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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 am a live storyteller who devours huge amounts of audio books to study classics and new books so I can tell new stories.
I would you listen to SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet because it is the world's most produced play. I purchased this to study before I see an upcoming performance. I found the commentary helpful to help me understand the play before I see it. Shakespeare can be dense and obtuse. SmartPass makes it clear and informative. I see dozens of plays a year. From now on, I will buy SmartPass dramatizations of plays before I see them. I will now get more enjoyment and understanding out of the plays.
Hamlet was my favorite character because he was deep and philosophical. He asked questions in his soliloquies that people are still asking today because he asked questions about the nature of life and death, love and revenge.This is why his words resonate with people four hundred years after Shakespeare wrote them.
I love the multiple actors and Joan Walker's narration. They made the play clear, informative, and entertaining.
I wanted to listen to this book all in one sitting because it is a riveting play and commentary. This play is a touchstone for our civilization. So many lines from this play has influenced cultures the world over.
I highly recommend you only purchase the longest, unabridged audio versions of plays narrated by SmartPass. You do not want to do a quick, two hour audio drive through of the play only, but to spend some time with it to allow it to soak into you. The extra investment of time is worth it.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my go to for fun. Harry Potter - just because. Loved the Magic of Tidying Up and Shakespeare
I can actually watch Shakespeare performances now and understand what's going on. Very enjoyable.
Started Audible to listen while I did work in my 5.5 acre yard. Now, I listen all the time. My TV is now only on when company is at my home.
Full cast recording of the play ... twice.
The study guide is very well written. The uninterrupted reading is a thing of beauty. I find the reading interrupted by the study guide less-so but still a good listen through once.
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