The reading of this emotion filled epic was so flat and emotionless I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes. For the first time I wish I could get a refund.
To think this story has come to us after nearly 3000 years is impressive in itself. It is worth reading simply as a piece of history. It captures part of an epic tale in an era of glory and bloodlust and of battles that lasted years, and we learn much of their time and culture. Taken purely as a story, however, it falls short. For all its length, not much happens, and we are left hanging just before the sacking of Troy and the use of the wooden horse, and of the much-foretold death of Achilles. There are many long, repetitious, flowery speeches outside and in the middle of battles, which at first are poetic, but after a few hours they get tiring. Plus it's hard to imagine warriors locked in mortal combat speaking to each other in this way. There is little suspense, because if you aren't already familiar with the tale of Achilles, there is a lead-in to each chapter that tells you what is going to happen in it. Most frustrating of all, the gods are constantly interfering. Seriously, every few minutes some god does something to mess with the lives of our heroes. As with all deus ex machina, the struggles of mortal characters become pointless. At one point Zeus says "let us leave the mortals to fight it out among themselves" but none of the gods actually do, including him. The sheer volume of foreign names become hard to follow, especially since characters are often referred to as just "the son of soandso", so I went to The Gutenberg Project to download a hard copy, and skimmed it so I could follow what was going on. I also did some 'net searches to find out more of Achilles' saga, because this story leaves so much of it out. I was then able to fully appreciate it. The narrator speaks more as an orator than as an actor, which suits the material here. For all I've said, I did enjoy the story, especially the second half. Apparently the original story was written in meter like Shakespeare, but that doesn't come through in this translation. It seems faithful otherwise.
Having always wanted to read this title I was excited with it became available here. However, I only made it through about two hours before I had to turn it off forever. The readers voice is flat and unimaginative. This is a major concern, for a better reader would have been the only way one could get through the pages and pages of ship and hero listings. If you are a great fan of classic greek poetry and want to read this title just to say you did this may be for you. Otherwise, spend your money or subscription slot on something else.