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Publisher's Summary

The great poetic tradition of pre-Christian Scandinavia is known to us almost exclusively though the Prose Edda, a collection of narrative literature, and its companion, the Poetic Edda. The poems originated in Iceland, Norway, and Greenland between the ninth and 13th centuries, when they were compiled in a unique manuscript known as the Codex Regius. The poems are primarily lyrical rather than narrative. Terry's fine translation includes the magnificent cosmological poem, "The Völuspá", didactic poems concerned with mythology and the everyday conduct of life, and heroic poems, of which an important group is concerned with the story of Sigurd and Brynhild.

Poems of the Elder Edda will appeal to students of Old Norse, Icelandic, and Medieval literature, as well as to general readers and listeners of poetry. This audio version presents each poem followed by the translator's notes.

©1990 University of Pennsylvania Press (P)2015 Mondello Publishing

Critic Reviews

“Listeners unfamiliar with classic Old Norse poetry will gain an appreciation for the passion and the values--blind heroism, revenge, honor--that inhabit it. Although each narrator has a particular style, they all enunciate clearly, which is important with a text that has so many unfamiliar-sounding names of characters and places. In an interesting choice, Matthew Posner adopts a rich, clear Scottish accent. The poems draw on stories from the Old Norse religion and tales of heroism, with bits of the histories of Huns, Goths, and Burgundians. Those who are looking for an introduction to Viking literature should be pleased with this production.“ (D.M.H. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2015])

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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excellent best translation

I loved it! loved the diversity of narrators and also the explanations at the end of each chapter. highly recommend for anyone looking for historically accurate heathen or Asatru literature!!!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

brilliance

nothing short of exceptional. very beautiful also with the author's notes. hail hail hail hail

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen and we'll voiced by the Narrators

What an easy to digest translation of the Elder Edda. the Narrators did a great job and made the long stories easier to understand and enjoy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

First 10 Chapters is smooth sailing

After that it takes some fore knowledge of the obscure characters because they are introduced without much of a back story. I had to stop and research the many names that were thrown out there that I didn’t recognize. Do yourself a favor and get very acquainted with who is who before listening or you’re in for a bumpy ride.
Most useful chapters are the ones in regard to the Havamal.
The narrators were ok but takes some getting used to. I’m not sure how the Scottish accent fits in.
Maybe I will revisit this after I know the characters better and see if it flows better for me.

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Performance was great, stories even better

Face it The Elder Edda isn’t as popular, but this version is my favorite lately. The author’s notes after each story pushed the overall book for me.

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I was hoping for more Ragnorak style stories

It's mostly interesting and the performance is awesome. But a good chunk of this book is basically a Norse Soap Opera and not with Norse Gods but some people you don't really care about. It's not really anyone's fault. It's read amazing well and it's well put together including the translation notes. Just not my cup of tea.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Funny accent

The narrator using the Scottish accent sounds more Russian than Scottish sometimes, which I found amusing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Strange but interesting translation with notes

Rating this "book" is difficult - I have read three different translations (two into German) so far and this translation is ... weird. I actually like it, though, it tries (and successfully so) to smoothen out the obvious problems with the old rhyme stances, giving some of the songs/texts an almost "rock music" like touch.
Which, I think, does them justice.
Historically this may not be "OK" since the texts probably are Christianity influenced reinterpretations or recaps of oral narrations, Some texts even show the unnecessary blim-blim of that.

It's the translator's notes, though, that lifts this up over just a "modernized interpretation". Hearing about the thoughts of why and where and what got changed in the English version lets you appreciate the translation work and opens some interesting windows into how the texts might have sounded and what they might have been like "originally". Quotation marks set on purpose.

That's the good part. The bad part is: I have no clue what some of the voice actors have tried to achieve here - it might be that they didn't get paid and tried to do maximum harm to the texts they were forced to read (in that they succeeded, some readings in this audiobook are the worst I have ever heard anywhere, including readings by school kids that hated what they read). Some parts are acceptable, a few even almost good, but I am sorry, those just cannot make up for the bad, horrible, boring, lullabying ignorance of WHAT they were reading.
Let me rephrase: If you need an example for never ever buying an audiobook again, listen to some chapters in this one. It will cure you of any attempt. If you need an example on "how to definitely NEVER EVER read a book to an audience": This would be it.

Is it really that bad?

Honestly: It is much, much worse than that.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Don't pop on your own Balls it

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0 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-03-18

How to train your dragon?

there are some excellent readings in here. however, there are some not so great performances... especially when a (bad) scottish accent is used to read it with childish, exaggerated character voices. It sounds like the chief from how to train your dragon and is particularly difficult to listen to in parts.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-17

Narrators

I was really indulged up until chapter 12 when the Scottish narrator came into the fold...terrible!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful