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Publisher's Summary

Byron's exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, a handsome and charming young man naturally gifted with the ladies. After his first illicit love affair at the age of 16 in his native Spain, he is exiled to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Greece, where he is sold as a slave, and to Russia, where he becomes a favorite of the Empress Catherine, who sends him on to England.

Written in ottava rima stanza form, Byron's Don Juan blends high drama with outrageous farce. Sprinkled with digressions on wealth, power, society, chastity, poets, and England, Don Juan is a poetical novel of satirical fervor and wit.

(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • Eureka, CA, USA
  • 02-10-07

Glad to have it

It's nice to see this finally has become available online. Do not let Davidson's accent put you off. He does a fine job and ably conveys Byron's uproarious wit.

He does make one rather appalling mistake: he pronounces Juan as the Spanish pronounce it. As almost any English lit major will tell you, it is to be pronounced: "JOO-un".

A vastly entertaining poem by a truly great poet.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than Bethune, Griffin, and Keeble

Looking for an audiobook of Byron's comic epic masterpiece? Try listening online to Peter Gallagher's wonderful free performance of five selected cantos and you'll wonder why Audible hasn't commissioned him to do the entire poem.  Until then, Michael Sheen's reading of a 22-minute selection from Canto One on the "Great Poets of the Romantic Age" anthology is not to be missed (but who is the uncredited actress who splendidly takes on the women's parts?). And Tyrone Power's similar selection is certainly worthwhile. But if you want to listen to the whole shimmering shebang, your best bet is Frederick Davidson. Davidson somehow does not know how Byron pronounces "Juan," and for some reason reads the stanza numbers out loud, but he is STILL vastly superior to any of the three alternatives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AG
  • 03-17-14

unimaginable experience

Where does Don Juan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I must say that Don Juan is ranked in my mental list among the best books I've listened

What was one of the most memorable moments of Don Juan?

The whole book is composed of memorable moments, I don't think I'll forget the episode when Don Juan is almost caught, hiding under the bedsheets at Donna Julia's, nor when Lambro, the pirate father of Haidee discovers Don Juan sleeping with his daughter or the Dudù episode.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't know if Don Juan must be remembered by scenes; rather I think it is the verse, his opinions, etc. which make the book have favorite parts. The poet is very witty and outspoken, but perhaps most importantly, very creative and intelligent. I'm always smiling with things like: "The world is full of strange vicissitudes, and here was one exceedingly unpleasant: A gentleman so rich in the world's goods, handsome and young, enjoying all the present, just at the very time when he least broods on such a thing is suddenly to sea sent, wounded and chained, so that he cannot move, and all because a lady fell in love". Etc.

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

Yes, the book made me laugh the whole time and also gasp with amazement at all the incidents.

Any additional comments?

I am very happy with this audio book. It has been an amazing experience, better than I expected.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow

I have listen to numerous books. This has been one of the hardest to follow. The accent of the reader and story line was to much for me. I tried to listen to this book but after 1 hour I could not stand it any more. Save use your credit for another book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tobias
  • Frankfurt am Main, GermanyGermany
  • 10-22-08

Strong British accent

The narrator has a strong British Accent. Sometimes, it is barely understandable.

I have listened to a lot of audiobooks in English, including TMS and TTC letures on physics, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and biology.

Given, I am not a native English speaker. But I have never had any trouble understanding and following much more complex content than this. What ruins this audiobook for me is simply the author's accent, which makes this very, very hard to listen to.

It surprises me Blackstone Audio would use such a narrator, when there are narrators out there that would be better understood by a great number of people.

If you are not very accustomed to the British English accent, I'd advise you to save your 20$ and stay away from this version.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 01-05-14

Appalling reading - what a complete waste of time

Any additional comments?

It's a bad start when the reader mispronounces the name of the title character - Byron's character is not 'hwan', he is 'joo-an', and there are several other mispronunciations of names. But that can be ignored. What can't be ignored is that the reader breaks up the poem by giving the number of the stanza before reading each one - It makes the whole thing feel like an extraordinarily long shopping list rather than an epic poem. Added to that, the rustling of paper, a speaking style that is very old-fashioned (how old is the recording?!) and a complete lack of awareness of the inherent rhyme and rhythm of the poem.

Unfortunately it seems to be the only full recording of this poem available, but I have to say it would be better not to bother with it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Lilly
  • 11-26-14

500 pages of snark

It isn't fair to give such a low rating to the performance of this excruciatingly long, ineffably annoying lyric journey. I think the snarky drawl fits the poem with great fidelity. I found listening to it for more than an hour to be a serious trial, and made me dislike the piece with an intensity that surprised me. So, well done Frederick Davidson, and I'll never listen to another performance of yours ever.