I love words that can take me into other worlds.
I downloaded this with some trepidation, fearing it would be too dense for listening. But the combination of a very accessible translation and a brilliant reading have proved my concerns unfounded. This is a marvelous way to enjoy one of the masterpieces of classical Roman literature. In many ways, it's better than reading, as the reader glides over names whose pronunciation would baffle me. I have listened to this while jogging and even cooking and have never found myself lost. A great story told by a great storyteller.
Great story and terrific translation. Unfortunately, the narrator seems to have mistakenly undertaken an onstage Shakespearean performance rather than an audiobook narration. You can almost feel the spittle on your face as the narrator overdramatically renders the speakers. I agree with the other reviewers, read this magnificent book and wait for the next audiobook version.
The story is obviously a classic. Simon callow is an incredible dramatic actor. And he puts on quite a performance here. But it's such a performance that it distracts from the story quite a bit. The voices he creates for old women and grieving women are a little over the top.
Wow, just incredible. The scene of Dido's curses of Aeneas when he is about to leave Carthage literally gave me chills. I don't know how much of the effect was Vergil's, how much Fagles', but Simon Callow made a virtuoso performance of the text he had.
I like to read but listening is better.
I had just finished reading Homer's 2 epics prior to reading this, and feel like that helped me to understand things a bit better. However, I still had to rely heavily on a reader, which I could use after each chapter. An added benefit to having a reader is that since it's going to be in print form you actually get to see names spelled out and that helps me to keep the characters straight.
Parts of this book were like the Odyssey and parts of it were like the Iliad. In general I found this to be more like the Iliad in that the gods played a big role. I feel like that makes things more confusing at times.
This narrator was different from any other I have listened to. I think some people will love his overly dramatic, loud style, but I found it to be way too much.
I was hoping to be floored by Fagles' translation, narrated by an actor I like very much. However, Simon Callow's performance is overly-dramatized in tone and dynamics to the extent that it is hard to follow the poetry and plot. One sentence will vary from shrill and shouted to whispered and mumbled, with the wrong words emphasized. Disappointing.
Buy the Charlton Griffin narrated version!
This book is great but I highly recommend the Charlton Griffin narrated version. It is a better narration and translation. But best of all it begins with a wonderful introduction that includes a greatly needed chapter by chapter synopsis of the events of the book. See my review of that version for more a more detailed review.