The Children's Homer

  • by Padraic Colum
  • Narrated by Robert Whitfield
  • 4 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This reissue of the 1919 classic combines the immortal stories from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey into one glorious saga of heroism and magical adventure. Beloved by generations, Padraic Colum's masterful retelling of these epic adventures is remarkably fresh, consistently spellbinding, and unmatched for its richness and poetry. It carries a new generation of young readers to ancient Greece with Odysseus and Achilles who, guided by the gods, seek vengeance against the Trojans, and follows Odysseus on his perilous journey, through the land of the Cyclopes, past Circe the Enchantress, the terrible Charybdis and the six-headed serpent Scylla.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great listen for adults as well

Do not be put off by the title, this is an excellent adaptation of Homers two classic works, and will definitely be enjoyed by adults as well. The adaptation is sympathetic, and the story flows extremely well. The narrator suits the task very well. Give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.
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- Marius

An Impressive Condensed Iliad and Odyssey

In The Children???s Homer Padraig Colum weaves The Iliad into The Odyssey to make a single narrative in two parts. He begins the first part with the scene from the Odyssey where Athene recommends Telemachus to embark on a voyage to search for news of his father, and then has a minstrel, Nestor, Menelaus, and Helen narrate to Odysseus??? son the major causes and events of the Trojan war. In the second part Colum closely follows the sections of The Odyssey from Odysseus??? leave-taking from Calypso to his arrival back home at Ithaca. As the subtitle of Colum???s book reveals (The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy), Odysseus here becomes the focal point of both The Odyssey and The Iliad.

Colum keeps many of the humorous insults, terrible battles, moving conversations, cultural textures, vivid similes, fantastic elements, and epic flavors of Homer???s epics in his 4.5 hour book. Perhaps due to his young audience or limited space, he also leaves out many impressive things, like Achilles repeatedly dragging the body of Hector around the walls of Troy, Odysseus visiting Hades, and Odysseus executing his serving women after having them clean up the gory remains of his slaughter of the suitors. The English translation seems faithful and strong, though it does favor thee, thy, and thine, as well as ???archaic??? forms like hast and spake.

I believe that although any reader (from child to adult) should really listen to the unabridged Homerian epics (of which there are many excellent translations and readings available on audible), if kids would be daunted by their length or more graphic gore, this would be a good choice, for although much shorter than the originals, it is not dumbed down and retains their grim view of mortality and vibrant view of life. And Robert Whitfield (Simon Vance) gives his usual elegant and assured reading.
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- Jefferson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-19-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.