We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Beowulf | [Seamus Heaney]

Beowulf

New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.
Regular Price:$17.46
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Translated and read by Seamus Heaney.

New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.

Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and lives to old age before dying in a vivid fight against a dragon.

The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the end of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface.

©2000 Seamus Heaney; (P)2000 Penguin Books Ltd., by arrangement with the BBC. Published by arrangement with W. W. Norton.

What the Critics Say

"The classic eighth-century English poem is strikingly presented, making accessible the story of a young man's heroic journey to find and slay two monsters." (Publishers Weekly)

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (241 )
5 star
 (133)
4 star
 (62)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (94 )
5 star
 (60)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.5 (95 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Gail Worcester, MA, United States 09-20-07
    Gail Worcester, MA, United States 09-20-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Would like the whole thing!"

    This is my favorite translation of Beowulf, and I have given multiple copies of this book as gifts over the years. So I was super excited to see the audiobook read by Heaney himself. And while I have no complaints at all about the reader (fabulous) or the text, i wonder what the criteria for the excerpt selections were. Some key episodes are omitted and some of the ones included aren't among the best parts of the book. THe choices are mystifying.

    Still, a worthy listen - though I would definitely spring for a full-length audiobook if there is one available

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 09-25-08
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 09-25-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3137
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1548
    242
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2532
    11
    Overall
    "Why, oh, why is it abridged?"

    Seamus Heaney is a wonderful poet and a wonderful reader: listening to him is like hearing the original poet holding forth. But the reading is abridged, in what seems more like a marketing decision -- trying to fit the audiobook onto a two-CD set -- than an artistic one. "Beowulf" could certainly use some abridgement here and there, and I wouldn't mind if there were only minor omissions; but among the episodes cut is the challenge that Unferth issues to Beowulf about his swimming contest with Brecca. This isn't just empty padding: it's essential to the characters of both Unferth and Beowulf. In many ways this is the best single recording of "Beowulf" available: why couldn't there be an unabridged (or at least a less-abridged) version as well? That would get six stars out of five. No other version comes close to the mastery of language shown by this one.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly San Diego, CA, USA 07-07-07
    Molly San Diego, CA, USA 07-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Old English heroes"

    Outstanding performance by Seamus Heaney. I could listen to this book over and over again.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bry Hinsdale, Israel 12-24-07
    Bry Hinsdale, Israel 12-24-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "3 Stars for the Audiobook, and 3 for the Reviewer"

    The problem begins with me. I didn't realise this was an abridged version, so I grant myself 3 stars, too. Beowulf is not such a long story that I would have considered abridging it. Seamus Heaney did a wonderful translation of the book, and he reads it so well. I was disappointed that the copy was cut. I hope an unabridged version will be available soon. I will snap it up. Until then, I will have to endure the agony of an incomplete work.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Oakland Park, FL, United States 08-22-12
    Thomas Oakland Park, FL, United States 08-22-12

    FTL Tom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A shame it is abridged"

    I'll be brief, for what else remains to be said about Beowolf? There is a reason this tale is so long enduring and considered a defining example of early literature. In addition to this audiobook I also have the full print version of Seamus Heaney's translation. I am a huge fan of this translation. It is particularly easy to follow, but uses strong imagery and hard, masculine language to maintain a suitably macho and epic tone throughout.

    Heaney narrates his own work here, and while his delivery is a little on the dry side, I still appreciate being able to hear the artist himself. It's a shame this was abridged - and heavily at that.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Western USA 12-24-11
    Amazon Customer Western USA 12-24-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Abridged but Otherwise a Must Have"

    -This will remain the definitive translation: It strikes a perfect balance between keeping to the old form, accuracy, and making it flexible within the that form to bring it to a modern audience. It is a joy to read and hear. The author's voice is perfect. What a gift he has given us.

    -I would dearly love an unabridged version with the author reading. Please! This is the only reason I dropped a star anywhere. I'd gladly be willing to purchase such again.

    -It would also be fun to hear some of the sections read in the original by an expert. (One can hope, wistfully, for such things.) I suggest readers at least listen to a bit of this elsewhere on the net.

    -Purchase a parallel copy in paper as a companion to this reading.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    O. Valbuena Winston-Salem, North Carolina 06-09-08
    O. Valbuena Winston-Salem, North Carolina 06-09-08 Member Since 2006

    hoopbookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Beowulf & Heaney"

    This is a wonderful translation by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, born in Northern Ireland, whose own poems such as "Casualty" and "Graubale Man" connect ancient to modern violence in a way that indicates the poet's deep and intimate understanding of the cyclical violence that is so central a part of the 8th-century Beowulf. Other reviewers point out that Heaney omits certain key passages from his recording, and that is indeed a pity because some of those passages bring out the perils and contradictions of the warrior ethic to which Beowulf the characher subscribes. I suppose that the cuts were made for commercial purposes, that is, to offer a more univocally heroic Beowulf than the poem itself warrants. All the same, it's a beautiful read, and I would purchase this recording again, particularly if next time Heaney were to offer us his unabridged translation of this great poem.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Gregory M. Gustafson South Salem, NY 12-22-11
    Dr. Gregory M. Gustafson South Salem, NY 12-22-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The English Poem"

    Beowulf is a Norse/English masterpiece. Seamus Heaney's work is also a masterpiece - of translation. Example: "Fate goes ever as Fate must" is his equivalent of what is literally "Goes ever fate as she wills". Heaney's intonation is perfect. I love this audio performance, but what a travesty to make it an abridgment, terrible decision. Still if you care about poetry listen to this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Jefferson, TX, USA 06-03-09
    Kim Jefferson, TX, USA 06-03-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "4 Stars"

    Hearing the book adds so much more character to than reading it especially since it was narrated by Seamus Heaney. I ordered the book for a literature class and thoroughly enjoyed the book. I agree with one other review that I wish it would have been unabridged.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. F. Grossett Fort Collins, CO USA 02-26-08
    D. F. Grossett Fort Collins, CO USA 02-26-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    162
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well Done"

    I got this for a school report and it was so much better to listen to it then read it. Seamus Heaney has a great voice for the part and was able to make even the parts where they are just listing Danish kings interesting.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 17 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.