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Beowulf Audiobook

Beowulf

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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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (608 )
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4.5 (426 )
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Performance
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  •  
    GMG South Salem, NY 12-22-11
    GMG South Salem, NY 12-22-11 Member Since 2005
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Jefferson, TX, USA 06-03-09
    Kim Jefferson, TX, USA 06-03-09
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason P 09-02-15
    Jason P 09-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Seamus Heaney Breathes new life into an old fable."

    This version is abridged but better than other unabridged versions. Seamus Heaney seems to have translated this story into modern English, not Old English like all other versions. This means that it is less poetic but very easy to understand. The result is an easier to follow story that has been whittled down to the essential core. Seamus Heaney as an author is excellent. He has an accent that makes this old Germanic tale feel authentic.
    Simply put get this version. You will not regret it.

    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
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    "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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SEAN 11-01-17
    SEAN 11-01-17 Member Since 2014
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    "WARNING: this recording is abridged!"

    The reader does NOT read the entire book! Though Seamus Heaney is the voice actor for his own book, for some reason he abruptly skips over entire pages of the hard copy in this voice recording. When reading along in the hardback as I listened to this audio book, I found content missing from the audio in several locations where the book continued. The recording skips anywhere from a couple of paragraphs to several pages at a time, and without warning or any indication, either; it is impossible to determine which excerpts are omitted in the recording without the book in front of you, making use of this audio book as a study tool perilous. The biggest frustration of mine was that neither the recording nor Audible advertise this audio book as an abridged performance as it so obviously is. If I had known about this beforehand, I would not have wasted my money on this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lewis Hyde Cambridge, MA 10-29-17
    Lewis Hyde Cambridge, MA 10-29-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Abridged!"

    Very well read by Seamus Heaney, but mysteriously many passages are omitted. I followed with the book in hand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas C Cook 10-11-17
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    "Fantastic"

    Loved it, really a great production. My only wish would be that the unabridged was available, since this leaves a significant body of the poem out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 10-10-17
    10-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Some of the content are missing from the book"

    Some of the content are missing from the book. Besides that the audio is fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrz Santos 09-10-17
    Mrz Santos 09-10-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Like the poem, wish it was the full version."

    i was looking for the full version. This did just fine I jist had to find and read the skipped sections.
    The performance was amazing and I believe his accent lenses a hand to the storytelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jezunya 08-27-17
    Jezunya 08-27-17 Member Since 2015
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    "This is an ABRIDGED version!"

    I was following along with the text of Heaney's translation while listening and found that this audio version kept skipping over large sections of the text. Yet not once does the description say that this is an abridged version of Beowulf! Very unhappy I wasted a credit on this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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