I love the Canterbury Tales, but the Middle English is a huge downer. My early Brit Lit prof in college made it seem like the language was just like modern English, just spelled differently. Yeah right. It might as well be a foreign language.
Peter Ackroyd knows his stuff, and does great justice to the tales in his prose retellings. Bawdy and hilarious at times, melodramatic and spirtual at others. The original should obviously still be read and treasured, but this book makes the spirit of Chaucer much more accessible to the lay person.