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.
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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.
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.
The greatest piece of English literature presented in the best possible format. The reading is masterful. My highest recommendation.
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.
I actively seek out Anton Lesser's recordings, but he's the wrong pick for Paradise Lost, at least for my taste.
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