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Sir Gawain & the Green Knight

New Verse Translation
Narrated by: Jasper Britton
Length: 2 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A mysterious knight all in green arrives at King Arthur's court and issues a bizarre challenge. Gawain answers the knight - but at what cost? This new translation keeps all the poetic power of the original's extraordinary alliteration. One of the greatest stories of English literature from any period, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a magical, medieval combination of the epic and the uncanny.

A new verse translation by Benedict Flynn.

©2008 Benedict Flynn (P)2008 Naxos Rights International

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In stori stif and stronge

Fear not, this version of Gawain is in modern verse. But it is a story both "stif" and "stronge", narrated by a voice talent who comprehends and conveys all the outlandish drama and subtle undertones of the tale.

The sheer number of modern versions of this poem, in prose and verse--from J. R. R. Tolkien, W. S. Merwin and Jesse Weston to, most recently, Simon Armitage--testify to its enduring power. It really is an imaginative tour de force and, among Medieval poems, something of a rarity: a story that deeply satisfies our modern need for brevity, a well-rounded plot and an unexpected denouemont. Startlingly cinematic in the way scenes shift and are contrasted with one another, Gawain reminds us that writers were aware of the technique long before Edison invented the movie camera. And beyond all that there's the lush, vivid, refined, barbaric, delicate and always-surprising language wielded so skillfully by our anonymous genius. That in itself is a joy to listen to.

I lack the background to be a perceptive critic of the present version of the poem, but at least to me it stands up very well indeed, driven along by an energetic performance. Use it as a way to get back into the poem if you know it already--or as a way to get others hooked.

6 people found this helpful

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Great Book!

This is a very intriguing and exciting book narrated beautifully. I really love it and would recommend it to others.

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Beautiful story

I had to read this book for school, and I truly enjoyed it. The thrilling tale follows Sir Gawain and his quest to find the Green Knight. It's a short read, yet it is full of twists. The performance is superb, and it is an entertaining listen. Truthfully, I have but one dislike. Since it is a poem, written in old English, the author alliterated every word possible. This proved to be annoying at times. However, the quality of the story is not dampened, and by the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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I love this book ; I highly recommend this book; a

I love this book; read it when I was younger and rereading the book; brings back great memories of my youth.

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  • TAG
  • 12-05-18

Superb

I was looking forward to listening to this, but was surprised by how much I loved it. Excellent translation and outstanding narration! Britton has a talent for getting the rhythm of a line across without over egging it and conveys the subtilise and whit of the writing wonderfully well.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin
  • 05-15-08

First-class

I enjoyed this reading very much and I'm sure I will do so quite a few more times at least. It is a first-class old English poem, finely translated, and finely read. The poetry comes over fresh and strong, with the rhythm, alliteration, and occasional rhyme apparently well preserved by the translation. It is also a jolly good story.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • M A H
  • 02-28-09

Sir Garwain & the Green Knight

An entertaining little story.