The Decameron

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Giovanni Boccaccio

Narrated By: Frederick Davidson

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: March 2009

Duration: 30 hours 3 minutes


In 1348, the year of the Black Death, seven ladies and three gentlemen escape the dying, corrupt city of Florence to pass ten days in the hills of Fiesole telling each other stories. Reveling in their enchanted dreamworld of beauty and luxury, they take turns playing king or queen for the day, with the designated ruler naming the stipulations for that day's story. In contrast to their idyllic, gentile environment, the stories they tell are marked by an intense, cynical realism and feature ordinary people of less privileged classes. Boccaccio brings these stories alive with the authentic language of the different social classes and a frank, realistic handling of character. His satire often bites deep, yet he embraces evil and holiness alike with sympathy and tolerance, leaving guilty characters to condemn themselves.
Like Dante's Divine Comedy, The Decameron is a monumental work of medieval pre-Renaissance literature.


  • Cynthia B.

    I’ve always wanted to read the Decameron and I’m very glad I stuck out 30 hours of medieval stories (some of which are timelessly funny, sweet or horrifying and some of which are infuriating to a 21st century reader whose values are so different from those of Boccaccio’s original audience). My favorite bits are actually the little moments between the stories, when we learn a bit about the personalities of the 10 young people telling the stories. This might have been a 5 star review had it been a more modern translation. Unfortunately it’s the “classic” translation (read: over a century old” and the language comes across stilted and artificial with strangely chosen archaic/poetical English that just isn’t necessary to appreciate the stories. Shakespeare sounds more modern than this translation!! was worth sticking it out because there are quite a few stories among this collection of 100 (!) that I’m glad to have learned.


by Giovanni Boccaccio

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Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
This title is due for release on March 5, 2009.

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This title is due for release on March 5, 2009
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