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Paradise Lost Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, Classical

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos Audio Books; abridged edition edition (March 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626340029
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626340028
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 15.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #888,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


[A]n exemplary job both of presenting the major topics of Paradise Lost and of entering the selva oscura of Milton criticism... Students and scholars alike will appreciate the balanced approach to the complexities, difficulties, and conundrums of Milton's poem and the criticism on it. Kastan's prose is not just lively but chiseled, and it is destined to affect students. --Patrick Cheney, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 Kastan is an exemplary editor, attuned to emerging critical currents, yet steeped in the scholarship of an earlier tradition, aware of the text's provenance and reception, alert to its topicality. His introduction, a model of theoretically informed, politically committed, historically grounded criticism, makes this edition of Paradise Lost all you would expect from one of the most erudite and perceptive figures in the field. --Willy Maley, Modern Language Review This is a superb edition, a model of careful editing and judicious annotation. --Leslie Brisman, Department of English, Yale University --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

About the Author

John Alvis is Professor of English at the University of Dallas and the Institute for Philosophic Studies. David Scott Kastan is the Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

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First Sentence
This first book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject: man's disobedience and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was placed; then touches the prime cause of his fall, the serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent, who, revolting from God and drawing to his side many legions of angels, was by the command of God driven out of Heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Claude Yates on July 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is an ABRIDGED VERSION. does not mention that anywhere in the promotion.
What's on the CD is good. But there are whole 'Books' (Chapters) 'paraphrased'.
It's like buying the 13 oz. pound of coffee.
Coffee's great, it's just not what was represented to be.
Worth 13.99, but know it's not the whole thing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Ott on Aug. 14 2003
Format: Audio CD
Let's face it. Reading Milton is no cakewalk. Oscar Wilde once said a writer was a "prose Milton" then added, "but so is Milton." That's why Anton Lesser's reading is genius. It's so genius, it demonstrates the genius of Milton. Laura Paton can't quite match Anton in his Shakespearean crispness and demonic force, but she only reads the few speeches of Eve.
Yes, it's an abridged version. But when they say abridged, they barely mean it. Whole books are included on the three (THREE!) CDs and ones that aren't read fully are here in Milton's own summaries. I recommend getting the NORTON CRITICAL EDITION OF PARADISE LOST to read along with this (although everything that's read is included in a booklet that also comes (!) with the CDs. The Norton Crit has the full text (should you want it) along with good footnotes and essays.
This is all so well done and so mindbogglingly cheap for how long it is (four hours!), I'm a little baffled why I hadn't heard of it before. Every English teacher will tell you that Milton should be read aloud. So why not have Anton Lesser do it for you? He does it so dern well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 11 1999
Format: Library Binding
I am only 16 years old, and I read this book for interest's sake last fall. I liked it so much that I asked for it for Christmas--and got two copies! This book is a masterpiece. Though many people consider Shakespeare to be an even greater literary genius than Milton, I think that Milton was the best of the time. His ideas and the way that he fills out the story is amazing. He has so many unique ideas and thoughts! I had to stop all the time during this book to ponder the truths of what Milton wrote. I definately recommend this book--to readers of any age!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1667, blind, thought to be at the end of his life, Milton composed one of the greatest epics in the English language. Much debated, much imitated, there no epics yet written that have equaled Paradise Lost. Milton wrote in blank verse (poetry without rhyme)that continues to amaze readers with his grasp of what the English language could do; only Shakespeare had a keener grasp.
Divided in to twelve books, Paradise Lost starts off showing us a vision of hell quite different of Dante's in that Hell is described not so much a place but an environment one's self creates.("The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.)Throughout the first four books we see the fall, Heaven, Hell, all through Satan's perspective. The last eight books are centered on the parents of mankind Adam and Eve. Reader may find their own intentions and philosophies on life brought to the surface in reading this book; look to finding which side one sympathizes with: Heaven, Hell, or Adam and Eve? Milton shows his genius in getting each side's thought processes to the forefront. I remember in book X relating with Adam and Eve in their debate following the fall.
Readers may find the language difficult, but if they have prepared themselves by reading a little of Shakespeare and a little of John Donne, it will be considerably easier. Don't allow the language to daunt you, it's worth it!
As to which edition to buy, you have two options: if you're poor, (like me) you'll probably want to go with the Penguin edition; it has good notes, and the introduction is okay. If you have a bit more cash on you go with the Norton Critical Edition edited by Scott Elledge; it has excellent notes, and includes a wide body of analysis on Milton by many different authors.
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By bixodoido on March 17 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is impossible to rate a classic like this. This epic poem about the Garden of Eden spans everything from the Creation of the world to the war in Heaven to Satan's fall into Hell, and also touches on the entire history of Israel. The poem is absolutely beautiful, and Adam and Eve are presented in such a way as to seem truly innocent before the fall and prone to sin after the fall (though they are also much wiser). Everything, from Satan's temptation to Adam and Eve being consumed by lust immediately after eating the fruit, is portrayed in a very remarkable and real way.

This work is supremely enlightening, especially for Christian readers. Milton retains a touch of Classical mythology, yet integrates it in such a way as to fit into the Christian story. With this poem, Milton successfully equated himself with such masters of the epic as Homer and Virgil (which was his aim, as declared in book one). I cannot praise this epic or its sublime effect enough , so I will content myself by saying that this is one poem that everyone should read, for both its scholarly and its religious value.
"The Mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n" (book 1, 254-255)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I came to this work by Milton as a literary layman: I know next to nothing about the art of literature. I am also an atheist, to the core, yet this work, based entirely on Christianity, has much appeal for me. I think I can safely say that I've never come across so many convincing descriptions and arguments about various aspects of human nature, and they are arguments expressed in sometimes achingly beautiful verse.
Nevertheless, I found this book very difficult; my memory (needed for long sentences) and my understanding were probably stretched to the limit. You've to be constantly on your mental toes, which is the reader's shortcoming, not the author's, it needn't be said. But it was entirely worth it, both for what I believe is my increased understanding or appreciation of some aspects of human nature, and for those moments when certain thoughts were expressed in certain ways.
There is also an hilarious moment in this book between Satan and various Angels he is waging war against.
I shall make a point of reading this book 3 or 4 more times in my life, and I think I shall enjoy it more each time. But you should know that it is very intellectual.
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