King Lear: Arkangel Shakespeare Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
This shattering drama of isolation and loss is one of the greatest tragedies in world literature.
King Lear of Britain has three daughters: the hard-hearted Goneril and Regan, and the good and gentle Cordelia. He determines to divide his kingdom between them, giving the largest share to she who can say she loves him the best. Lear's tragic lack of judgment and self-knowledge is paralleled by the blindness of the loyal Gloucester who is persuaded to reject his virtuous son, Edgar, in favor of the villainous Edmund.
Lear is played by Trevor Peacock and Gloucester by Clive Merrison. Penny Downie is Goneril, Samantha Bond is Regan, and Julia Ford is Cordelia. Edgar is played by David Tennant, Edmund by Gerard Murphy, and the Fool by John Rogan.
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|Listening Length||3 hours and 8 minutes|
|Narrator||Trevor Peacock, Clive Merrison, full cast|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 19, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #152,394 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#120 in Shakespeare Plays
#700 in Shakespeare Dramas & Plays
#4,715 in Classic Literature (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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I have listened to other audiobooks from Arkangel Shakespeare (Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet;Hamlet) and liked them, so I purchased their King Lear audiobook with confidence. It was worth it.
The sound effects (sword fighting, chains, etc.) were good. They did not overwhelm at all. Some of the music played in between scenes was weird, though.
The pacing was just fine with me. The performers didn't say their lines too fast nor too slow. It is only a problem if you aren't paying attention.
The performances were top notch with feeling and not over-wrought. I think some lines could have been said with more emotion (Lear's final meeting with his eldest daughters, for example), but they didn't bring down the whole play.
Last, but not least, the audiobook stayed faithful to the text. I think they used one of the folios. Anyone know which one?
Overall, I recommend this for high schoolers encountering Shakespeare for the first time, those who can't see the play live, and for the slow readers and mind wanderers. Enjoy!
The cast was well chosen for this production, although it's heavy-handedness makes for some slow and quieter performances. Samantha Bond shines as the virtueous Cordelia and David Tennant gives a fantastic, if not somewhat subdued performance, as Edgar and Poor Tom. The music between each new scene and act can be a little tiresome, but overall, the production is a well-collaborated one.
I do not favor tragedies as a rule, but I do recommend this play to someone who finds them appealing or wishes to have a well-rounded understanding of Shakespeare's plays.