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Download Ragnarok: The End of the Gods Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Ragnarok: The End of the Gods (Unabridged) Audiobook, by A. S. Byatt
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,283 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: A. S. Byatt Narrator: Harriet Walter Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN:
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In this brilliant retelling of the Norse myth about the end of the world, the award-winning author of Possession and The Children's Book unleashes a story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves. As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new life, whose dark, war-ravaged days feel very removed from the peace and love being preached in church and at school. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. She feels an instant kinship with these vivid, beautiful, terrifying tales of the end of the gods - they seem far more real, far more familiar during these precarious days. How could this child know that fifty years on, many of the birds and flowers she took for granted on her walks to school would become extinct? War, natural disaster, reckless gods, and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, Ragnarok is a landmark piece of storytelling from one of the most brilliant minds and speakers of our generation (The Independent). Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so A. S. Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Graham | 2/19/2014

    " Glad the Kindle has a dictionary. I met several words I did not know. So this enjoyable book expanded my vocabulary and my knowledge of Norse myth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Polgreen | 2/4/2014

    " A three of five rating for an A. S. Byatt book is basically a five of five ranking for any other book. Ragnarok was brilliant, but not my favorite of her works. Very worth reading for the stunning prose. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma | 1/30/2014

    " I just couldn't get into this book. I think it's mainly because I misunderstood the blurb and it was nothing like what I expected it to be like. I find it hard to read a book when I cannot connect emotionally with the characters. Byatt actually intentionally dehumanised the Gods (or didn't conform to the practise of giving them human qualities) and the Thin Child was a deliberately distant character. It meant that I struggled to care what happened. HOWEVER, I don't think this is the last time I will read this book. I sense that somewhere in there is a story that I have yet to find. The writing was superb and I believe the book deserves another reading. Perhaps I will like it more if the style and content doesn't take me off guard as it has done on this occasion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sps | 1/27/2014

    " Less of a novel than an epic poem. It's a paean to the world of the Norse gods but equally, and in parallel, a paean to the English natural world that is increasingly lost to development and environmental destruction. There are a lot of sentences that are just lyrical lists of what there was. So it's a kind of mind-painting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nelleke | 1/23/2014

    " About a young girl who's reading about asgard and the Gods, during WOII. It is based on the childhood of Byatt herself. Lots of scandinavian myths are being told in an interesting way, because the girl likes them. She doesn't like the idea of life after Ragnarok, because it is derived from christianity. But this is forgotten when the war ends and her father (who she thought was dead) returns. She did live her own kind of Ragnarok, with the good ending as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/21/2014

    " When I first picked this book up, I thought it was going to be one of those quick-reference factual books, the kind you can read in a day. Well, I did read it in a day, but it wasn't one of those books. For a girl so young the main character, the "thin child during wartime", has some very interesting opinions that I was able to ponder for some time after finishing. Overall a very appealing book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 PJ Ebbrell | 1/16/2014

    " A great re-telling of the Norse Myths alongside a child growing up in World War 2. Lovely design and layout with some illustrations. Great back up with further reading and an afterwards by the author talking abut this piece. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susannah Ewing boelke | 12/23/2013

    " None of her novels has quite rivaled my first favorite, Possession, but this was very close! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suitelady | 12/12/2013

    " it is okay ... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 10/12/2013

    " Not truly a retelling of myth, not truly a work of fiction, this is lush with detail and completely absorbing. I was sorry when there was no more left to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Trexsue | 9/13/2013

    " I'm not conversant with Nordic myths. It was interesting but somewhat confusing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alissa | 8/10/2013

    " Tooooo poetic for this girl, where are all the monsters and bombs?? Had to quit early and move on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nezka | 8/5/2013

    " Interesting work featuring the end of the Norse gods ... Byatt's essay on the use of myths in fiction was intriguing reading at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 2/2/2013

    " A.S. Byatt is an amazing author. This was an engrossing re-telling of the Ragnorak story, from the perspective of a little girl in WWII Britain. Totally worth the time to read it, even for people who may not enjoy mythology much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Simnitt | 9/4/2012

    " Gave me bad dreams, but I enjoyed this retelling of the Norse myth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire Haeg | 7/12/2012

    " Not my favourite of AS Byatt's works, but it's still wonderfully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma-Louise | 6/12/2012

    " A beautiful retelling of Norse mythology and Ragnarok set against the backdrop of the Second World War. Byatt's wonderfully descriptive writing is a sight to behold and to treasure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Linden | 5/17/2012

    " I don't know if this is fiction, mythology, memoir, or criticism. I just know it's good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Niki Mclaren | 4/6/2012

    " I wanted to like this, I really did. But it fell short. It read like a textbook, and while I did not mind learning about the gods I kept waiting for the story about the little girl to develop. All in all a 1.5/5. "

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About the Author

A. S. Byatt, a distinguished critic and author, was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge; Bryn Mawr College; and Somerville College, Oxford. In 1999 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Her other works include Possession, The Biographer’s Tale, and The Matisse Stories, among many others.

About the Narrator

Harriet Walter was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1989 for Best Actress in a Revival for her performances in Twelfth Night, A Question Of, and Three Sisters. In 1999 she was named a Commander of the Order of British Empire by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.