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"Innovative, instructive and inspiring... lit crit to ensure A-satrs all round." (The Guardian)
"Superb! A totally brilliant way to revise." (Daily Express)
"Clear and lively...a stimulating study aid." (Sunday Times)
I really enjoyed this interpretation of Hamlet, which I've never seen or read before. I just finished listening to the commentary version (about 8 hours total), which consists of a full dramatic enactment of the play. Each scene is introduced by a helpful narrator who does a great job of keeping you up to speed with what's going on. She also gives you questions to think about as you listen regarding various characters and themes. Periodically throughout the action, the narrator breaks in to explain some of the important details, which I found to be very helpful and not at all intrusive. Her narration is enthusiastic and compelling, so it blends nicely with the action.
In addition to this commentary version, you also get a non-commentary version (about 4 hours), which I plan to listen to next. Now that I have a good understanding of who the characters are and what's happening throughout the play, I'll be able to enjoy it uninterrupted, as Shakespeare intended. :^)
By the way, this was my first audible.com selection, and I was very happy with the quality and usability of the recording. By usability, I mean the fact that it's broken up into several small chapters, ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. It was easy to rewind a few seconds to re-hear something if I needed to.
Overall it's very well done. I'm looking forward to the next one!
QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!
SmartPass has done a wonderful job. I couldn't stop listening. I learned so much. I would recommend this to anyone that loves a little history with their Shakespeare.
To Buy or Not to Buy, that is the question! BUY is the answer.
This is one of the best audio I've listened to. The option to hear the audio with or without the commentary is brilliant. The commentary is perfect, almost section at a time commentary layered over the performance, which is outstanding. In fact, I like this so much that I wrote to the company and begged them to produce more Shakespeare SmartPass audios! I've since purchased all the Shakespeare SmartPass audiobook just based on the strength of this one. Highly recommended
It's Shakespeare! Full disclosure: I am a Shakespeare fanatic so I love this story.
Narrator was excellent. Full of passion and genuinely "gets" what Shakespeare is up to in this play.
Hamlet is no comedy! The acting is tremendously good.
Dear Audible: PLEASE contact the maker of this series and ask them to produce one for every shakespeare play possible! These are that good!
I thought that the commentary might be too simplistic for someone who has read and seen the play many times but I find that the examination of the language has been very enlightening.
All I can tell you is that the listening to Smart Pass allows for such great discovery to the many facets of this famous play. When I found out I had to study Hamlet for my English class, I was truly worried. How was I going to decipher the language, let alone the themes and plots. I studied up on several study guides and decided to go with Smart Pass. I was not disappointed. I was truly looking forward to listening to Hamlet. Shakespeare is truly an amazing play writer. So much is between the lines. I would recommend this to anyone. Don't even think twice. Very well worth the time and money.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Perfect in every way. The narration is impecable. The commentary leaves nothing to be desired. It is clear, comprehensive and the commentator never gets in the way of the work itself. Then listen without the commentary and maybe understand every line like never before.
If you wish to enjoy and really understand this work of art like never before, spend your credit here.
I think these SmartPass guides to Shakespeare plays are excellent. I've listened to Hamlet and King Lear and am planning to listen to Henry V next. The actors who uniformly excellent and the sound quality is great, which is important when trying to understand early modern english poetry in a British accent on ear buds! Most importantly, the narrator/lecturer does an amazing guide summarizing the plot and delving into the themes of the play, the ambiguities, and how the play fits into the greater context of Shakespeare's works. These audiobooks are really well done, and they are perfect for a high school or undergrad student studying one of these plays for the first time. It would be great to listen while reading along from a text.
I do not believe there could be a print version as the live acting is so essential to the teaching that is done. I suppose that I could read Hamlet, but listening to it performed is so much better. I have listened to a number of the SmartPass audio renditions of Shakespeare and have gone from being confused about the content, the action, the issues involved and even the language, to being able to watch Shakespeare and really enjoy it. The Pass Master (Mistress?) does such an excellent job of pulling in the understanding of the way things are moving forward, to tying in to the political commentary that is being made, to just really beginning to understand the motivations of the characters. Take the long path from the beginning and listen with all of the instruction and then just listen to the play at the end (no commentary on the replay except as necessary to set the scene). I love SmartPass.
It is Shakespeare's greatest story.
Very affecting, it has so much sadness in it. If people would just talk there could have been a lot less bloodshed, but isn't that the way it is?
These SmartPass dramatizations with a teaching commentator are excellent. There are several others and they are just as good.
Yes. I plan to. There is so much wonderful material here. It really opened the play up. I loved it and feel like it gave me an insight and familiarity with the play I have never had before ( and I did a theatre minor in University.) Loved it.
After hearing this, I wanted to try other books in the series. But I suspect this is the best one. They use a convention in the others that is a conversation between the guide and a rather dim student who asks questions. I greatly preferred this version in which the commentary on the text was without the forced additional dramatization of the dialogue between the guide and student.
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