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I have purchased five different versions of this classic masterpiece, in audio or Audible formats, trying to find a version I really like.
My favorite version (Logos Educational Edition, Bill Creasy) is narrated by Don Ranson, who sounds like an old gentleman with wisdom and maturity, with a deeper voice, and no distracting accent. It also feels like he is personally familiar with the text and is probably himself a strong believer in God and Christ. (I did not get that feeling with all narrators.)
The Don Ranson version also contains fewer archaic English words & phrases (For example something like, 'Whatever thou willest, giveth that thy will be mine and will mine will to will for thine, for thou art....' I mean that type of KJV Shakesperian language, which is in the David Cochran Heath version. I couldn't listen to the Joe McClane version long enough to know.)
My second-favorite version is with narrator Bob Souer, who also sounds older than the other three, and has a deeper, more impactful voice.
The version narrated by Joe McClane is my least favorite of the five, because of the speaker's distracting accent. But maybe another listener who loves thick Irish accents will enjoy it.
The other version I don't like is narrated by David Cochran Heath, with a U.S. Southern accent, and a very light-hearted & cheerful tone like "everything's fine and I'm super-positive, outgoing, & cheerful." To me, this tone does not match the deep, introspective subject matter (and probably not the mindset of the 13th century monks who were the source of these meditations & prayers.)
The version narrated by Sean Runnette (translated by William Benham) seems average to me, neither great nor irritating.
I am still keeping an eye out for a completely modern translations with zero archaic language that retains a careful, reverent, serious, calm reading of this weighty material, as if it were a monk who had sacrificed decades of his life to commit to finding the wisdom which he is now sharing with the listener.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful
Greatest book after the bible. Full of blessing for the faithful listener. Deep teaching for growth.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Imitation of Christ (Logos Educational Edition) again? Why?
yes. Thomas a Kempis wrote a series of short "chapters" which each either teach a lesson or remind us of goals we strive for. This translation and narration gently share these thoughts in a thoroughly approachable format.
What did you like best about this story?
The translation seems so approachable for the average person in the 21st century vs. a religious person from a monastery in the late middle ages. As such, it helped me apply the original author's advice to my own life and times.
Have you listened to any of Don Ranson’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No I haven't but I think he does a very nice job of balancing feeling with clarity. It's not over the top but it makes each point warmly.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Hmmm. "Imitation of Christ"? Many many times. :-)
Any additional comments?
This is just a great self help book. With this translation, it's easy to see it that way. There are some points that apply more to people under religious vows but recognising that, advice for those situations can still be applied to our daily public lives.