The Canterbury tales are an important milestone in the development of English literature and well-worth an exploration. This modern translation gives the flavour of the story and brings to life the motley band of pilgrims en route to Canterbury. The stories themselves illustrate the preoccupations of the times and contemporary social mores.

Good entertainment, if only in small doses because of the slightly monotonous voice of the narrator.

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