Byron's exuberant masterpiece tells of the adventures of Don Juan, a handsome and charming young man naturally gifted with the ladies. After his first illicit love affair at the age of 16 in his native Spain, he is exiled to Italy. Following a dramatic shipwreck, his exploits take him to Greece, where he is sold as a slave, and to Russia, where he becomes a favorite of the Empress Catherine, who sends him on to England.Written in ottava rima stanza form, Byron's Don Juan blends high drama with outrageous farce. Sprinkled with digressions on wealth, power, society, chastity, poets, and England, Don Juan is a poetical novel of satirical fervor and wit.More
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Appalling reading - what a complete waste of time
It's a bad start when the reader mispronounces the name of the title character - Byron's character is not 'hwan', he is 'joo-an', and there are several other mispronunciations of names. But that can be ignored. What can't be ignored is that the reader breaks up the poem by giving the number of the stanza before reading each one - It makes the whole thing feel like an extraordinarily long shopping list rather than an epic poem. Added to that, the rustling of paper, a speaking style that is very old-fashioned (how old is the recording?!) and a complete lack of awareness of the inherent rhyme and rhythm of the poem.
Unfortunately it seems to be the only full recording of this poem available, but I have to say it would be better not to bother with it.
500 pages of snark
- Chris Lilly