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Download The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Peter Ackroyd
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (762 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Ackroyd Narrator: Keith Moore, Toby Leonard Moore, Colin McPhillamy, John Curless, John Keating, Graeme Malcolm, Davina Porter, Steven Crossley Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN:
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Author Peter Ackroyd has won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Whitbread Novel of the Year, and the Guardian Fiction Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Based on Geoffrey Chaucer's immortal work, this retelling of The Canterbury Tales follows a party of travelers as they tell stories amongst themselves about love and chivalry, saints and legends, travel and adventure. Through allegory, satire, and humor, the tales help pass the time during their journey.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Hendricks | 2/16/2014

    " The best version/translation of Chaucer I've ever read...it flows smoothly, and keeps the flavour of the period...get it for your shelf, read a chapter, then put it back on the shelf and savor the moment... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 2/10/2014

    " I should probably give this 4 stars for its historical importance, but I just didn't like Chaucer's focus on women's infidelity. Yes, Chaucer delivers a variety of tales delivered by people from a several walks of life. However, the women were portrayed as unfaithful, greedy liars (with the exception of a couple of tales of female saints). I should probably work harder to understand the portrayal of women in the historical context, but I was mainly annoyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Dinger | 2/7/2014

    " I find it very hard to believe that this book is read in colleges and high schools considering how it is full of pornography. I did check the original as I read this translation (Ackroyd calls it a re telling, but it is pretty close to the original.)and sure enough it is in the original. Well to all those high schoolers that had to read this in school, go back and read the original, you won't be sorry. The church and knights come off badly, no one trusts their wives and why would they when they considered them a part of their property. The custom of courtly love is evidenced here, as is the frequent straying that went on with this practice. This is well worth seeking out to see what kind of life was lived then,and how ours really isn't that much different. The church is still full of controversy, and very few marriages last longer than a few years. "

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

    " Picked this copy of the Canterbury Tales up to get at the stories, which it does quite adequately, but it is done in prose and so something of this classic is lost. I will take the time with the poetry. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alex | 1/21/2014

    " If this helps to introduce more people to Chaucer, that's fine. But you really don't have to be Peter Ackroyd to concoct a "Chaucer for Dummies" book like this one. Yes, it's an easy read - so is anything written in short, simple sentences. But it's missing both the music of Chaucer's verse and the elegance of Ackroyd's prose. Were it not for the indiscriminate use of modern english profanities, this'd be a great present for a fifth-grader - it's that kind of "readable book". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Murdoch | 1/15/2014

    " I had to study the Prologue from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales more than 40 years ago when I was doing A Level English. It was somewhat frustrating, because it would have been interesting to have been able to read and study the rest of the stories in the cycle. With this book, Peter Ackroyd translates the stories (they are in Early English, which is virtually imposssible to read and understand if you have no background or some knowledge of this.) There are verse translations, for example, the famous Neville Coghill version (which, if my memory serves me.) we used at college. But this new version puts the stories into prose, and Ackroyd presents the stories in short-story form, thus making them more accessable to all. He does a remarkable job of it and I can highly recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 1/15/2014

    " If I had actually understood this in high school I would have liked it. It took me 30 more years until I picked it up again, only because it was in modern English. What a delightful (and raunchy) bunch of characters! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/14/2014

    " This retelling of Chaucer's famous work is a joy to read. I have never tried to read the original piece, but imagine it's as funny, dirty and seedy as this work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 1/12/2014

    " Mr. Ackroyd did a very good job translating the story. It was very easy to read and I understood exactly what was happening. However, I'm not a big fan of the Tales themselves. Some of them were boring, others had graphic sex scenes, and a couple were just plain strange. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Kendall-Jones | 12/7/2013

    " A retelling in modern language and format that has made Chaucer's classic even ruder than when you don't know the exact meanings of the original! An enthralling insight into Medieval thought and morality. I really enjoy Mr. Ackroyd's books and he hasn't let me down with this one either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Livesey | 11/22/2013

    " I hate Chaucer, but I gave this edition three stars. It's a good retelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh-ann | 10/23/2013

    " What a fabulous surprise this book has been! I picked it up from the "New Releases" section at the library on a whim, not knowing whether or not I'd actually read it, but knowing I was never exposed to Chaucer's original in college. I'm loving it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 9/15/2013

    " Really brings the Canterbury Tales to life in a way that refuses to let you look the other way and pretend it's not a dirty, dirty book. :) Until I read this version I didn't realize I liked Chaucer... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaylia3 | 7/15/2013

    " A fun new edition of one of my favorite books. Reading this translation (retelling) I kept feeling I was reading about people I already knew--the pilgrims sound and act like people you might meet on the street. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 11/15/2012

    " Several times while reading this I asked myself if the stories would be worthwhile without their literary historical context. Yes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 10/24/2012

    " It was so fun reading this book! I'd picked this up last Christmas at home (my dad's copy). I remember reading some of these stories in an illustrated children's book, so it was fun reading the adult version. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice Paterra | 7/29/2012

    " A fabulous re-telling, faithful and enjoyable. A Canterbury Tales for everyone, not just English majors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsti Cady | 2/14/2012

    " Absolutely loved this retelling. A good way to fully understand the tales. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 11/23/2011

    " I'm glad I finally read some version of the Canterbury Tales but I didn't think this was particulary well written or interesting. "

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About the Author
Author Peter AckroydPeter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake, and Thomas More, and of the bestselling London: The Biography. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, The Guardian Fiction prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the South Bank Award for Literature. He lives in London.