The Canterbury Tales by Gerald J. Davis

four stars

talesAn adored classic and, of course, a canonical giant: Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales bears infinite recreation and translation. That’s precisely why Gerald J. Davis has put countless hours of work into researching and translating the tales from Middle English into a more contemporary, accessible dialect. Make no mistake, though, all of that reworking certainly hasn’t stripped the original text of its wit or its caustic humor. The vignettes that Chaucer has painted of the various facets of English society remain as sharp as ever, and Davis has made perfectly sure that none of those biting observations ever gets lost in translation. No summary of the tales would do their portraiture justice, but suffice it to say that there are dozens of short stories that comprise the work, and each is more delightful than the last. From The Knight’s Tale to The Parson’s Tale and everything in between, you won’t be disappointed by this literary smorgasbord.

Few versions of The Canterbury Tales have done the work such justice as Davis’s has. His interpretations of the original language bring it to life in a vibrant, enthralling way. If you’re a fan of Chaucer’s, you really must get your hands on a copy.

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