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Download The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh, by David Damrosch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (148 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Damrosch Narrator: William Hughes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Etched in the wedge-shaped letters known as cuneiform on clay tablets, the Epic of Gilgamesh stands as the earliest classic of world literature. Its earliest surviving fragments date back to the eighteenth century BC, more than 3,700 years ago. In The Buried Book, David Damrosch tells the story of George Smith, a self-taught linguist, who one momentous afternoon in 1872 was working at the British Museum, going through a pile of Layard’s clay tablets, when he suddenly realized that he was reading about “a flood, storm, a ship caught on a mountain, and a bird sent out in search of dry land.”

Daring adventurers, fearless explorers, ancient kings, gods, and goddesses come to life in this riveting story of the first great epic and its rediscovery in the nineteenth century.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Damrosch’s fascinating literary sleuthing will appeal to scholars and lay readers alike as they ponder the intricacies of cuneiform, the abuses heaped on the Iraqi Rassam and the working-class Smith by the Victorian class system, and recent Gilgamesh-inspired novels by Philip Roth and Saddam Hussein.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

  • “As astounding as the content of the Epic of Gilgamesh, in which the questing hero travels to the underworld and back, is the manner of its discovery and recovery…Damrosch’s summary narrative of the epic excels both in dramatization and thematic explanation…A superb and engrossing popular presentation.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “William Hughes reads with a lively tone that makes the story of the epic’s rediscovery as exciting as the epic itself, drawing readers into the lives and ambitions of Smith, who gradually grew into the role of archaeological explorer, and Hormuzd Rassam, who continued Smith’s work after his death.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Wendy Williams | 2/11/2014

    " I had high hopes for this book. There were parts that met those expectations, but not enough. I'm glad I read it though. Your mileage may vary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chuck Czeropski | 2/10/2014

    " "...A group of scribes working together between about 3300 and 3200 BCE to formulate the basic norms of a workable writing system.....It is only between 2600 and 2500 BCE, a century or two after Gilgamesh's death, that texts appear that can be called literature.....About 2100 BCE a few Sumerian kings begin to take a greater interest in literary production." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andrea | 2/6/2014

    " Interesting topic and reasonably well written. Damrosch tells the story backwards starting with the man who first deciphered the lost epic of Gilgamesh, linking him to the men who discovered the cuniform tablets, then to the ruler who collected the tablets in his library. It was a different approach to tell the tale in reverse, but to make sense of it, Damrosch had to fill in a few gaps, so in a few places he had to jump out of sequence and anticipate his next subject. It was a worthwhile effort, but I wonder how a traditional linear narrative would have worked? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jan | 1/27/2014

    " The story of the discovery of the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, which offers an earlier version of the Biblical account of the Great Flood. Fascinating stuff. The author could have spent less time on the life stories of the Victorian explorers/archeologists who made an industry out of uncovering Assyrian artifacts and more time on the actual archeological expeditions and discoveries, but that's a minor quibble. Now onwards to actually reading Gilgamesh, which I am ashamed to admit was not on my college reading list. "

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