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Publisher's Summary

Peter Marinker narrates a new translation of Felix Salten’s celebrated novel Bambi, capturing the emotional impact and rich meanings of the original story.

With a preface read by John Chancer.

Most of us think we know the story of Bambi - but do we? The Original Bambi is an all-new translation of a literary classic that presents the story as it was meant to be told. For decades, audiences’ images of Bambi have been shaped by the 1942 Walt Disney film - an idealized look at a fawn who represents nature’s innocence - which was based on a 1928 English translation of a novel by the Austrian Jewish writer Felix Salten. This masterful new translation gives contemporary audiences a fresh perspective on this moving allegorical tale and provides important details about its creator.

Originally published in 1923, Salten’s story is more somber than the adaptations that followed it. Life in the forest is dangerous and precarious, and Bambi learns important lessons about survival as he grows to become a strong, heroic stag. Jack Zipes’ introduction traces the history of the book’s reception and explores the tensions that Salten experienced in his own life - as a hunter who also loved animals, and as an Austrian Jew who sought acceptance in Viennese society even as he faced persecution.

©2022 Translation by Jack Zipes (P)2022 Princeton University Press

What listeners say about The Original Bambi

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This is not a children's book

We're all familiar with the Disney version of Bambi with the death of his mother. The book has a much higher body count and these deaths hit hard mostly because the characters are just ordinary people taken suddenly and violently in the course of their daily lives. Man is referred to as HE and is viewed with uncomprehending and superstitious awe by the animals. It's a gripping book that holds your attention even as you cringe in anticipation of the next tragedy. Bambi learns that safety is in solitude and this brings him a measure of safety if not joy

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Superb

Very different from the Disney version. Each is wonderful in its own way. The reader does a a particularly good job. He sounds like the forest.

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A Stunning, compelling translation of Bambi

Peter Marinker gives a subtle and thought provoking reading of Salten's original novel, always altered in previous treatments. Jack Zipes introduction makes compelling listening too and the telling of Bambi is enhanced by the story of Salten himself. Moving, shocking, harrowing and beautiful. A vital and timely translation. Unmissably good.

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Beautiful

Full of wonder and meaning. A tremendous tale of nature and humankind, and the cycle of life and death.