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3.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 5 3.10 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Unknown Narrator: A Full Cast Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781455173815
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This classic epic revolves around the battle between the Franks and the Moors in 778.

Though he has grown up in poverty in a cave in Italy, Roland is in fact descended from great heroes of old. Since his youth, his mother has taught him that someday he will be a brave hero like his father, Milon, and serve with the great army of his uncle, Charlemagne. When King Charlemagne comes to Italy, he rejoices to find his long-lost sister and nephew and gives them places of honor in his court. As Roland becomes a man and a knight, he embarks on a quest to the Far East and becomes the champion of the Princess of Cathay.

One of the great medieval “songs of great deeds,” this is a composite of several hero legends interlaced with Christian moral sentiments. A remarkable panorama of medieval life and thought, The Song of Roland truly reflects the spirit of the times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Song of Roland is not a chance assembly of popular tales: it is a deliberate and masterly work of art.”

    Dorothy L. Sayers

  • “No member of this cast is a household name, but all of them demonstrate high-quality dramatic skills in this presentation of the twelfth-century epic French poem considered by many to be the first great piece of French literature.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taegan | 2/16/2014

    " Read it for class. Good for a history book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kienie | 2/15/2014

    " On the one hand, the translation is great, it flows smoothly, and it's very vivid. On the other hand, most of the images are of war and death. Most of the language glorifies those who kill "the infidel" in God's name. Especially annoying is that the poet gets their "facts" about the "infidels" almost completely wrong. I also don't like Roland. He's arrogant, and in his arrogance he leads 20,000 men to their deaths. But still, it's a beautiful poem about a subject I find disgusting. So, middle of the road it is: 2.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kari | 2/12/2014

    " A medieval chanson de geste - song of deeds. Charlemegne's nephew and great warries is ambushed in battle, betrayed by Ganelon, at the Battle of Roncevals. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori Ann | 2/4/2014

    " i'm reading this for medieval lit class... i'll have more of an opinion on it once i'm finished "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin | 1/17/2014

    " You can appreciate it for its genre and for the history is embodies, but other than those sentimental reasons, there's nothing remarkable about this story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrian Colesberry | 1/16/2014

    " The violence is epic. Makes most video games look like Dr. Seuss books. But after all this gore, knights go to their fallen friends and weep... long, luxuriant descriptions of their weeping grief. Really shocking the first time, but why not?! Why shouldn't a man who's just seen his best friend from childhood literally cut in half lengthwise by a sword cry like a baby, kind of weird that he wouldn't. Fascinating if only for this copresentation of male aggression and male vulnerability. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lief | 1/10/2014

    " This classic chanson de geste helped lead to the emergence of the Romance as a literary art form in both France and England. In this particular Romance, Ganelon, one of Charlemagne's knights, plots the demise of Roland, one of Charlemagne's Twelve Peers. Almost all of the medieval/knights-in-shining-armor plot devices are present in this story including full on war, several descriptions of people dying in war, numerous accounts of weapons and armor with their own histories, and even a duel followed by some hangings. I liked this edition because it also includes the original French as well as the English translation. There are some nominal notes at the beginning of the text that give a brief history of the poem and a synopsis of the plotline, but I feel more could have been said, including how this poem spread to England and the influence it had there. Also, this particular work did not include any monstrous encounters, and the descriptions get a little repetitive, but otherwise I enjoyed reading _The Song of Roland_. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ranita Terroe | 12/22/2013

    " Lovely, chivalric poem. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles | 12/18/2013

    " Some of this is fairly hard reading for the modern reader but it certainly is important from an historical perspective and there are some compelling images. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ottilie | 12/17/2013

    " read for school..blah quiz "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Miranda | 12/14/2013

    " If you like books on blood and guts this is the book for you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cody Wells | 11/23/2013

    " why is this not more widely read? maybe the best picture of medieval chivalry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 11/22/2013

    " If you're in the mood for a historical epic. Go with Beowulf. Mountjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 8/15/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed the middles ages drama of the Song of Roland. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thera~ Rescuing you from sanity~ Dagorlin | 6/10/2011

    " Historically inaccurate. Outrageous. Superhumans. But y'know, Roland was better than Beowulf character-wise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith Davis | 7/10/2009

    " I love Medieval Literature and the Song of Roland is one of my favorites. The great paladin Roland makes his glorious stand to save Charlemagne's army from the Saracens and the traitorous Ganelon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rosalía | 5/13/2009

    " Like Beowulf, El Mio Cid, and The Nibelungenlied this epic poem is *meh* the older version of a shoot 'em up movie. If it weren't required reading for school, I'd probably never read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 4/3/2009

    " Pretty awesome as ancient epic poetry goes. Lots of dismemberment and grand speechifying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanna | 10/12/2007

    " Interesting read. As a classical studies student, fun to read with comparisons to Homer & Virgil in mind. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna | 2/7/2007

    " felt it necessary to read as a french major, but didn't get super amped on it. "

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