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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
When I first read the Iliad of Homer on my own, I thought it a hyper-violent war story with deeply unsympathetic characters who let petty disputes plunge their societies into disaster. However, Professor Vandiver's lectures gaves the historical and cultural background for the Iliad, helping me to understand why Agamemnon's actions were so deeply insulting to Achilles, while also illuminating how the Iliad is a timeless work of literature that speaks to the human condition today. These lectures are a must if you want to really understand this famous epic.
All of Prof. Vandiver's lectures on classical literature are highly recommended for anyone even the slightest bit interested in the subject. She brings so much background and insight to the great tales of Ancient Greece, illuminating small points that I overlooked when reading on my own. In addition, she is a first-rate lecturer, and keeps her discussions engaging throughout. Her conversational tone keeps her lectures free from the pedantry and pretentiousness that some lecturers suffer from. I have all of her Teaching Company courses, and love all of them.
What other book might you compare The Iliad of Homer to and why?
Vandiver's lectures on the Odyssey of Homer make a great companion piece to this lecture series, and come just as highly recommended.
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed listening to both The Illiad and The Odyssey of Homer. It is very obvious that Professor Vandiver knows a lot about these pieces of work. She starts the series off with background information about the way Homer's epics are written and information about Homer. After that, each lecture focuses on 1-2 "books" of the epics. Each book is well-analyzed and connects seamlessly with the next lecture.
I listen to audiobooks on my commute to and from work. At first, I thought it was a little hard to follow along with the lecture because Professor Vandiver speaks really fast (I'm also a fast talker), but I quickly grew accustomed to her speed and cadence. I ended up enjoying each lecture very much and can still hear her voice in my head as I think back on the information.
Overall, I definitely recommend this audiobook, along with The Odyssey.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
As someone with no prior knowledge of the story line, I found the narration easy to follow, and constantly interesting to learn about. It’s not only a concise summary of the story line, it does a fantastic job of explaining the key themes, ideologies and the societal values it carries. I was listening to it at 1.25x speed and found that to be a good pace for myself.
This series of lectures on the Iliad is great for anyone who wants to learn about the text more deeply. The lecturer is amazing and she explains everything in a way that it easy to understand and informative.
I really enjoyed Prof Vandiver's course. I was given a glimpse of the depths in this epic. It was not a superficial summary of the episodes, but rather a critical analysis and an in-depth discussion. Yet there was not a moment that was boring. I certainly look forward to hearing more discussion of classics by Prof Vandiver.