Paradise Lost

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(4.4 stars; 311 reviews)

Paradise Lost is the first epic of English literature written in the classical style. John Milton saw himself as the intellectual heir of Homer, Virgil, and Dante, and sought to create a work of art which fully represented the most basic tenets of the Protestant faith. His work, which was dictated from memory and transcribed by his daughter, remains as one of the most powerful English poems. (Summary by Caeristhiona)

This is a recording of the text of Milton’s first edition of 1667, which had ten books, unlike the second edition (1674) which was redivided into twelve books in the manner of Virgil’s Aeneid. See Wikipedia entry.
(9 hr 41 min)


Book One, Part 1 25:15 Read by Owen
Book One, Part 2 25:48 Read by J A Carter
Book Two, Part 1 24:04 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Book Two, Part 2 29:17 Read by Cori Samuel
Book Three, Part 1 19:08 Read by Greg Bryant
Book Three, Part 2 21:13 Read by Greg Bryant
Book Four, Part 1 32:25 Read by Catharine Eastman
Book Four, Part 2 29:58 Read by Cori Samuel
Book Five, Part 1 21:54 Read by Clayton J. Smith
Book Five, Part 2 25:00 Read by J A Carter
Book Six, Part 1 19:24 Read by Rosalind Wills
Book Six, Part 2 27:53 Read by Eric Ray
Book Seven, Part 1 37:26 Read by Onjana Yawnghwe
Book Seven, Part 2 36:24 Read by hefyd
Book Eight, Part 1 26:39 Read by Greg Bryant
Book Eight, Part 2 35:38 Read by Greg Bryant
Book Nine, Part 1 32:35 Read by hefyd
Book Nine, Part 2 28:19 Read by hefyd
Book Ten, Part 1 37:28 Read by Kurt Wong
Book Ten, Part 2 45:28 Read by J A Carter


Wow!- Paradise Lost- just awesome

(5 stars)

This book is just fantastic. I've never read anything better, and although the narration is slow at points, it is almost flawless, with the voice actor going to great lengths to change voices to differentiate characters. Well done!

ye olde but ye goodest!

(5 stars)

listened to this from the recommendation of Jordan Peterson, at his podcasts. very glad too have had the opportunity.

Greg Bryant

(5 stars)

Greg Bryant is phenomenal in this series (voice of book 9)! I wish he had done the whole book

(4.5 stars)

Awesome book! Awesome telling! From Paradise Lost to Paradise Found! Thanks to all for the contribution!

a great listen

(5 stars)

A beautiful, insightful poem with very dedicated speakers. Thank you for contribution.

Read a bit like prose

(4 stars)

I am not at all good at reading poetry aloud; therefore I know the difficulty. PL is particularly difficult. However, the beauty of PL is actually in the poetry, and since it is blank verse in iambic pentameter, that is how it must be read. One cannot put "the" in where it does not go; one must not add syllables to the line by making "ed" into a syllable where it does not belong. There are few if any feminine endings in PL I believe, so unlike Shakespeare there may not be an 11th syllable (assuming words such as power are one syllable.) The meter and pronunciation here are sometimes incorrect. Milton pronounced ignominy as ignomy I would think, for example. Eliding such a word is not possible. In other situations where elision is possible or even written, the syllables are sometimes pronounced in this reading. The reading therefore is very prose like, unfortunately. The enjambment is extremely difficult to read, and credit is due most of the time for not pausing in inappropriate places, or emphasizing the wrong syllable. Milton is very complex, and making objects, direct or indirect, sound like subjects is easy to do, particularly when the subject is understood, not written. This so far in my reading is done well. Two other comments not so serious as the loss of the poetry. One is the slowness of the reading which can be sped up with certain audio players if downloaded and listened to on a computer. This is for the reader who has read PL many times, possibly. The other is the distracting voice of Satan. To saddle Satan with such a growl is superfluous and distracting, and gives Satan a particular "character" or quality which Milton may not have intended. Iago, for example, would not be read this way. Satan should be read as though he were Hamlet, since Satan's lines are the highlight of the poetry. Since the poem is so difficult, I cannot justify a rating lower than 4; I think it needs to be re-recorded however. PS Wanting to be sure of my thoughts I found this very useful page. I hope IA allows this post:

(5 stars)

I was pleasantly surprised by this reading. Normally, when a work is read by several volunteers, there are always issues. This is an exception; well read, easy to understand, and the flow was uninterrupted. The poem is a great tale; and yes, Milton has his faults and prejudices. That makes it better, because it is a reflection of the times. If you just read the required excerpts in high school and college, do yourself a favor by listening to this presentation.


(5 stars)

It was by reading a biography of CS Lewis that I first heard of Paradise Lost. Given that I love Lewis' works and Lewis loved Paradise Lost, I thought I should give it go. I was not disappointed! What an epic poetic narrative! I love the old poetry style of rythm rather than rhymes. I was only sad that the awesome reader of the 1st chapter didn't read the whole thing