Regular price: $17.47

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

One day in 1872, self-taught Assyriologist George Smith was sifting through a pile of clay tablets when he realized he was reading about "a flood, storm, a ship caught on a mountain, and a bird sent out in search of dry land". This is the riveting story of the discovery of the world's first literary epic, the "Epic of Gilgamesh".
©2006 David Damrosch; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall

interesting- but not for everyone

This book has 3 very different parts told in reverse chronological order.

The first part tells of the discovery and decyphermment of the epic of Gilgamesh through biographies of 2 of the discovers.

The 2nd part tells of the Assyrian kings who assembled the library in which it would be found and has a brief history of the neo-Assyrian Empire.

The 3rd section discusses the epic of Gilgamesh itself, relating the story and telling of earlier versions of the work and finally what little is known of the real King Gilgmesh.

The narrator is good, if perhaps a bit too brisk. And now you'll know how to pronounce "Ninevah".

I'm guessing the author wanted to personalize the story and so told it through a series of biographies. I think he was fairly succesful, but doubt if it would work for anyone not interested in archaeology.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great story

The story of rediscovering the cuneiform tablets in Iraq should benefit not only those interested in history. This story is nicely compsed, never boring and actually quite interesting. The intrigues of the British "high society" scientific world in the late 1900s should come as a surprise to no one. But the most interesting part is the Sumerians and Akkadians speaking to us about their daily life some 4-5.000 years ago though the tablets. This is really mind-boggling. It is a sort of Facebook and Twitter long before computers. Well worth reading.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting History

Well researched and presented history of this ancient epic. A lot of time is spent on the rivalries of the English archaeologists involved in its discovery and translation. Best part is an analysis and explanation of the story itself. It greatly enhanced my appreciation of the epic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hidden history through the back door of academia

Where does The Buried Book rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Damrosch does well by getting at details that introductory books fall far short of. The Epic of Gilgmesh and its rediscovery has huge implications for our understanding of history and religion. Having books of this depth keep me looking at the Audible selection and I hope to find more like this one.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Buried Book?

Damrosch brings out the complexity of archaeology and the politics behind it. In particular the fate of the Iraqi man who actually found the clay tablets with the epic on them.

What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

The narration was solid and did not get in the way of the story at all.

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

This book held my interest till the end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The men behind the Epic

What did you love best about The Buried Book?

I liked the personal glimpse that we got behind all of the people involved in the rediscovery, translation, writing, and preservation of the epic of Gilgamesh. The author elaborates greatly on the personal lives of important scholars such as George Smith and Hormuzd Rassam. The author also uses research about the ancient city of Nineveh to paint a deeply personal picture of the kings directly responsible for the preservation of Gilgamesh. David Damrosch emphasizes, simply through telling details about their lives and the context in which they lived in, that though all of the people he writes about are dead, they all once lived full lives. They had had ambitions, fears, and hopes. Damrosch explores even Gilgamesh himself, who has some basis in history.

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

The beginning is a little slow, but I would say that it definitely gets more interesting as you are introduced to more layers of history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Why? I don't know.

This book gives me the most vivid, lucid dreams. Why I don't know but I am guaranteed an amazing adventure.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

This book has to many tangents

This starts out about the epic of Gilgamesh, but soon just becomes a bunch of biographies of people semi related to the work.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent!! Great history of the discovery!!

Great history of the discovery of the clay tablets of Assyria. and the people involved in the start of the field of Assyriology.

  • Overall

Archeology rather than the story

I was wanting to hear about the book of gilgamesh and hear what was in the book, not how it was found and about a guys life that was searching for it. I would of liked the book if I was looking for the history of how the book was found, but after about 4 hours of the book, I just stopped it and moved on.

13 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Epic of Gilgamesh NOT

Would you try another book from David Damrosch and/or William Hughes?

you think this book is the epic of Gilgamesh , it is a historical account of how it was discovered and some description of the archaeologists lives , very little excerpt from the book it self

What was most disappointing about David Damrosch’s story?

it is not the epic

Would you be willing to try another one of William Hughes’s performances?

may be the narrator is ok

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

Any additional comments?

the audio excerpt should tell it is not the epic it self

0 of 16 people found this review helpful