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The Metamorphoses

Written by: Ovid
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An undeniable masterpiece of Western Civilization, The Metamorphoses is a continuous narrative that covers all the Olympian legends, seamlessly moving from one story to another in a splendid panorama of savage beauty, charm, and wit. It marked the first attempt to link all of the Homeric and pre-Homeric myths into a single work and to carry the entire chronology into the Roman pantheon. All of the gods and heroes familiar to us are represented. Such familiar legends as Hercules, Perseus and Medusa, Daedelus and Icarus, Diana and Actaeon, and many others, are breathtakingly recreated.

Ovid was probably the most popular of all the Roman poets during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and his verse was the inspiration for countless artistic and literary masterpieces of the time. Shakespeare, Bernini, and Rubens were only a few of those who mined his work to extraordinary effect.

Ovid has left mankind a magnificent achievement, and his sparkling poetry is a tour de force of Homeric and Roman myth. As Ovid himself wrote: "As long as Rome is the eternal city, these lines shall echo from the lips of men."

©2006 Audio Connoisseur

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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A Tale as Old as Time

I know it's wrong to judge and criticize a piece of art or literature without taking into account the context in which it was written, and so, I will play by my own rules. Ovid's Metamorphosis is a expansive piece of poetry that details the misbehaving of all the gods and does so in a powerful way. The in and outs and gossip surrounding all the lives of Greece's myths is enthralling, detailed, and quite well written.

Charlton Griffin gives great gravitas to all the stories. If you're a classics fan, this is certainly one you won't want to miss.

That being said, oh my gods I am so happy to be finished reading this glorified rape list.

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  • Coach of Alva
  • Ardmore, OK, United States
  • 2014-01-23

Charlton Griffin's Metamorphoses

I listened to Charlton Griffin read an obscure translation of the Odyssey last year and came to love the poem after years of resistance. He excelled in that reading in conveying the voices of wily warriors and lowly peasants. Here he is reading a very different poet. He makes Ovid sound urbane, "cool," "hip." The poet wallowed in stories of emotional distress and extreme passion and deeds of bloods. Griffin tells these stories with relish. He doesn't create a vivid gallery of distinct characters the way Robert Whitfield did in his great reading of Don Quixote but he slip into Ovid's characters, men and women, in a quiet, smooth manner that doesn't call attention to itself, letting the hearer following along without any inconsistency of tone to jar him or her out of the story. If I got tired at times of the reading, it was because I listened to this long poem in a short time, instead of drawing it out and savoring it more. A fine performance.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 2012-02-21

Caviar to the general?

A few negative (almost scathing) reviews of this recording gave me pause before I clicked to purchase, but I am so glad I ultimately ignored this (very bad) advice. This recording is a true gem. It is a GORGEOUS translation wonderfully read. I listened to the whole thing through twice in a row, and will surely revisit it soon. But first, onto Mr. Griffin's reading of Horace ... can't wait!

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • IPEVOINC
  • Sunnyvale, CA USA
  • 2013-05-24

Not that translation mentioned in Amazon reviews

I think this source of audio book was translated by Horace Gregory, link as follow:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Metamorphoses-ebook/dp/B00328ZUO8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369420126&sr=1-1&keywords=horace+gregory

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim Kane
  • Chula Vista
  • 2007-06-24

Excellent Myth Overview

I'm big mythology fan and this poem fit the bill. I loved it so much that I went out and bought the text so I could read along. Ovid has some stunning tales. Many that I already knew, and some intriguing new ones. There is plenty of blood and gore. The only downside might be books 9-11 which can get a bit raunchy. Otherwise, this is a must for any myth buff.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • brett
  • moraga, CA, United States
  • 2008-02-10

Solid

This is a solid well done production. The narration was very good. The central theme of this epic poem is "things that change" and this is the thread which interconnects all of the various tales. Its full of very colorful stories and loaded with fanciful creatures and all the gods are there. Loads of beautiful Nymphs hanging about in the glades and shores of quiet pools...

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 2014-08-13

Cha-cha-cha-Changes

Ovid -- the David Bowie of Latin literature. I chewed on this book of myth-poems the entire time I was tramping around Rome. I was looking for the right words to describe my feelings about it. It isn't that I didn't like it. It is an unequivocal masterpiece. I'm amazed by it. I see Ovid's genes in everything (paintings, sculptures, poems and prose). He is both modern and classic, reverent and wicked, lovely and obscene all at once. It is just hard to wrestle him down. To pin my thoughts about 'the Metamorphoses' into words. Structure really fails me.

That I guess is the sign for me of a book's depth or success with me. It makes me wish I could read it in the original form. I'm not satisfied with Dante in English. I want him in Italian. I'm not satisfied with Ovid in English. I want to experience his poetry, his playfulness, his wit in Latin.

I still prefer the poetry of Homer and Dante, but Ovid isn't embarrassed by the company of the greats; so not Zeus or Neptune, but maybe Apollo.

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Eve Howard
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 2018-08-07

The Best of the Best

This is the version of the Greek myths that stuck, and for good reason. It's a delight and a wonder. It reads like a novel, feels like a romance, is full of anthropological surprises, defines nature, and introduces psychology, all against a backdrop of monumental action. Charlton Griffin is a masterful reader, who dramatizes these fabulous stories to perfection. The cataclysmic descriptions of creation, chaos, war and love, unfold like the most elaborately graphic CGI effects in the most spectacular epic ever filmed, that's how vivid this book is, with respect to the physical and supernatural world. As for the gods and goddesses - here's where the battle of the sexes began. In short, this Roman classic, penned by the poet who survived the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius - but not Nero, is a jewel for the ages.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ron Peters
  • 2017-06-03

A magnificent overview of Greco-Roman mythology

I would have loved to have met and spoken with Ovid, especially after he was banished from Rome. What a wit and a charmer he must have been! :-) His Arts of Love will always be one of my favourites, even though it often gets put down by critics.

I think the Horace Gregory translation, used here, is the best. And it is also one of the cheapest, available in the Signet Classic edition. (I wish they would tell you, right in the description, that this is the Gregory translation!)

Charlton Griffin has a great voice, and does a good job here. He does make mistakes in his reading, which were not corrected in this production, and makes a noticeable number of mispronunciations, which are mildly distracting.

In my opinion, this translation is so good that it makes up for any of these deficiencies, and then some. I think this is the best you can buy on audio from here.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • BradBrad
  • SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States
  • 2016-04-11

Baby steps...

Any additional comments?

I wanted to get listen to Ovid's classic text to understand some of Shakespeare's references more easily- I can't say I was entirely successful- stopped 1/3 of the way through- but I will likely pick it back up again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DC
  • Gainesville, FL, US
  • 2019-03-03

Terrific Narraration

Griffin does a terrific job narrating. He breathes life into each character without taking away from the majesty that is Ovid. Worth the price. I would say it is the best Audio version on Ovid performed by a single narrator.