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Paradise Lost | [John Milton]

Paradise Lost

In words remarkable for their richness of rhythm and imagery, Milton tells the story of man's creation, fall, and redemption, "to justify the ways of God to men". Here, unabridged, and told with exceptional sensitivity and power by Anton Lesser, is the plight of Adam and Eve, the ambition and vengefulness of Satan and his cohorts.
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Publisher's Summary

"Of Man's First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe...."

So begins the greatest epic poem in the English language. In words remarkable for their richness of rhythm and imagery, Milton tells the story of man's creation, fall, and redemption, "to justify the ways of God to men". Here, unabridged, and told with exceptional sensitivity and power by Anton Lesser, is the plight of Adam and Eve, the ambition and vengefulness of Satan and his cohorts.

© and (P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (174 )
5 star
 (82)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.3 (59 )
5 star
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 (11)
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Story
4.1 (58 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    David Marietta, GA, USA 01-09-06
    David Marietta, GA, USA 01-09-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
    ratings
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    "Great Epic Poem Narrated Well"

    This edition of Paradise Lost seems superior to the one narrated by Fredrick Davidson, which is also available on Audible. Davidson'a intonations are more emphatic, but he misses the stately regality and austerity which are more appropriate for this epic.

    Short music precedes each of the books of the poem, the baroque nature of which helps to prime the reader for a magnificent theme. Paradise Lost itself has been compared to organ music, and the analogy is an apt one.

    Of course, listening to this audiobook with full perception requires wholehearted attention; it is not the one to mitigate the boredom of jogging or divert the mind while doing laundry.

    63 of 66 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Bridgewater, NJ, United States 05-01-08
    Mary Bridgewater, NJ, United States 05-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
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    40
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    "a real keeper"

    I read and loved Milton in grad school, thanks to an outstanding professor. I have not read him recently, but hearing the blind poet read is how most people experienced him for many years. The work's greatness is even more apparent when heard than when read. This is not a work to breeze through either way, however.

    I have yet to listen to the complete recording, but know this is one that I will treasure, playing over and over. The sound of Milton's epic is so much of the poetry and the meaning, and it helps to have an excellent reader.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela anchorage, AK, USA 10-21-07
    Pamela anchorage, AK, USA 10-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Absolutely Beautiful!!"

    The greatest piece of English literature presented in the best possible format. The reading is masterful. My highest recommendation.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lowly customer Era, TX 09-10-08
    Lowly customer Era, TX 09-10-08 Member Since 2005

    Lowly

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    "Classic"

    Still a great elegantly written classic. A must read/hear for anyone.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-15-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    Story
    "Truly Overwhelming"
    What did you love best about Paradise Lost?

    Allowing the words to flow over me I was touched and enthralled by the beauty, tragedy, joy and magnificence in the scale that the epic portrays. Listening provoked me to read and reading, contemplate the beauty and affliction of our existence, contrasting what might have been with our human condition.
    Belief is not a prerequisite any more than any mythic tales handed down through the ages require. Perfection, an idea implanted innately in the psyche languishes in the real world yet frustrates all our efforts to confound an uncompromising world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harriet Portland, OR, United States 03-10-13
    Harriet Portland, OR, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2005
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    "The background music will drive you crazy"
    What disappointed you about Paradise Lost?

    This great poem is narrated by an over heated British actor, and further marred by the cheesiest mood music inthis version. A listenener cannot lose herself in Milton's great work when suffering through these hideous atmospherics.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine ithaca, NY, USA 05-07-10
    Katherine ithaca, NY, USA 05-07-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great poem, wrong reader"

    I actively seek out Anton Lesser's recordings, but he's the wrong pick for Paradise Lost, at least for my taste.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Vista, CA, USA 09-04-08
    Barbara Vista, CA, USA 09-04-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Waste of a credit"

    You have to love old English to bother listening. Definitely not entertaining or informative.

    2 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Francis
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    12/6/07
    Overall
    "Sonorous metal"

    Paradise lost is a poem that gains greatly by being read aloud. Passages which on the printed page may seem convoluted and obscure can be made clear by a good reader, and Anton Lesser is, as always not merely a good but an outstanding reader. His voice at first may seem slight and lacking resonance but he follows the argument and pace of the narrative with great intelligence and is able to differentiate and characterise convincingly all the different voices that speak in the poem. This skill is essential, since unlike the abridged version published by Naxos some years ago, he is the sole narrator. As such he does a superb job throughout the long and varied length of this poem.
    The old Argo recording of substantial portions of the epic still seems to me unmatched -with Tony Church as a superb narrator, Michael Redgrave as a splendidly theatrical Satan, Michael Hordern as a plausible God the father, Prunella scales as a movingly characterised Eve. The use of different voices is undoubtably better and more in keeping with the strong dramatic element in this epic. It is a pity that this and other Argo recordings are no longer available. But Anton Lesser as a single narrator does the job perhaps as well as it can be done (and is certainly preferable to the pedestrian version by Frederic Davidson). If you know Paradise Lost, you will find Anton Lessor's reading always clear and often illuminating.If you are approaching this marvellous poem for the first time, this reading is an ideal way to gain an overview of the whole epic.

    41 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • Francis
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    12/6/07
    Overall
    "Sonorous metal"

    Paradise lost is a poem that gains greatly by being read aloud. Passages which on the printed page may seem convoluted and obscure can be made clear by a good reader, and Anton Lesser is, as always not merely a good but an outstanding reader. His voice at first may seem slight and lacking resonance but he follows the argument and pace of the narrative with great intelligence and is able to differentiate and characterise convincingly all the different voices that speak in the poem. This skill is essential, since unlike the abridged version published by Naxos some years ago, he is the sole narrator. As such he does a superb job throughout the long and varied length of this poem.
    The old Argo recording of substantial portions of the epic still seems to me unmatched -with Tony Church as a superb narrator, Michael Redgrave as a splendidly theatrical Satan, Michael Hordern as a plausible God the father, Prunella scales as a movingly characterised Eve. The use of different voices is undoubtably better and more in keeping with the strong dramatic element in this epic. It is a pity that this and other Argo recordings are no longer available. But Anton Lesser as a single narrator does the job perhaps as well as it can be done (and is certainly preferable to the pedestrian version by Frederic Davidson). If you know Paradise Lost, you will find Anton Lessor's reading always clear and often illuminating.If you are approaching this marvellous poem for the first time, this reading is an ideal way to gain an overview of the whole epic.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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