Extended Audio Sample

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Unabridged), by Simon Armitage
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 4.49 (4,673 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Armitage Narrator: Bill Wallis Publisher: AudioGO Format: Unabridged Audiobook Audio Length: Release Date:
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The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous Northern England poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage. This audiobook features a brilliant reading of the translation by Bill Wallis; as a bonus, Wallis also masterfully tackles the poem in its original Middle English text.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager. The virtuous Gawain accepts and then decapitates the intruder with his own axe. Gushing blood, the knight reclaims his head, orders Gawain to seek him out a year hence, and departs. Next Yuletide, Gawain dutifully sets forth. His quest for the Green Knight involves a winter journey, a seduction scene in a dream-like castle, a dire challenge answered, and a drama of enigmatic reward disguised as psychic undoing.

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Listener Reviews

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Josiah | 2/20/2014

    " It was hard to read, but well rewarding. An excellent example of Arthurian literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Adam Gutschenritter | 2/16/2014

    " I read this at the advise of a friend. I found myself loving Sir Orfeo the most of the stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Lisa | 2/14/2014

    " I love these medieval chivalric stories, especially Orfeo, but the language was very archaic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Antoine | 2/3/2014

    " Though I yield to none as a Tolkien fan, and (as he also did with Beowulf) Tolkien "wrote the book" on the Gawain Poet, I find that this translation is not a clear lens through which to view the original poem. It seems almost as if Tolkien was unwilling to drag the poem all the way into modern English, or was trying to preserve some elements of the distinctive midlands dialect in which it was written. Either the way, the results are difficult and challenging; one feels it might almost be better to simply assault the original armed with a good glossary... maybe Tolkien's, in fact. Otherwise... might I suggest the Penguin translation? "

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About the Narrator

Bill Wallis has performed in over two hundred radio series and plays, while among his numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company are The Alchemist, The Master Builder, and Twelfth Night. He is also a prolific film and television actor, having made numerous appearances in such productions as Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Midsomer Murders, Bad Girls, Doctors, Poirot, and as Dr. Nick MacKenzie in Dangerfield.