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by Lord Byron | Read by Jamie Parker

Narrator Jamie Parker wisely avoids poetic affectation or awkward emphasis on rhyme or rhythm in reading Byron’s long poem on his European travels, which introduced the world-weary “Byronic hero.” Parker emphasizes sense, letting it direct his reading, but the rhyme and rhythm come through as a kind of lyrical, mellifluous prose, bathing the listener in a lush flow of words. His reading is admirably clear, expressive, and emotional. Listeners who try reading the poem themselves may find that Parker’s narration is actually easier to understand. Nonetheless, the density of allusions—references to earlier history and literature as well as to Byron’s own time—will make this a challenge for most listeners. It’s still worthwhile, in Parker’s rendition an absorbing and beautiful piece. W.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine