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Download Faust Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,963 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Narrator: Samuel West, Auriol Smith, Derek Jacobi, Sean Barrett, Stephen Critchlow, Hugh Dickson, Emily Raymond, Gunnar Cauther Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Faust is one of the pillars of Western literature. This classic drama presents the story of the scholar Faust, tempted into a contract with the Devil in return for a life of sensuality and power. Enjoyment rules, until Faust's emotions are stirred by a meeting with Gretchen, and the tragic outcome brings Part 1 to an end. Part 2, written much later in Goethe's life, places his eponymous hero in a variety of unexpected circumstances, causing him to reflect on humanity and its attitudes to life and death.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Smallest Forest | 2/16/2014

    " Still a favorite of mine. This edition is the one I read at university, attracted both by the wonderfully readable text as well as Harry Clarke's illustrations...the first I'd seen. Clarke remains a major influence on me, illustration-wise, today. I re-read this book the other night, thoroughly enjoying it. Goethe makes me laugh out loud, his observations and tongue-in-cheek comments about people, about erudition, about religion and morality, are spot-on, delightful and relevant until today. Man talks of progress and the cat-apes in the witch's house titter with glee. Humanity hasn't progressed an inch. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Molly | 2/8/2014

    " This translation is horrible. It ruined Faust for me. I read Walter Arndt's arguments for a verse translation - all well and good - but I don't think he has the chops to pull it off. Meaning was not just "tyrannized," it was mangled. What torturous and terrible phrasing throughout. I am convinced that I would have rated this 4 or 5 stars had I read a good prose translation - I read much of Goethe's prose in the supplementary materials in the back and it is both clear and fresh. If only the poem itself could have reflected the same level of clarity and verve. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisa (Harmonybites) | 1/26/2014

    " Although it's been staged, Goethe's Faust is described as a "dramatic poem" and at least in the translation I've read (Walter Kaufman for Part One) reads much more to me like Milton than Shakespeare. Indeed, there are to my ear echoes of Milton--and The Book of Job for that matter--in the Prologue where God and the devil Mephistopheles have a discussion that results in putting the soul of Faust into play. A lot of the of the plot and even some lines were familiar to me from classical music. Operas by Gounod and Boito, an oratorio by Berlioz and German lied by Schubert and Schumann among other works were adapted from from Goethe. I really got a kick out of recognizing the inspiration for Gounod's "Jewel Song" and Schubert's "Gretchen at her Spinning Wheel." Most of those adaptations only deal with Part One of the two part work, and for good reason. Part One was mostly a joy to read. The language is often striking and gorgeous and only one small segment made me go huh? (The Walpurgis Night's Dream with the Wedding of Oberon and Titania, which didn't seem to contribute to the plot or theme.) Mephistopheles first shows up by Faust's side as a poodle, and he helps a lot in cutting a lot of Faust's often high-flown language with his acid sarcasm, and I actually found a lot of humor in the first part of the poem--such as the scene where Martha flirted with Mephistopheles. If I were rating just Part One, I'd give Faust five stars for an amazing read. Part Two is a different matter altogether. In the book featuring the Kaufman translation, only the first scene and the last Act of Part Two is included. In the introduction Kaufman defends this saying it is his "hope that those who who would like to enjoy Goethe's Faust--as opposed to those who want to be able to say that they have read it, all of it" should find his edition to their liking. Well, I'm stubborn--and I did want to read all of it. Among the reasons Faust was listed in Good Reading's "100 Significant Books." Faust isn't just a classic--it's a formative, incredibly influential classic, and I've found in tackling those you aren't just entertained--you're educated. So, I read Part Two in another edition and translation. And found Kaufman is right. Part Two isn't enjoyable. It seems almost an entirely different work without the Gretchen element and with long static, weird set pieces that include Faust involving himself with Helen of Troy. Indeed, Faust disappears for long stretches in this part--so much of which seemed bizarre. I didn't like Part Two much at all. And not just as a reader wanting to be entertained. If there's one thing I've learned about myself reading the classics, it is that I like a sense of unity and structure, and have held it against works such as Moby Dick, War and Peace and Les Miserables when they seem to go off the rails in self-indulgent pedantry and digressions. I adore Dante, and Dante is erudite--and his philosophy very much opposed to mine. But I'm awed by the structure of The Divine Comedy. Nothing, but nothing is superfluous--down to the rhyming scheme and the number of Cantos. I can't say the same of Faust, particularly Part Two. For me Part Two is just one big huh?? and incredibly tedious. Maybe I'm missing something, but no, I can't say I got a lot out of Part Two, thus why this is winding up with a much lower rating than if I were reviewing Part One alone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Karina | 1/10/2014

    " Had to read it in school. It's just incredible boring. "

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