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Publisher's Summary

This tale of a man who, when tinkering with magic, becomes changed into an ass is one of the most entertaining and remarkable stories from classic Latin literature. It is funny, bawdy and completely approachable - but also shows life from the point of view of a beast of burden in the Roman Empire of the second century CE.

Lucius is an active young man enjoying life - and the favours of an attentive maid, one Fotis - when the temptation to experiment with a magic potion proves too great.

Life is very different as a four-footed animal, and he goes from one drama to another, in danger of his life at one point, facing seduction at another.

Within this account of these adventures, Apuleius (c124-c170 CE) places ribald stories which are more familiar through retellings by Boccaccio and Chaucer. But there are also passages of considerable literary beauty, particularly in the extended account of Cupid and Psyche.

The Golden Ass, in this lively performance by Jonathan Keeble, is a delight from start to finish.

Translation: Bohn (1853), revised for this production.

Public Domain (P)2016 Ukemi Productions Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent

Brilliant, clever, funny, and wonderfully charming tale. A timeless classic. Witty and eloquent style, but also fun and exciting.

Narration = 11/10

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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such a fantastic story with masterful narration

Would you consider the audio edition of The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses to be better than the print version?

I generally prefer audio editions, because it's more convenient for me.
Besides, the narration of this book is very very well done!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lucius the main character, of course!
His relentless curiosity and his naive attitude towards challenges make the story even more engaging.

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jonathan expresses the emotions so beautifully, it makes the scenes even clearer and funnier.
For example, in the scene when Lucius is turned into an ass, instead of an owl as he was expecting to be; Jonathan tells it so well with all emotions, the genuine humour of the author becomes even better by the masterful narration.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The magic of the Ass! :D

Any additional comments?

Such a beautiful book!
I've read it many times, and still it makes me laugh big time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful

It has been about twenty years since I last read this and I'm so glad I decided to try the Audible version. It is a very different experience listening. I very much enjoyed the narrator. He really brought the book to life.

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    4 out of 5 stars

excellent narration

For those who think this might be a dry work, it has moments where it would be if not for the narrator. His impressions of women, although funny and slightly silly, are balanced and really help drive the story.

Do not, however, listen to this with sensitive people or young children. It has a sprinkling of very adult and sexual material.

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Bawdy Tales from Roman Times

What did you love best about The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses?

Anyone who thinks that "classic" = dull should read this story of sex, magic, and donkey poo.

What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

I will never understand why audiobook publishers make it so hard to figure out which translation they are using. For anyone who cares, this is the original translation into English by William Adlington. It dates from the 1500s so the language can be difficult at times. Fortunately the narrator pulls you along so well that words like 'peregrination' don't give you much trouble.

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  • James Weber
  • 09-26-16

Pleasant surprise

Bought this for a university class. Was a surprisingly engaging text and beautifully narrated.