Damrosch, David. The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh. New York: H. Holt, 2007. An absorbing rendition of the origination and later discovery of the epic.
Gardner, John, and John Maier, trans. Gilgamesh. New York: Vintage Books, 1985. Each column of the actual tablets is translated, then supplemented by numerous parallel texts. An appendix analyzes the tablets in more detail, demonstrating the extreme difficulty of establishing any single version of Gilgamesh.
Heidel, Alexander. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963. The first, and still the clearest, study of the close links between Sumerian and Hebrew tales of natural heroism and supernatural disaster. The parallels will be striking to the reader.
Kovacs, Maureen G., trans. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1989. This translation attempts to serve as a readable text for the student reader, including substantial notes on parallel and supplementary texts. Although Kovacs manages to create a continuous story, she achieves neither the readability of Sandars’ translation, nor the precision of Gardner and Maier’s work.
Sandars, N. K., trans. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1960. This is the standard text version of the epic, rendered as a continuous, compelling story. Although its exact readings have been superseded in many cases by discoveries made during recent decades, it remains the best attempt at recapturing the original audience’s experience of the epic.
Tigay, Jeffrey H. The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. Tigay demonstrates that numerous differences among the various redactions of the Gilgamesh saga resulted in significantly different versions of the story. Translations that combine passages from separate versions in order to achieve a more readable story therefore distort the saga.