These stories are about how, many years ago, Arthur the once and future King of England, set out to save his country from the troubles that plagued it, aided by the brave knights of the Round Table, and the most famous sword in the world, Excalibur. How Merlin the Wizard fought against the wicked Morgana le Fay's enchantments, and how Arthur loved and lost the beautiful Guinevere, his Queen.
(P)1997 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; ©1997 NAXOS AudioBooks Ld.
Absolutely outstanding reading in the beautiful, dulcet Yorkshire tones of Sean Bean. Sean does a brilliant job, that would keep any person, young or old, interested in hearing the story of King Arthur. I *highly* recommend this download.
I'd conjecture that this book is a much better listen than a read. The text is quite simplistic, but it is brought to life by Sean Bean's reading, and complemented by the music which intermittently accompanies it. Bean has a marvellous vocal timbre: from the fresh tenor of the young Arthur to the low growl of a wary Merlin, he uses his vocal abilities to inhabit the various characters in a way that makes them seem to live in one's mind.,
Of all the audiobooks I have downloaded, this was my favorite. The story of King Arthur is a classic for a reason. The production and the narration especially are well done. Having a talented actor doing the reading makes such a difference. The listener is completely drawn into the story. I would highly recommend this.
Power, Adventure, Chivalry
The story of King Arthur is, of course, only a legend, and most boys who grew up in England (as I did) will be aware of the numerous battles, and acts of chivalry, as well as the moments of love and despair that Arthur and his knights go through in trying to run a unified country in the wake of the breakdown of Roman rule. This Naxos audio CD depicts all the elements of the story we read about at school, from the time of Aurthur's birth right through to his death and his departure across the sea to his final resting place in the mystical Avalon. The sense of power, adventure and chivalry comes through beautifully in this wonderful telling of the story and will appeal to children of all ages as well as some adults!
My favourite part is where Arthur, having been fatally wounded, is collected silently by the Maidens of the Water and ferried away to his final resting place in Avalon, a mysterious island somewhere across the sea.
It was nice to be able to familiarise myself with the Arthurian adventures again after nearly fifty years, so that I can share the magic of the story with my grandchildren.
Another superb production from Naxos!
Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!
I have the Howard Pyle version, which is fine - a classic for sure, but a little on the wordy side and a bit dry for my 7-year-old daughter. I thought this shorter version would be more accessible for her. It's exciting - Sean Bean's narration and the soundtrack make it a good listen. But I'm glad I previewed it before playing it for my daughter. I'm no prude, but I don't want my young daughter to hear about the Lancelot, Arthur, Guinevere love triangle just yet. In this version, Lancelot spends the night with Guinevere while she's married to Arthur, and they're accused of being lovers. Also, Arthur and Lancelot both father sons resulting form bizarre encounters with women who trick them. I've read many versions of the Arthurian legend (from Marion Zimmer Bradley, etc.), so it's not like I was unaware of these events and character connections. I just didn't expect them to come up in a version supposedly for young children. I think I'll wait a few years before exposing my daughter to these complex adult themes.
The old stories are the best, and Sean Bean reading Arthurian legends - what a combination! Bean's voice is perfect for these classic tales of honour, chivalry and magic. His narration imparts all the drama, wonder and emotion that the tales need to bring them to life, from the bravest and sturdiest of knights, to the fairest and gentlest of women.
You won't regret buying these tales, and they'll be perfect for family listening on car trips with slightly older children who love getting lost in tales of knights and ladies, sorcerers and dragons.
This is the first time I've heard the story of King Arthur, and what a treat it is. The narration is wonderful and transports you with sound and music and effects to another place. This was such a pleasure. I'm sure I'll listen again and again.
I love Arthurian literature and history. I also really like Sean Bean, so this was a real treat. Someone once said that 'if a story is worth hearing, it is worth hearing again and again'. That's why these tales are still with us and this is a very good way to hear them as often as you want. There are many Arthurian tales out there. This is the classic sword in the stone version, and suitable for the whole family.
My goal is to read 52 books in 1 year! I read 33 last year!
I will listen to this multiple times. It was a short but solid overview of the stories of King Arthur and his Knights! Sean Bean brings the story to life!
He was Boromir, Odysseus and NEd Stark all over again! I bought the book simply because he narrated it, and I listened to it in one single drive! Great Narration!
I had already read Howard Pyle book many years ago. I was surprised how different Howard?s story was to what I had experienced in the movies. First of all there is no Holy Grail. This led to much research online where I learned that Howard version is considered the closest to the original and that the Church of England inserted the Holy Grail later.
Having said all that I found this version to be well written and very well read but ultimately not quite right for my taste. Many characters have been seriously changed in what role they played in the story and, more importantly, what kind of person they were. This legend has always been about the honor and chivalry to the point where the characters are almost to good to be believed, this story has more believable character but at the cost of lessening the legend.
The one exception is the scene with the Green Knight. I do not remember it at all in Howard?s story, but it was excellent and had all the elements I wished had been present throughout the book.
A classy production and no mistake. The Naxos team have taken an axe to the legends of Camelot and really butchered them in order to make them more child friendly and get the whole thing down to a couple of hours. In doing so they have got rid of all the boring stuff, made Arthur a lot more sympathetic, developed some proper baddies and given the whole thing a marvelous flow that it often lacks. The end result is a brilliantly epic and gripping take on the stories, and I wanted to listen again the minute it finished. Sean Bean's reading is perfect and the atmospheric use of classical music is the icing on the cake. Don't be put off by the target audience being 8 - 13 year olds, this is a truly great listening expireience.
"Good reading but..."
First of all, I really did enjoy this reading. Sean Bean has a great voice, really getting into the characters in a way that children will love (and the mark of a great audio title, you forget that you're listening, and just involved!).
Unfortunately, the clangers of the tale for me were that the version of the Arthur legend seems to be reworked largely from the Disney (and not just TH White) version. You're brought short by a change to the story that just isn't in the older versions - kids won't notice, but if you've investigated deeper into the mythology, there are some howlers that just ruin the story.
A good adaptation, but be aware if an adult listener with any knowledge of Arthur.
"Loved by my daughter.."
A great adaptation for children: mine had loved seeing the swordplay and action in the TV version of Sharpe and she really enjoyed this re-telling of the story of King Arthur. Very diverting for adults too. Sean Bean very listenable as usual.
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