First published in A.D. 8, Ovid's Metamorphoses remains one of the most accessible and inspirational introductions to Greek mythology.
Translated by Frank Justus Miller.
(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
This is a potentially wonderful work that doesn't succeed because of problems inherent in the audio format which hit this work particularly hard. If I were to go into the audio-book publishing business, I would be much more attentive to chapter/section breaks, even if it means departing from the precise way it's done in the written work.
I can tell that the translation and narration here are fine based on the way I'm captivated by the first episode in each of Ovid's "Books." Really. . . this material is absolutely riveting, a wonderful listen. I also notice that by the end of the Book, I'm barely awake and pretty sure I did doze off at points in the interim.
One-hour-plus of un-broken narration does not work, not for Metamorphosis, and probably not for any audio book.
We need meaningful breaks (silence, audio-book music, place markers that would show in an iPod, etc.) after every episode, not after every book. I don't care whether Ovid demarcated it that way. I don't care if ancient audiences heard all-the-way-through oral recitations. These audio-books are geared for modern audiences and if the format is to flourish, publishers need to get out of auto-pilot mode (where they passively mimic written text) and really think about user experience.
It's probably harsh to pin all this on a review of Metamorphosis. I've seen it throughout audio. If I’d have figured out how to articulate it earlier, I'd have wrote this for Iliad, Odyssey or Aneid. But this is the piece where I realized why I wasn't enjoying the work as much as I could have.
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