Read by Jonathan Keeble
Lord Byron’s satirical take on the legend of Don Juan is a moving and witty poem that sees the young hero in a reversal of roles. Juan sheds his image as a womaniser and instead becomes the victim of circumstance as he is relentlessly pursued by every woman he meets. Comprising seventeen cantos of rhyming iambic pentameter, the poem is a crisp and accessible meditation on the madness of the world.
Running Time: 15 h 20 m
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ISBN: 978-1-84379-942-9 Digital ISBN: 978-1-84379-943-6 Cat. no.: NA0223 CD RRP: $73.98 USD Download size: 236 MB BISAC: POE005020
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Byron never managed to finish this epic, but Jonathan Keeble narrates right up to the end of what did get done. This may be the only classic poem that rhymes ‘Euxine’ (a classical name for the Black Sea) with ‘pukes in’, but Keeble keeps up with the shifting moods and tones, which range from expressions of pure romantic love to snarky commentary on British politics (and poetic politics) of the 1820s. Keeble doesn’t overstress the rhyme or meter of Byron’s eight-line stanzas and goes over the top with emotions only when the text calls for it. This is, after all, mostly a comedic story, and although the jokes are almost two centuries old, Keeble keeps them fresh.
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.
Over this last week I listened to all seventeen cantos here in this version from Naxos, narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Believe me when I tell I couldn’t get enough of it. I suspect that you might have the same reaction. Not only did I hear it out, all twelve discs – I turned around and went back and started listening all over again. That’s how it stole up on me.
The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities