Monday, July 01, 2013

Canterbury Tales

Blacksttone Audio has since released a new version of Canterbury Tales. It is obvious why. Fred Williams seems to be struggling to read this version. At times he gets in the groove, but then gets back to the stuttering delivery. The translation here is nicely done, with most of the rhyme retained.

However, the translation didn't even bother with the prose sections. Even though the recording was "unabridged", it was an unabridged recording of an abridged translation. Ugghh.

As for the tales themselves, they show a great deal of diversity. We get a long tale of battles in ancient Greece. Then we get some bawdy tales of pg-13 gross-out humour. Add in a heavy dose of marriage comedy, and we have would be a near complete listing of movies playing in a modern cinema multiplex. And, to keep things interesting, there is the dialog tying all the different stories together. They give us prologues telling us about themselves and their tales. We even get the Miller and the Reve being offended at each other and making sure the next tale is more offensive them the first. Some prologues even seem to approach the length of the tale itself. The stories also have the air of "realism" to them, with some cutting off after they have reached their main point.

The stories are quite appealing (and they should be if they have lasted so many milenia.) The actual production here, alas, has much to be desired.

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