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Publisher's Summary

The oldest long poem in Old English, written about AD 1,000, Beowulf tells the story of a great warrior of southern Scandinavia, in both youth and maturity. The monster Grendel terrorizes the Scyldings of Hrothgar's Danish Kingdom until Beowulf defeats him. As a result, he has to face her enraged mother. Beowulf dies after a battle against a fierce dragon.

© and (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Common to every experience of Beowulf is the sense that its poetry reaches, somehow like lightning, to the core of what we understand about ourselves stripped to basics, even amid the twentieth-century world of central heating and computers." (Humanities)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Andrew
  • United States
  • 02-13-12

Beowulf lives again!

What did you love best about Beowulf?

As a teacher of English, I'm interested in all aspects of the language. The sheer scope of this Anglo-Saxon epic marks it out as the most important surviving text of its kind anywhere. Of course, not everyone can read or understand the Old English language of Anglo-Saxon times, so Naxos have performed a masterstroke in producing a beautifully read modern (prose) translation of the story, thus making it available to a much wider audience. Any translation is, by definition, a compromise, but comparing this modern reading with the energy and beauty of the original alliterative verse shows that it can be done and, as in this case, most convincingly. Anyone interested in Beowulf - even for the first time - will be enthralled by this version and, as with all Naxos products, be happily surprised by the very reasonable price. I have been buying Naxos products for years and I must say I have never once regretted it. The recording quality is superb and the production team seem to be experts in putting together top-quality performances!

What other book might you compare Beowulf to and why?

Sir Gawain and The Green Giant is another masterstroke in making one of the greatest poetical works of Middle English available to a modern audience. The verse translation retains much of the alliteration and power of the original and will appeal to audiences of various age groups.

Have you listened to any of Crawford Logan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to various versions of Beowulf, but this is the first time I've heard Crawford Logan reading anything. His performance of this epic is wonderfully alive and certainly the best reading I have heard to date.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story is already well known to me, so I was more interested in how close to the original this modern reading comes across. This is a superb reading in every respect!

Any additional comments?

Buy it, and enjoy Anglo-Saxon history at its best! You may even be tempted to do a course and study the original Old English verse some day!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Great reading and a great translation. Interesting portal into anglo saxon warrior life in the cold north country.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamie
  • Harvey, LA, USA
  • 08-25-09

Beowulf

My son used this for a class he is taking. It is a modern translation, and his understanding of the work seemed to be very high compared to those in his classroom.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good Version for Someone New to Beowulf

This is a very good narration of Beowulf. Since I'm new to this work, I'd suggest this version as a way to become familiar with this epic. Crawford Logan's narration is very good. It is intimate, as if you are the only one he is telling the story to.

I know the quality of Naxos Audio Books, and this reading is right up there with other material I've gotten from them. The reference guide does a good job of laying out the background, and I'm thankful this material was offered on Audible.

If you're teaching this epic to a high school or college course, this reading is worth having in your school library. Anyone struggling with Beowulf in school may also benefit from this narration.

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  • Jonathan
  • Palmyra, PA, United States
  • 02-08-15

A Hero for the Ages...

A great story of glory and fame and how they are won with a combination of stout heart, strong build, and resolute mind.

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good perhaps not great rendition

like Beowulf though i know it's not for everyone and this is a fine translation, but see my other reviews of B

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A Must-Listen Classic

Would you listen to Beowulf again? Why?

Yes, I would definitely listen to Beowulf again in order to catch some of the details that I missed while getting my mind wrapped around the ancient style of heroic poetry. Also, it's a terrific story well worth a second or third visit.

What did you like best about this story?

Discovering the source for much of today's portrayal of the Norsemen life and culture was fun and more than a little interesting. Also, I kept waiting for a betrayal or ambush that never happened. . . these were men of honor and who were bound by the rules of hospitality and of warfare. That may not be the way it actually was, but it's refreshing to read of a time of heroes.

Which character – as performed by Crawford Logan – was your favorite?

Beowulf was my favorite character, as the author intended him to be. His honor and dedication to purpose was inspiring.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me marvel at the beauty of a tale well told, of unashamed hero worship. I could well imagine sitting in a great hall listening as this tale unfolded and filling an evening with adventure.

Any additional comments?

How fitting it is for Beowulf to be an audio performance. Epic poetry was intended to be heard rather than read. I'm so glad to have experienced it first in this way. I may well seek out the written version to pour over details of style and language, but I'll always consider this an oral performance.

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Great to have such a classic available as Audible

Listen! is how this book starts which seems very fitting. Full of adventures the listener can imagine not just the oral telling but the setting where the story would be related. What I really love and admire is the concept of woman as peacemaker, as a new bride leaves her home it is the hope she will bring peace between her old and new home. A tall order for anytime but when Beowulf was doing deed of great bravery so was his wife. Crawford Logan does a great job. I already has listened twice - at some point don't miss this legendary tail.

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  • mr b t adams
  • 02-03-16

Timeless

A great classic, well translated and standing the test of time, definitely worth listening to.