Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I sing of knights and ladies, of love and arms, of courtly chivalry, of courageous deeds"
Written in 1532, Orlando Furioso is a wonderful Italian Renaissance chivalric romance, taking inspiration from the Arthurian cycle as well as classical Greek and Roman epic and romance (Homer, Vergil, Apuleius etc.), but which is uniquely itself. Set vaguely during the time of Charlemagne and the Saracen invasion of France, it really inhabits a mythic world full of errant...
Published on 10 May 2009 by Roman Clodia

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fall of Language
I am giving this book 3 stars only because it is Orlando. A work central to European culture and our understanding of love, war, passion, and dignity.
The translation is no good. If it was a new translation, using new phrases and imagery to appeal to a new, younger audience, that would have been fine. If it was a 'classic' translation, one that employs archaisms in...
Published on 13 Sept. 2007 by Mark Twain


Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I sing of knights and ladies, of love and arms, of courtly chivalry, of courageous deeds", 10 May 2009
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Written in 1532, Orlando Furioso is a wonderful Italian Renaissance chivalric romance, taking inspiration from the Arthurian cycle as well as classical Greek and Roman epic and romance (Homer, Vergil, Apuleius etc.), but which is uniquely itself. Set vaguely during the time of Charlemagne and the Saracen invasion of France, it really inhabits a mythic world full of errant knights, distressed damsels, wicked enchanters, marauding monsters and not a few female knights who are quite capable of being the rescuers rather than the rescued.

Itself an inspiration for Spenser's The Faerie Queene (Penguin Classics), this is crucially central to European literature, spanning a variety of genres.

Some reviewers have hated the prose translation, but personally I prefer it to the Penguin verse translation which feels quite contrived to me. Rich, witty, exciting, moving and absolutely never dull, this is a wonderful and very accessible read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous feminist swashbuckling nonsense, 9 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Orlando Furioso (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
There is barely a plot to this, but don't let that put you off! Instead, its really a series of legends or legend-like stories that concern knights during some crusade-like period. But again, don't be too put off! Unlike say, King Arthur or The Lord Of The Rings, there are female knights central to the action and Muslims are dealt with quite sympathetically for the time, and are real characters, not simple "baddies" - the heroine marries one, even if he does convert to christianity. Coupled with this is Ariosto's imaginative brilliance in using fairy-tale constructs to make history legendary.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and fabulous Renaissance romance... and surprisingly sexy, 25 May 2009
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Orlando Furioso (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Written in 1532, Orlando Furioso is a wonderful Italian Renaissance chivalric romance, taking inspiration from the Arthurian cycle as well as classical Greek and Roman epic and romance (Homer, Vergil, Apuleius etc.), but which is uniquely itself. Set vaguely during the time of Charlemagne and the Saracen invasion of France, it really inhabits a mythic world full of errant knights, distressed damsels, wicked enchanters, marauding monsters and not a few female knights who are quite capable of being the rescuers rather than the rescued.

Itself an inspiration for Spenser's The Faerie Queene (Penguin Classics), this is crucially central to European literature, spanning a variety of genres.

Some reviewers have hated the prose translation, but personally I prefer it to the Penguin verse translation which feels quite contrived to me. Rich, witty, exciting, moving and absolutely never dull, this is a wonderful and very accessible read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Endless delight, 16 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can only enthusiastically endorse what Roman Clodia has said! Its sheer inventiveness and variety of tone makes this book an endless delight. Guido Waldman's vivid, gripping, fast-moving translation sparkles with amusement so that you get both the excitement of romance and the humour of parody. It's easy to see why the Orlando Furiose so inspired Gustave Dore as illustrator, and I wish I'd discovered it many years ago. It is a book for a keen reader with a fair bit of time to give, though, being a complex weave of several different storylines with rapid, tantalising movement between them. I'm reading it straight through for the first time now. After that I'll return to key episodes as the humour takes me.
The Oxford World's Classics paperback edition is a good paperback, reasonably robust and with a flexible spine. Of course it doesn't have the Dore illustrations - that would be too much to expect at the price!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fall of Language, 13 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Orlando Furioso (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
I am giving this book 3 stars only because it is Orlando. A work central to European culture and our understanding of love, war, passion, and dignity.
The translation is no good. If it was a new translation, using new phrases and imagery to appeal to a new, younger audience, that would have been fine. If it was a 'classic' translation, one that employs archaisms in the most common words, that too would have been fine.
As it stands, Waldmann's translation is a hideous beast, cobbled together from turns of phrases that I would be ashamed of using in conversation and lofty archaisms that in such company simply appear absurd. I don't know what Waldmann was trying to do. But making Orlando Furioso unreadable is surely the accomplishment of a genius.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orlando Furioso, 17 July 2008
By 
Bill McGann "Author of The Story of the Tour ... (Cherokee Village, AR, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Orlando Furioso (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
In 778 Charlemagne made an incursion over the Pyrenees into Spain. Needing to take his army to the Rhine to meet another challenge, he retreated, leaving a rearguard to protect his army as it withdrew. That rearguard, led by Count Hruodland (later known as Roland) was defeated at Roncesvalles.

This episode gave us the legend of the brave Roland, who died blowing his horn to summon Charlemagne to return and rescue the overwhelmed soldiers. The story grew ever more elaborate with every retelling. In Italy Roland became Orlando. By the 1400s France and Italy nostalgically looked back on a lost world that never existed, the world of chivalry. Roland (or Orlando) figured largely in this literature that grew up about knights, ladies, dragons and magicians.

The Italian poet Matteo Boiardo wrote his contribution to the Roland cycle, Orlando Innamorato (1495). Boiardo died before finishing the planned final third part of his poem.

That brings us to Ludovico Ariosto who set out to finish Boiardo's epic. Ariosto was a superior poet and his Orlando Furioso is a truly major work and an important part of the Western Canon. It is also the most Italian book I have ever read. The mix of magic, history, humor, irony all combine in a way that ends up feeling Italian, yet I can't exactly explain why. Anyone who has a close familiarity with Italian culture will understand what I mean. I can give an example. A brave knight saves the beautiful damsel. She offers herself as a reward. The brave knight then starts unbuckling his armor in order to collect his payment. Finally the lady grows bored with the laborious, time-consuming knightly undressing and wanders off. This irreverent original twist on an old story, done with a sly smile is pure Ariosto and pure Italy.

Ariosto is not only a good poet, he is a great storyteller. Because of this Orlando Furioso becomes a wonderful book in Guido Waldman's prose translation. I have rarely found translations of poetry to be satisfactory. As one man said, you can translate the words, but who can translate the music?

It's a shame this terrific book has slid off the modern reader's radar. The Renaissance was more than pictures and statues. It was a complete rebirth of the western mind. Orlando Furioso is as important a work of art as Botticelli's Primavera or Raphael's School of Athens.

It's a big book. Give yourself some time to enjoy this burly, mirthful work. It's worth it.
-Bill McGann, author of The Story of the Tour de France
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Orlando Furioso (Oxford World's Classics)
Orlando Furioso (Oxford World's Classics) by Ludovico Ariosto (Paperback - 11 Feb. 1999)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews