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Publisher's Summary

Sir Ian McKellen, fresh from his performance as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, is Prospero, and heads a strong cast in Shakespeare’s last great play. The wronged duke raises a tempest to shipwreck his old opponents on his island so that he can ensure justice is done. With Emilia Fox as Miranda, Scott Handy in the pivotal role of the sprite Ariel, and Ben Owukwe as Caliban, this new production, directed by John Tydeman, balances the magic and the earthiness, with music playing a key role.

Public Domain (P)2004 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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A stellar performance by a stunning cast

If you enjoy Shakespeare's comedies you should not miss out on this edition of The Tempest. Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero is everything you might hope for and more, which is no surprise from an actor of his caliber. The remainder of the cast excels similarly and the recording is produced seamlessly. This audio performance is a real treat.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great Story, audio needs a little tweaking

Would you listen to The Tempest again? Why?

Absolutely! It's a fairly entertaining story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tempest?

"I did not give the lie!"<br/><br/>

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

No narrator. This is recorded as a stage play. You get a different actor for every part.

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

No extreme reaction. Of course I was already familiar with the story.

Any additional comments?

Be prepared to rewind every now and then to catch what was said when the actors whisper. Having a hard copy of the play would probably help. Of course, then you could just read it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gandalf is great

I've always had trouble following Shakespeare plays in text. It's difficult for me to identify the tone of the scene, and the story becomes hard to follow.

Listening to these voice actors solves that problem. It's easy to follow the story when the lines are being delivered with the correct emotion.

That being said, The Tempest is a bit romantic for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Ian McKellen could literally read a dictionary to me and I would like it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Shakespeare's Great Last Play

What did you love best about The Tempest?

The quality of the language and dialogue. I can listen to it over and over again and learn something new.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Caliban was my favorite. He represented peoples of color who lost their lands from colonization. As a character, he was ahead of his time.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Again Caliban. I can imagine myself as him. He is a lot smarter than he sounds and has a wicked sense of humor as well as a keen sense of anger, that he was dispossessed of his heritage and land.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I wanted to listen to it all in one sitting. I opted to listen to it a second time.

Any additional comments?

i highly recommend this fine play.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Delightful Performance

A wonderful performance of "The Tempest". I particularly enjoyed Ian McKellen and Emilia Fox as Prospero and Miranda.

I believe this is a recording of an actual performance and that is the cause of my one complaint. There are very few or no clues to distinguish between Sebastian and Antonio. To my ear, their voices are close enough that it's a bit difficult sometimes to separate the two. (In the actual performance this wouldn't have been an issue.) Since I'm familiar with the play, it didn't bother me too much, but it did throw me a bit at first.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in "The Tempest".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Halifax, NS, Canada
  • 12-01-13

Good, not perfect

This is a perfectly decent recording of The Tempest. Sir Ian is an excellent Prospero and the rest of the cast are competent, although the Caliban is a bit awkward, The sound quality is a little murky sometimes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Feel-good Drama

I wouldn't classify The Tempest as either a tragedy or comedy, but rather as a straightforward drama about forgiveness, which you don't see too much in Shakespeare's plays.

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Thoroughly enjoyed it!

McKellen makes all the difference! But not just him: the whole cast ensure you experience the play as such.

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  • JMKIII58
  • Clarksville, TN, United States
  • 12-11-16

An excellent listen

for a long airplane or car trip. Wonderfully made and well acted of this Shakespeare classic.

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  • Dana
  • Providence, RI
  • 09-10-14

Excellent audio edition

Would you consider the audio edition of The Tempest to be better than the print version?

I purchased this to "hear along" as I read the text. Although the performances really bring the characters to life, it may be hard to follow without the text in front of you.

Any additional comments?

I hesitated to buy this because other reviewers complained about storm noise, etc. That is really only an issue in the very first scene, and the speech is clear enough over the storm. (And, let's be honest: the play is "The Tempest"; the title incident deserves to be heard a bit, right?) The bulk of it is good, clear speech with music interspersed to indicate scene changes and/or the coming and going of spirits (especially Ariel).

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  • Mr
  • 07-24-15

Tempestuous Performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Ian McKellen gives an excellent performance as Prospero and the recording really brings the play to life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tempest?

Ariel's music and also the way in which characters were brought to life through their own mannerisms and personalities.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Prospero is the central character and gives an unforgettable performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes - I easily could have.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-22-17

Wonderful

It was as if I was watching the performance.
All voices prefecture matched the character.
A wonderful audio that Shakespeare himself would be proud of.

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  • Edyta
  • 12-17-16

Loved it!!!

Any additional comments?

The Tempest was an assigned reading for my studies. I was kind of forced to read it but I ended up falling in love with the book. Performances are obviously superb but the story itself has so much meaning, so many interpretations; it is a gold mine. Plus I would recommend watching a film with Helen Mirren as Prospero/Prospera - mind blowing.