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Publisher's Summary

This varied, well-chosen selection brings onto one audiobook the best of Dylan Thomas. Here is the legendary recording of "Under Milk Wood", with Richard Burton and Richard Bebb as narrators; but here also are two radio productions he wrote before that great classic, and though interesting in their own right, they show how "Under Milk Wood" grew gradually in his imagination.

This collection includes "Under Milk Wood", "Return Journey to Swansea", and "And death shall ahve no dominion" and other poems. It also includes "Memories of Christmas", "The Peaches", "The Outing", "The Followers", "Do not go gentle into that good night", and other poems.

Thomas was a charismatic if idiosyncratic performer of his own poetry and stories and here is a representative selection.

Public Domain (P)2005 Naxos AudioBooks Ltd.

Critic Reviews

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Audiobook Adapted from Another Medium
2005 Audie Award Nominee, Audiobook Adapted from Another Medium

What listeners say about The Essential Dylan Thomas

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

As the swirling of water over pebbles in a stream

Dylan Thomas's rampant and enthralling wordplay, dancing impishly through the lives and loves of its characters with a roguish wink at their weaknesses, is here read as well as it was written. It swirls like a bubbling stream with an ebb and flow which matches its substance perfectly. With the lilt which only Welsh accents could give it, it is as close to music as poetry can be, glorying in one of the most musical accents in the English-speaking world, and the one in which it was originally given flesh and form. I cannot imagine it performed with more verve, subtlety and expressiveness.

15 people found this helpful

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no usable chapters!

what an incredible collection, and so well read.

however, there is no way to find a poem you want in the audio without chapter markings! an unfortunate negligence.

10 people found this helpful

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A Powerful Voice of the Emerald Isle

Dylan Thomas’ verse captures so many essential elements of the Irish Experience: its Streets and Lanes, Characters, Names, Jokes and Beautiful Natural Scenes.

You can hear its peoples’ joys and sorrows of living in this iconic Land. Their spirit shines through in every whisky soaked story. The trees, birds and other native creatures come alive in his Nature poems.

I listened to this book in the Audible Version, hearing in the voices of Thomas, Burton and other Native Celtic speakers, making the experience all the more powerful.

This True Irishman will not go gentle into that good night, but with a lassie under one arm and a glass of Jameson under the other. ME TOO!

1 person found this helpful

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to hear Dylan Thomas is sublime

his music winds and winds its way through each poem. it swirls into his amusing prose pieces. Dylan Thomas's work takes you in a voyage of heartache and humor

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  • peter revill
  • 01-09-16

This is a book of poetry: but!

The performances are powerful renditions of wonderful poetry and prose, a delight to listen to, an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the written and spoken word. However, it is still a 'book' of poetry, but one which seems impossible to navigate; yes it does have chapter numbers, but each chapter is of considerable length, the delight of a book of poetry is to flick through the pages to a favourite poem and read it: why should an audio book of the same material be any different? Alas, many of the books of poetry purchased from Audible seem to have this deficiency and it is very frustrating. Of course you can listen and bookmark various sections, poems etc: but shouldn't the publishers have already done this? It is very disappointing and detracts from the enjoyment of the collection. For challenges such as this Audible offer no star rating - so I suggest a 0 rating for recording navigation.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Guitar Laid Bare
  • 03-24-10

close your eyes and spoil yourself

I cannot tell you how powerful this recording is, how vivid and entrancing are the images it paints.
Play it to your children and let them hear the richness of english, let them hear the townsfolk as they dream. It might just be better than eastenders - innit?

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Dexter
  • 01-04-22

Brilliant but - no proper index/chapter list

I love Dylan Thomas and I love to hear him reading his own work. No complaints whatsoever in that respect - its a lovely collection. But, as has already been pointed out; the chapter listing does not tell which items appear where. You have to blindly mess around till you find the piece you want to listen to. Why can't poetry, books and similar, tell you where a particular item is, or at least point to the correct chapter. That's what happens with a printed book, or a music album/CD, and it makes it enjoyable to dip in and out of it. I am enjoying listening but just wanted to air this frustration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • GrantWellings
  • 08-22-19

Wonderful intro

Very nice introduction to Thomas’ works. Good variety and lovely! Would definitely recommend this to anybody.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Barry
  • 05-24-08

The Essential Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas Welsh Poet Laureate; any reviewer can but provide a ghostly synopses enough to induce the work to be eagerly devoured. Let no reviewer exhibit the temerity to even indicate of ?better? performances than the authors own.
His ?idiosyncrasies? are his very being, the ear that captures the very essence of his environs the eyes that catch the very soul of its inhabitants and the mind that displays them for our purveyance, to have the privilege to hear HIS own voice is to overhear the original conversation simultaneously viewing the original image.
For an Englishman with Welsh antecedents Dylan Thomas provides an English window into a Welsh landscape, mine own reminiscences of ancient uncle basking on his coal bunker, suppers by aunts grandmothers clock are still as fresh as the childhood long gone, but who will want to hear them?
His recollections provide a prism showing author and subject in bright repose that you might share precious time in their company.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Meaghan Vosz
  • 10-20-18

Audio problem - file drops out after Under Milkwood

Pretty disappointed. After an amazing rendition of most of Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas, the Audi file just stops and says is is corrupted. Anything I did didn’t help, tried reloading, marking as finished, nothing worked. Waste of $.