Often considered the greatest epic in any modern language, Paradise Lost tells the story of the revolt of Satan, his banishment from Heaven, and the ensuing fall of Man with his expulsion from Eden. It is a tale of immense drama and excitement, of innocence pitted against corruption, of rebellion and treachery, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind’s destiny. The struggle ranges across heaven, hell, and earth, as Satan and his band of rebel angels conspire against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.
Written in blank verse of unsurpassed majesty, Paradise Lost is the work of a mastermind involved in a profound search for truth.
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Best Recording of Paradise Lost
This is BY FAR the best audiobook version of Paradise Lost out there. And that's saying something, as the recordings of Simon Vance, Nadia May, David Case, and Anton Lesser all are excellent and and critically acclaimed. Ralph Cosham hits it out of the park with this one, letting you get a feel for, above all, the rhythm of Milton's extraordinary blank verse, which no other version available gives you. However, he isn't below doing some character-acting as well, as long as the sense of the passage in question demands a particular tone. If you like your Milton light and fluffy, with Satan getting by turns fussy and declamatory, and Eve all in a meek girly voice like a character on stage, as I think some of the other reviewers do here--if you want this, go to other recordings. But if you want the real deal, the high argument, get Cosham's (much cheaper) version. That's not to say that Cosham is hard listening. On the contrary: Milton in general demands a lot, but Cosham's soothing, controlled, subdued voice (I have no clue how other reviewers heard anything scrannel [to use a Miltonic word for it] or shrill in Cosham, they must be writing about another version here by mistake), makes it much easier to listen to, and overall clarifies what other versions--whether through misplaced emphasis or wrong tone--scramble. It's simply the best Milton out there, whether your aim in listening is literary or religious.
Well done! Well done!
My job presents the ultimate test of good poetry reading. I drive a loud, rattling, ornery commercial truck, and through the din, I was able by Cosham's work, to understand and to savor the sweet verse of Milton's Paradise Lost.
Cosham, by the by, is also Geoffrey Howard, to me the great reader of CS Lewis. Lewis, as you may know, is always on the verge of poetry even in his prose, and Cosham/Howard conveys Lewis' style well.
I had forgotten the beauty of Milton's words...all incomparable...and spellbinding as read by Cosham. I listened mainly as I hiked local wooded trails over a period of several days. My surroundings disappeared; I felt transported. My new favorite literary work of all time.