Beowulf is the ultimate epic warrior story. It is fantastical and believable; it is poetic and savage.
This story of a great warrior king and his people was beautifully translated by Seamus Heaney. The translation is modern, but it does not loose any of the beauty of the poetry in its effort to be modern. The descriptions are vivid and the meaning is clear throughout the poem.
As to the narration, Seamus Heany's rendition is masterful. He does not attempt to differentiate between the various voices in the poem, but that allows for better concentration on the poetry, itself. This reading of Beowulf would be best enjoyed before bed with a cup of tea in your favorite chair. I would be interested to hear a narration that does differentiate between the voices, but I did not feel slighted by this reading in any way. Heaney's voice is beautiful, clear, and melodic.
For those who are not familiar with the poem, you should be aware that all does not necessarily end well. That's all I'll say about the plot, itself. As this is the oldest surviving Old English poem (at least to my knowledge), the plot is generally known. Just don't approach it thinking that it's Disney-esque. That's not to say that there is anything that could be considered inappropriate in the poem - it's just to say that little ones might not be ready for everything in it.
I would highly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in poetry, epic battles, Old English, or even just something different because there's nothing else quite like Beowulf in all of literature.
Fantastic! My students loved their study of Beowulf this year, largely due to the addition of this audiobook to the curriculum.
Heaney's version of Beowulf is great, and I was looking forward to the man reading his own book. But it's not the whole thing. Not happy about this! The book is not so long that they couldn't have given us an unabridged version.
This is one of the most magnificent books I've ever read. The text can be somewhat confusing so this audio version proved extremely helpful. I highly recommend this audio version and translation.
Required reading in high school. I have been back to this one again and again. Heaney is so much my preferred reader that I will listen to no other rendition of this work.
I listen to this for different reasons each time it seems. I have come to Beowulf to experience the action, or the honor, or the tragedy, or the hope. I am in the mood for this book every fall and many summers. Listening to it helps me identify my own internal struggle in the mirrored images of these people.
Words fail. I love the story, this particular translation and Mr Heaney's narration. It's short but epic. You feel as if you're sitting around the campfire hearing tales from the bard. I listen to this every few months and it's never stale.
Pagan Christian Worldview
I enjoyed how the story allowed us to enter into the world of Beowulf's day, to begin to understand the world before Christianity and to see the seeds of salvation that God was planting in this story and in this time of history.
The pronunciation of so many names and his wonderful accent!
No, that might be too much. We enjoyed listening and then discussing in segments.
A classic I recommend to all!