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Paradise Lost

Written by: John Milton
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Classics, Poetry
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, who are motivated by all too human temptations but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.

Marked by Milton's characteristic erudition, Paradise Lost is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years, it has held generation upon generation of audiences in rapt attention, and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.

Public Domain (P)2009 Tantor

What the critics say

"If you’re in the mood for a heart-pounding morality tale, this is the book for you. This seventeenth-century classic has survived all these years for many reasons, not least of which is that it portrays Satan as a sympathetic hero. Narrator Simon Vance is equipped with a forceful British accent, which he uses to accentuate the text and bring the story to life. He subtly changes his tone and emphasis as the story moves from heaven to hell to earth, and he enables us to appreciate the story’s different personalities without providing character voices. Vance's most effective attribute is his ability to interpret epic poetry by delivering the lines with rhythm and superb pacing. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award." (AudioFile magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tony McClung
  • 2010-02-21

The most accessible reading of Paradise Lost

Simon Vance's pace and tone are excellent, infusing the verse with appropriate dramatic tones.

Naturally, the book is a classic. However, I never thought listening to Milton would be so rewarding.


39 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2016-11-19

Solid performance

Simon Vance always does a tremendous job. The poem itself can be dull at times, but the last few books of it were intense and vivid. It is a difficult read, but if you're into the subject matter, I would recommend

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mitchell Zimmerman, author of Mississippi Reckoning
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • 2016-11-06

Beautiful and intelligent reading

Milton's complex lines are read with articulate care, rendering even the most convoluted stanzas clear to the listener and drawing out their unique beauty effortlessly

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda D
  • Iowa
  • 2015-02-05

Wonderfully read audiobook.

This reading does justice to Milton's great poem.
I highly recommend it for those interested in Milton or already fans.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • NYC Amazon buyer
  • New York, NY
  • 2018-01-26

Brilliant, illuminating reading

Never was a fan of the poem before, but between teaching it to outstanding students at my school, and Simon Vance’s superlative performance, I’m a convert. Vance does an extraordinarily deft job of balancing erudition, elegance and poetic instinct; a wonderfully sensitive read by the perfect voice for this work.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • 2017-06-14

Worthwhile purchase

If you're interested in Paradise Lost, then you should already know what you're in for. It's not the most riveting story in the world. This performance doesn't do much to help that; the voice is monotone and may put you to sleep. But I found the voice clear and easy to understand (because it emphasizes all the right parts in Milton's convoluted syntax, it's easier to follow than reading in print). And the audiobook was a good recording -- no weird volume changes and a steady pace. Overall I'd say it was a good purchase and I'd buy it again.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Corvin Rok
  • Mesa AZ, USA
  • 2016-02-19

brilliant and beautiful

a masterpiece of the English language. Milton is the modern Homer and has crafted a poetic epic the scale and import of the Iliad.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Handyman
  • Sharonville, OH USA
  • 2018-09-01

Excellent reading of the great poem

With this recording, I've found it better to understand and enjoy Paradise Lost than reading it for myself. To get the full texture, I slowed it down to 0.9 speed in the Audible app.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-12

on par with Dante

What Dante did for the afterlife, Milton does for the beginning of Life. Read this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rodney cron
  • 2015-05-08

I love this book.

Paradise Lost is written in Old English fashion and the only way to enjoy it completely is to listen to it with a narrator that can capture that certain finesse. I would highly recommend it.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful