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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Billy Crudup narrates the audiobook adaptation of the highly acclaimed Theophrastus Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior, by James Romm and translated by Pam Mensch.

Theophrastus Characters

As a complement to the 2018 hardcover version, the highly acclaimed Theophrastus Characters: An Ancient Take on Bad Behavior—by essayist James Romm and translator Pam Mensch—is now available as an eBook and also an audiobook narrated by Billy Crudup in his first audiobook reading! Crudup’s distinctive voice vividly captures the contemporary humor in these ancient characterizations!

See and hear it all here.

Characters by James Romm, translated by Pamela Mensch, narrated by Billy Crudup, on The Table Read

“It was a pleasure working with Pam Mensch on this recording. Her modern translation of Theophrastus breathes new life into these classic characters,” said Crudup. 

This little book by Aristotle’s protégé and successor at the Lyceum, Theophrastus, features the best archetypes of bad behavior from antiquity, which are as true today as they were twenty-three centuries ago…And yes, these uncouth and odd “types” effectively ding relationships in politics, business, and personal life as well as wreak havoc on the world at large. Ahhhh…perfect reading for 2022 and just in time for the midterm elections and the run-up to 2024!!!

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”…The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Translated For a Modern Audience

Theophrastus Characters, a classical Greek text newly translated for a modern audience, is a veritable festival of fault-finding. Published by Callaway Arts & Entertainment, the book presents thirty characters, each crystalizing a human flaw all readers will immediately recognize. It is a humorous roundup of failings, follies, and bad behavior taken straight off the streets of Athens and brought into our contemporary, divisive milieu.

These Characters are people we know―they’re our quirky neighbors, our creepy bosses, our blind dates from hell. Sharp-tongued Theophrastus is made sharper than ever in this fresh new edition and reminds us that Athenian weirdness is as ageless as Athenian wisdom.

Brilliantly illustrated by acclaimed caricaturist Andre Carrilho, this is an irresistible treasure of an eBook and hard cover. The wry, inventive drawings help invoke the cankered wit of this most modern of ancient texts. Annotated by classicist James Romm, these thirty thumbnail portraits are startlingly recognizable today. The characters of Theophrastus are archetypes of human nature that remain insightful, caustic, and relevant.

Billy Crudup on The Table Read
Billy Crudup

Billy Crudup

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Billy Crudup is an American actor and four-time Tony Award nominee, winning for his performance in The Coast of Utopia in 2007. He has starred in numerous films, including Almost Famous, Spotlight, Jackie, Justice League, and Alien: Covenant.

He received the Screen Actors Guild Award as part of ensemble cast for Spotlight. In 2019, he took the role of Cory Ellison in the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, for which in 2020 he won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He is currently nominated in the same role for a 2022 Primetime Emmy.

James Romm

James Romm is an author, reviewer, and the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College in Annadale, New York. His reviews and essays have appeared in the London Review of Books and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications.

His books include The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton University Press, 1992), Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the Bloody Fight for His Empire (Vintage, 2012), Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero (Vintage, 2014), The Age of Caesar: Five Roman Lives (W. W. Norton, 2017), and How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life (Princeton University Press, January 2018).

Pamela Mensch

Pamela Mensch is a translator of ancient Greek literature who lives in New York City. Her translations include The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander (Pantheon, 2012), Histories: Herodotus (Hackett, 2014), The Age of Caesar: Five Roman Lives (Norton, 2017), and Lives of the Eminent Philosophers: Diogenes Laertius (Oxford, 2018).

André Carrilho

André Carrilho is a designer, illustrator, caricaturist, and animator from Lisbon. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions in Brazil, China, France, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. His drawings have been published by Diário de Notícias, Harper’s, New York Magazine, the New York Times, the New Yorker, NZZ am Sonntag, and Vanity Fair, among other publications.

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