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.
This combination of translation and narration brings the beauty and passion of this work to the modern listener in a way similar to how it must have struck the ancient one. Some basic knowledge of the classical period will be helpful. The narrator does have a habit of dropping his voice at the end of sentences but this is a minor flaw considering his overall excellent rendition. This presentation helps one to understand why Virgil's work is a timeless classic.
The book is fun to read but listening to this reader's interpretation and characterization enhances the experience. I don't often save the books that I download but this one I will. Highly recommended.
The main character was interesting. However after the 1000th 19th century drawing room conversation I finally gave up 3/4 of the way through. From the publisher's description I may really have missed the good part, but it just wasn't worth it. My only other exposure to this author was "Crime and Punishment", and I loved it, so I don't think it was my shortcoming. I don't know, maybe I'm the Idiot but I gave it a good try.
This was one I really did not want to end. I can't believe how little I knew about the real travails of this phase of the revolution. Although some other reviewers have noted a relative lack of scholarship, I thought the book was filled with quotations from original documents as well as pertainent statistics but presented in a very absorbing manner. Washington's quality of tenacity is a good example for our country, especially in present day circumstances.
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