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Summary

From his remarkable debut The Hawk in the Rain (1957) to his death in 1998, Ted Hughes was a colossal presence in the English literary landscape. He was also admired as a performer of his own work.

Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes' masterful versions of stories from Ovid's Metamorphoses, includes those of Phaeton, Actaeon, Echo and Narcissus, Procne, Midas and Pyramus and Thisbe as well as many others.

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. The Hawk in the Rain was published by Faber and Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children, including Wolfwatching (1989). He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for both Tales from Ovid (1997) and Birthday Letters (1998). He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.

©2016 Estate of Ted Hughes (P)1997 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"A breathtaking book .... To compare his versions with the Latin is to be awestruck again and again by the range and ingenuity of his poetic intelligence." (John Carey, Sunday Times)
"Hughes is as broad as Ovid and as subtle, as violent and as erotic, as elegant and as folksy - and often all at the same time. It is simply a beautiful match.... Tales from Ovid...is the greatest poem of Classical inspiration probably since the Cantos. It will live as one of the great works of our century." (Michael Hofmann, The Times)
"Magnificent.... Ovid's Metamorphoses captured the European imagination from Chaucer onwards and Hughes's treatment brings them back into the centre of our minds.... His tales are not so much a version as a reliving." (P. J. Kavanagh, Daily Telegraph)

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What listeners say about Tales from Ovid

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Re-Telling (Just not complete)

Ted Hughes’ work is incredible, lively and rich in detail but it’s just a shame that the audio book doesn’t include all the chapters of the physical copy. One would assume this is because of the graphic content of those specific chapters but nevertheless, a great book that is well worth the read/listen

10 people found this helpful

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Rich mellifluous storytelling

Hughes’s own voice wonderfully complements his words.
Great stories which were such a part of our culture retold in Hughes’s prose which flows like poetry with such use of language
I decided to listen to something great as a distraction from the third rate news/politics that surrounds us

5 people found this helpful

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Takes of ovid

Disappointed in the format. If l had seen the layout or lack of layout l would no t have purchased it. I would have liked to have had to have had a visual list of the stories not just a non informative list of chapters. Had l paid the full price l would have asked for my money back

4 people found this helpful

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not all of the tales are included!!

not all of the tales are included!! Phaeton, hercules,.. left out. Realised this after buying..

13 people found this helpful

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Masterly

Theses are some of the finest pieces Hughes ever wrote and his reading of them is simply splendid: so meaningful, so dramatic and so sensuous.

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If Only There Were A Sequel

After reading Ted Hughes' translation of the Oresteia by Aeschylus, I could not wait to sink my teeth into more mythological content stunningly rendered in Hughes' intricate & visceral language. My only disappointment is that not all of Ovid was translated by the master

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Missing stories

I very much enjoyed Ted narrating Ovid. It is just a shame some of the stories from the physical book are missing.