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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.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful
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.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
My mistake was to assume that Susan Sarandon would be doing a significant part of the narration - wrong. She simply introduces the various books. Stanley Lombardo does the rest. There is a brutal and bloodthirsty thrust to the whole story and yet a sense of humanity. But at times it sounded to me like an old-fashioned radio soap opera. Remember, soapies are addictive and so this audiobook proved to be. Like soapies, there are lives you want to keep track of and, like soapies, there are troughs and peaks. I enjoyed the peaks so much I was prepared to sink into the troughs. I now see why the Iliad is considered essential to our understanding of myths and storytelling. In fact I have now discovered a newly published, enlivening and relevant South African translation, using South African English. So the Iliad has set me on a voyage of exploration.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful