Disclaimer: I received this audiobook from the translator in exchange for an honest review
I read Beowulf in high school and enjoyed it, but would have had a greater appreciation for it had I heard this version. I found this audio version of Beowulf to be beautiful and poetic. While the story itself is powerful and timeless, Davis' translation and Hanks' narration improve upon it. John Hanks is a hidden gem, his voice is broad and resonant and he can voice whimsical passages as skillfully as he narrates more serious, dramatic scenes. This is a beautiful story, beautifully told... my only complaint is that at 3 hours and change, I enjoyed it so much that I wished it were longer. Highly recommended
On listening to these poems I felt I was back in ancient Rome. Charlton Griffin's rich voice is such a pleasure to listen to. Michlie's translations are so pithy and witty that you can easily forget that the poems were not originally written in English. I laughed at some of the lines that a Roman reader must have laughed at 19 centuries ago. Martial's grief over the death of the little slave girl is quite poignant. From a historical point of view, we get an idea of how demoralising and damaging the Roman patronage system could be. The reader will find himself or herself disgusted at some of Martial's attitudes, such as when he writes of forcing a young slave boy. But Audible have put the naughtier poems at the end of the recording, with an advance warning. And besides, for those of us interested in history, this unfortunately is also part of the historical record. A fascinating read.