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By Anthony on 12-02-07
The Iliad made pleasurable.
I have started the Iliad several times (written version) but always stopped short after a few books. The archaic language of older translations and the interminable battle descriptions are tough to suffer through and enjoy. I finished this version and wanted more (so I progressed to the Odyssey, which I have in the past finished in written version). This work is actually meant to be listened to as a performance rather than read. This plus the combination of a translation into somewhat modern English idiom and a reader who knows it well enough to have translated it and who can read it with expression I believe is an unbeatable combination. I do have a background interest in ancient Greece and this may have colored my opinion but if you want to know the Iliad this is the best way to do it.
Another point is that the Odyssey can stand alone but I believe it is better comprehended with the Iliad as a background.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
By Daryl on 04-01-08
Good for first timers
I am not a scholar in Greek mythology and found this audiobook very easy to get into straight away. Susan Sarandon gives a synposis for each of the 20+ chapters, so you get the story twice, which is great for first timers like myself.
Listening to the Iliad was an amazing experience as you are listening to a story that was written over 2000 years ago. Sure, if someone wrote this book today, it wouldn't make the shelves unlike the Odyssey, which probably could. And if you aren't a fan of gore, then give this one a miss and go straight to the Odyssey.
The translation and narration were good but I gave it 4 stars because I am a traditionalist when it comes to the classics. Some of the translation is in modern language.
After listening to this one, I gave John Lee's narration of the Odyssey a go. I much preferred it to this audiobook, but I should say that the Odyssey is a much better story too.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
By Vicki S. Towne on 03-03-09
Great new translation, superb performance
This translation and performance really does
succeed in bringing a historic classic alive for the modern listener/reader. The images are vibrant, the saga captivates. Absolutely a fabulous listen - it is as if you are sitting around a fire as the storyteller takes you on a journey! The companion translation by the same author/reader of the Odyssey is also a must listen.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By R. S. Garbacz on 03-11-13
If you're interested--get it
The Text: The Iliad was composed for oral presentation around 30 centuries ago. It is arguably the most canonical of Western works, and was foundational to Greek and Roman culture for thouands of years. At its heart, it is the story of war--and, as Lombardo's translation puts it, the "Rage" of Achilles, a spurned soldier whose prickly sense of honor shakes up the progress of the Trojan war. In Lombardo's translation, this whole ancient edifice becomes incredibly readable and has an immediacy to it, lacking the artificial formality and faux "high" language of some older translations, so if you always wanted to read this but found it dull, this might just be the translation for you.
The Main Performance: Lombardo's translation itself grew out of performance notes, where he would give local gigs reciting translations of Homer to rapt audiences. That passion for performance (Homer was composed for recitation, not silent contemplation!) carries over into even his slightly muted recorded version. His dark, rich voice is at times reminiscent of Ian McDiarmid's performance of Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars trilogy--laced with archaic sonorous undertones and a rich sense of performance even as it remains modern enough that we can immediately comprehend the characters' emotions and attitudes. This is certainly the most engaging performance of the Iliad I have heard, excepting live performances by Lombardo himself.
Production Values: Susan Sarandon reads both a solid introduction to the work and chapter summaries. The latter will be useful to anyone who has a difficult time following the complex narration of the story as a whole, but may be annoying to those who already know the story and are listening for a solid performance. Musical cues introduce the beginning and end of each chapter, and are well-done by slightly intrusive.
tl;dr: This is the best audio performance of The Iliad I've found, with a modern translation grounded by a rich, old-school vocal performance.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Deuce on 08-25-11
THIS is the way Homer was meant to be LISTENED to
I bought both Stanley Lomabardo's Illiad and Odessey. I have many translations of Homer ...Fitzgerald, Fagles etc ... and have begun them all. Finished none. Something always bothered me. Finally realizing they seemed "contrived". Reading them also seemed ... wrong. Unatural. Forced rhymes and did not ring true. Admittedly subjective ...but then ...THAT is art. Homer was spoken ...even performed. Yes it's all been said but ... I speaking Italian fluently and realize translating Italian poetry to English in the same meter with forced rhymes (English famously not as Poetic as Italian or Greek) is iffy at best. I am also a writer of poetry, music and musician. With Stanley Lombardo it sounds "natural." Unforced. And ...most importantly, natural, understandable and entertaining which were and are the first principles of any entertainer. With which Homer was certainly most concerned. Closing my eyes ...with a "wine dark glass with cut apples and pears" soaking in it and a good cigar) outside. THIS is as close to imagining Homer reciting. This is how life should be lived.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Shider on 04-03-13
What made the experience of listening to Iliad the most enjoyable?
1. Lombardo's well-adapted translation
2. His masterful narration paired with his understanding of the language and culture of the Iliad (after all, he is both the translator and narrator, which shows)
3. The content of the story itself
What was one of the most memorable moments of Iliad?
I still have four books to go to the end, but so far, I'd say Achilles returning to battle
What about Stanley Lombardo and Susan Sarandon ’s performance did you like?
Can't say much about Susan Sarandon's performance since she participates very little; however her pleasant, professional voice is a breath of fresh air at the beginning of every chapter.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Probably Achilles wailing over Patroclas' dead body.
Any additional comments?
This is probably the best edition of the Iliad on Audible. Cheers to Lombardo.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful