Beowulf Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Brought to you by Penguin.
This Penguin Classic is performed by Royce Pierreson, star of Line of Duty, Our Girl and The Witcher. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Michael Alexander.
Beowulf is the greatest surviving work of literature in Old English, unparalleled in its epic grandeur and scope. It tells the story of the heroic Beowulf and of his battles, first with the monster Grendel, who has laid waste to the great hall of the Danish king Hrothgar, then with Grendel's avenging mother and finally with a dragon that threatens to devastate his homeland.
Through its blend of myth and history, Beowulf vividly evokes a twilight world in which men and supernatural forces live side by side. And it celebrates the endurance of the human spirit in a transient world.
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|Listening Length||4 hours and 40 minutes|
|Author||Michael Alexander - introduction, Anonymous|
|Narrator||Royce Pierreson, Roy McMillan - introduction|
|Audible.in Release Date||25 March 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #40,351 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#33 in Ancient, Classical & Medieval Poetry
#24,300 in Poetry (Books)
#26,431 in Classic Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from other countries
This is a fascinating read but can be quite difficult to understand parts of it due to how language has changed over the years. Regardless, it’s still an extremely interesting and intriguing piece of history that is worth investigation.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 July 2020
What you get is the text plus substantial explanatory footnotes which can be accessed easily from the text. What you don't get is any introduction or other 'briefing' material. I would have liked a glossary. a list of who's who and a prose summary of the plot to make things easier to follow. Some of these are available in other editions, including, for the brave, the Old English original text, which are available free from Project Gutenberg.
I must say that like one of the earlier reviewers I found this a super read. You just have to accept the strangeness and let yourself go into the world of chieftains, their halls and marauding monsters. This is over a thousand years old but one of the great poems of the British poetic tradition.
But recently I realised that Alexander's 1973 introduction is old-fashioned beyond hope of salvation, and I have a couple of bilingual texts, so I ditched him.
This edition has anglo-saxon text on one page and a glossary facing it. I like it, as academic editions of Beowulf, e.g. Klaeber, can be too bulky for reading for pleasure or taking on holiday, and Penguin have to be admired for publishing it at all. But the text unconvincingly ignores some of Klaeber's amendments; the glossary is a bit too sparse - it gives a single meaning for each word - I'd prefer a choice, as there is sometimes room for doubt - it doesn't provide any accidental or syntactical information, which is a pity; and it is frankly rubbish in places - e.g. 1381, gestreon is glossed as "terror" when it means "treasure"! And of course it's a paperback, and mine is already falling apart, so I have a second and third copy for backup.
Nearly forgot - the introduction is better than the 1973 one!
There is still room in the world for an Old English monolingual reader's text, hardback, sewn spine: that would be doing this poem justice.