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  • Gilgamesh: A New English Version

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Stephen Mitchell
    • Narrated By George Guidall

    This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.

    George says: "A defense of this "translation""
    "well worth the low price"

    fantastic narration, and you get to check one more classic off the endless list of things you should read with very little investment in time or money. I was surprised by how wrapped up in the story I became, given that I really only listened to it because it is "important." Much more fun than Beowolf or The Fairie Queen.

    Customers should notice however that only half of the playing length is devoted to the actual story --the rest is an interpretive essay by the translator. It's quite a good essay --I, at least, found it helpful for appreciating a work originating in an ancient culture I know next to nothing about. At an hour and a half though, the essay might be off-putting for anyone who fears anything that reminds them of their University days.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Satanic Verses

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Salman Rushdie
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by The Satanic Verses. Furore aside, it is a marvellously erudite study of good and evil. The book begins with two Indians plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their airliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie's powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.

    BoulderPhysicist says: "Superb reading."
    "not his best"

    I'm a big fan of Rushdie, but found this one hard to finish. The delight in language that is always part of his writing seemed to slow down the narrative here --I can't imagine that there were many puns that he thought of but then cut. And while he has in other novels made effective use of the technique of nesting stories within stories (or dreams), I wasn't sure how the different narratives were meant to interact here; how did the presence of multiple story lines enhance the meaning or fascination of any one of them? Instead, it seemed to license a lack of editing, since everything could be shoved into at least some corner of the book.

    The narrator was excellent... just a shame to have wasted a 21 hour performance on a middling novel.

    For those new to Rushdie, Midnight's Children is the one to read, or The Moors Last Sigh. Audible's version of Shalimar the Clown is also reasonably good (and again, great narration), but not as strong a story as the others. And for those who started into Rushdie with this, don't be put off; he's definitely worth your attention, even if this particular book didn't warrant it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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