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Gilgamesh cover art

Gilgamesh

Written by: Stephen Mitchell - translator
Narrated by: George Guidall
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Publisher's Summary

This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.

In the ancient city of Uruk, the tyrannical King Gilgamesh tramples citizens "like a wild bull". The gods send an untamed man named Enkidu to control the ruthless king, but after fighting, Enkidu and Gilgamesh become great friends and embark on a series of adventures. They kill fearsome creatures before Enkidu succumbs to disease, leaving Gilgamesh despondent and alone. Eventually, Gilgamesh moves forward, and his quest becomes a soul-searching journey of self-discovery.

Mitchell's treatment of this extraordinary work is the finest yet, surpassing previous versions in its preservation of the wisdom and beauty of the original.

©2004 Stephen Mitchell (P)2004 Recorded Books LLC

What the critics say

"Stephen Mitchell's Gilgamesh is a wonderful version....This is certainly the best that I have seen in English." (Harold Bloom)
"Here is a flowing, unbroken version that reads as effortlessly as a novel....Vibrant, earnest, unfussibly accesible....The muscular eloquence and rousing simplicity of Mitchell's four-beat line effectively unleashes the grand vehemence of the epic's battle scenes." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Mitchell seeks language that is as swift and strong as the story itself. He conveys the evenhanded generosity of the original poet....This wonderful new version of the story of Gilgamesh shows how the story came to achieve literary immortality: not because it is a rare ancient artifact, but because reading it can make people in the here and now feel more completely alive." (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about Gilgamesh

Average Customer Ratings
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I enjoyed this

A majority of this 'book's' length is the interpreter's 'book report' regarding the epic and his handling of this version

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1 person found this helpful

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A timeless Epic of the fear of death

A superb story of love, grief, and search for meaning. As true today as it was more than 3 thousand years ago. The Epic is followed in this audiobook by an essay analyzing the story, which I found helpful even if a little repetitive.

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well do e

clear diect solid interpretation. brings it all home with a nice conclusion. east to listen too

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Should come with explicit warning

I know this is a historic document but it should come with an advisory because it is pretty explicit. I went to listen to this with my kids for school and it was shocking!

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