The Song of Roland

  • by Unknown
  • Narrated by A Full Cast
  • 2 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Since his youth, living in poverty in a cave in Italy, Roland's mother has taught him that someday he will be a brave hero like his father, Milon, and serve with the great army of Charlemagne. He learns from her that he is descended from great heroes of old and that his mother is Charlemagne's sister, the Princess Bertha. When Charlemagne comes to Italy, Roland confronts the king, who rejoices to find his long-lost sister and gives both her and her son a place of honor in his court. As Roland becomes a man and a knight, he embarks on a quest to the Far East and becomes champion to the Princess of Cathay. One of the great medieval "songs of great deeds", this is a composite of several hero legends interlaced with Christian moral sentiments. A remarkable panorama of medieval life and thought, The Song of Roland truly reflects the spirit of its time. (Translation by D. D. R. Owen.)


What the Critics Say

"No member of this cast is a household name, but all of them demonstrate high-quality dramatic skills in the presentation of the 12th-century epic French poem considered by many to be the first great piece of French literature." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Song of Roland

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Most definitely

What did you like best about this story?

As a French professor, I am very familiar with this epic poem in the original old French and the modern French translation. With its additional dramatic effects, this was an excellent way to introduce my son to the story.

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- D. B. Mann

Surprisingly Excellent!

I am not a medieval scholar so I cannot comment on the translation of this epic poem, but its quality and style are superb. I have been dabbling and downloading medieval literature lately and found most of it to be rather dull. I do not doubt that I would have found the Song of Roland to be as equally dry if it had not been presented in such a lively dramatic manner. (In fact in the introduction they say that this song was originally chanted in such a way that it would mesmerize or hypnotize the audience).
Fortunately this audiobook is not read in monotone, or chanting verse. The poem is read, word for word, but different actors read the lines of the various characters, and sound effects are added to enliven the action. I was surprised and delighted by how much I enjoyed this audiobook, and would recommend it for anyone interested in Medieval Classics.
Additional note: As a side thought, it was interesting to see how similar Roland was to the character of Boromir in The Lord of the Rings. Both characters fell because of their pride, and both redeemed themselves with their last breathe by blowing on a horn to call for help.
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- Paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-07-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.