Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Read by Peter Coyote

Published by Audio Literature, unabridged (March 1992)

One cassette, 1 hr. 10 min.


No story in all of the world's literature has gripped the human spirit like The Book of Job. No other tale penetrates so deeply into the eternal questions of why we are here and why we suffer.


"Highly recommended. Brilliantly and empathetically read by actor Coyote - who conveys the wonder, anger and suffering inherent in the Old Testament text. The Book of Job also benefits from a fine contemporary-language translation. Dealing with the age-old question of why good people suffer, it tells how Job, a man of God, endures horrible reversals of fortune but sticks to his faith, despite the words of well-meaning family members and friends. 'We have accepted good fortune from God,' he says in Mitchell's translation. 'Surely we can accept bad fortune, too.' A rich and inspirational work with a first-rate presentation." ... Listener's Guide to Audio Books

"This translation finds the timeless center of the Job saga, and the reader interprets with just the right combination of anger, eloquence and faith. This is a text which was meant to be heard. Here we hear it at its best." ... Professor Harvey Cox, Harvard Divinity School

"The thoughtful reading of this astonishing translation has been for me a rare experience combining poetry and enlightenment. ... Erik H. Erikson

"Audio Literature brings this highly accessible translation to tape with an eloquent reading by actor Peter Coyote. In a restrained yet dramatic tone that builds climactically at Job's curse of God, Coyote mixes tension with compassion without ever falling into the trap of trying to act out the different identities of Job's three friends. Their tests of Job's faith and his own bafflement over God's seeming capriciousness keep us riveted to Coyote's voice as he brings the tale to its conclusion." ... San Francisco Chronicle

"Some listeners may miss the majestic King James Version with its rolling cadences, but Peter Coyote's reading of Stephen Mitchell's translation brings home the contemporaneity of Job's tragedy and confrontation with the mystery of God's dealings with the human race." ...The Christian Century

"According to Rational Mind, pursuing spiritual lessons while driving a car to work through city traffic should be a total wash. I've found it quite the contrary. My mentor has been this notable series of audio tapes (Audio Literature's Spiritual Classics). I started out with Peter Coyote reading a modern (yet reliable) translation of one of the most ancient works of poetry, the Book of Job. Job leaps from the road, rattles the door and discourses in the timeless voice of Coyote." ... Kevin Kelly, Whole Earth Review

"It is an eloquent, passionate narrative, done in prose of what might be called a timeless modernity, with no (or very few) jarringly current colloquialisms. Job's anguish and anger retain their full power, and Coyote's reading hits all the stops, yet never is histrionic sheerly for the sake of histrionics." ... Los Angeles Times

"A beautiful modern translation and eloquent reading, The Book of Job brings wonderful life and universality to the familiar story. In its easy accessibility to modern listeners, its poetry and power, Stephen Mitchell's translation is a remarkable achievement. Similarly, Coyote brings an understated passion and sense of poetry to his reading of text. His somewhat flat, soothing voice with its vague hints of the West of Midwest depends on skillful subtleties for its dramatic strength - a most refreshing change from the thunder and lightning King James overdrive of the Orson Welles/Charles Laughton school of Bible reading. A most highly recommended acquisition for all libraries." ... C.P. Handman, University of California, Berkeley

"Reading the Book of Job in the Old Testament is one thing, but hearing it read by Peter Coyote on cassette is an entirely different experience. The characters spring alive and one can almost feel the presence of God as Job questions Him. Peter reads with a spirit of understanding and mission and conveys to the listener, in simple language, the wisdom of a great work... You will want to hear it over and over again. This is one of my top ten recommendations this year." ... John Harricharan, Choice

"If Mr. Mitchell gives an eloquent account of the effects of Job's poetry in his introduction, in the translation itself, he does even better: he makes those effects come alive. Writing with three insistent beats to the line, and hammering home a succession of boldly defined images, he achieves a rare degree of vehemence and concentration." ... New York Times Book Review

About Stephen Mitchell:
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephen Mitchell attended Amherst, the University of Paris and Yale. Widely known for his original and definitive versions of spiritual writings and poetry, he has previously translated the Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, the Tao Te Ching, the Gospel According to Jesus, the Book of Psalms and many others. His English texts do much more than communicate ideas across linguistic boundaries. They yield a breadth of understanding. Time and time again, they deliver a startling semblance of the original work's cadence and inspiration.


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