I've attempted other listens at these stories, and each time quit before getting too deep into them. The narrator really is everything here. Enjoyed the stories immensely, a superb rendition.
Homer, of course, was the first European poet. There has been scholarly dispute about whether there was a Homer and, if so, whether he indeed wrote these two epic poems. There seems to be some consensus now that both "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" were written by one person who generously sampled from earlier texts. In any event, Homer lived several hundred years after the events he describes, having surely heard and memorized the poem in oral form as it was passed down by bards and story-tellers -- accuracy surely was trumped in places by the need for a lively narrative. Thus having these two texts together in this audio download is a treasure. In "The Iliad" we hear of Achilles' quarrel with Agamemnon, and meet the heros Odysseus, Ajax, and Diomed. We meet the Trojans Hector and Paris, whose kidnapping of Helen caused the war. We join the action in the final year of the Greeks' ten-year seige of Troy, though the finale --with the sacking of Troy-- are related in hindsight in "The Odyssey".
Fittingly, "The Odyssey" has come to mean a long journey --i.e., a Space Odyssey. After enduring the ten-year seige on the plains of Troy, Odysseus wanders through ten years of adventure before arriving home in the western Greek isle of Ithaca where he confronts the belligerant suitors who have taken over his home. The story is much livelier and whimsical than the solemnities of "The Iliad". Together the two make for a wonderful few weeks of listening. The narration in this edition is terrific.
I completed listening to both books before I read the reviews and I was quite surprised by those who were disappointed in the narration, as I thought it wonderful. These books are better listened to than read as they are part of an oral tradition of epic story telling. You can imagine yourself listening to these stories thousands of years ago around a hearth. The language is updated and not in rythme. If you are not familiar with the stories I suggest a review of them in a condensed version before you begin your listen. This is not light literature and requires more focused listening than most modern books but the effort is well worth it and becomes easier as the stories progress.
This work suffers from using an old translation that has many archaic words, and which fails to bring across the adventure and excitement of the stories.
The narrator also seems to be merely reading rather than telling a great story.
You already know the story, so why listen to it?
We've all been forced to read it, and after reading, most of us wondered why we bothered. I've read five translations and was disappointed every time.
The whole point is that these books were composed to be heard, not read. The experience of hearing them is a new world. I've listened to three different translations, and found that which translation is not important. What is important is that this was meant to be an aural experience.
This is an incredible value for the two stories that invented literature. And still serve as the basis for most of our modern day adventure stories.
I don't really know what else to say about this great work. It has been around for thousands of years and has had an impact on your life in some way whether you are aware of it or not.
Who am I to judge the story of the Iliad, and I've not experienced a variety of translations to compare, but I can say that the reading/narration was not of the quality I've enjoyed on many other Audible books. I give it 1 star because it was so bad in my opinion that I just paid for another version (Susan Sarandon and another reader) :-)
There other versions of Homer's great epics on Audible that are all done by great narrators. I found this to be a stinker and I regret that the low price made me initially buy it.
The story for those who like such a classic is fabulous. I wont go into story details as most know the story and other reviews have hashed it out. This type of read isnt for everyone but for people into the more flamboyant classic writings, Homer is wonderful.The narrator I feel did an absolutely fabulous job. This isnt an easy book to narrate and he did it with clarity, great pronunciation, and gave a poetic and enjoyable audio for the story and its characters. His voice was pleasant and it felt like he was telling the story rather than reading the story. I have read the Iliad and the Odyssey before but to have it told to you really brings a life to the story thats even more enjoyable than reading it. Some stories are better told than read and this is one of them especially when you have as a good of a Narrator as John Lescault.
I always liked Achilles in the Iliad. His persona just stands out. He is a character that appears larger than life at times. He is stubborn, bold, determined, yet emotions cut to the quick at times.Odysseus in the Odyssey. His journey was one of many trials and tribulations but he prevailed.
He did them all very well. I cant pick just one.
Yes but it was to long to do that. LOL I listened to it every chance I had and it was done in about 1 week.
Reading the reviews I was a little concerned having purchased this prior to reading them. I enjoyed it and was not bothered by the narrating. The narrator can be monotone but I felt he was easy to follow and switched voices to distinguish between characters.