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The Iliad | [Homer, Stephen Mitchell (translator)]

The Iliad

The power and the beauty of The Iliad resound again across 2,700 years in Stephen Mitchell's exciting new translation, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flowed in every word. And we are there with them amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.
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Publisher's Summary

The power and the beauty of The Iliad resound again across 2,700 years in Stephen Mitchell's exciting new translation, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flowed in every word. And we are there with them amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.

Based on the recent, superb M.L. West edition of the Greek, this Iliad is more accessible and moving than any previous version. Whether it is his exciting recent version of Gilgamesh, with more than 150,000 copies sold, or his unmatched translation of the poet Rilke, still the standard after 29 years, or his Tao Te Ching, which has sold more than 900,000 copies and has itself been translated into six languages, Stephen Mitchell's books are international sensations. Now, thanks to his scholarship and poetic power, which re-creates the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and continual thrust and pull of the original, The Iliad's ancient story bursts vividly into new life and will reach an even larger audience of listeners.

Please note: Book 10, recognized since ancient times as a later addition to the Iliad, has been omitted in this translation.

©2011 Stephen Mitchell (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

“Stephen Mitchell’s magnificent new translation of the Iliad reminds us that there is always a new and different way to read and interpret the great classics, and that they need to be reinvigorated from generation to generation, just as we need to be reminded that they are, however venerated, above all stories: exciting, full of life and great characters, in short great entertainment, not just great monuments of culture or the Western canon. Mr. Mitchell has accomplished this difficult feat wonderfully well, and produced a book which is a joy to read and an Iliad for this generation.” (Michael Korda, D. Litt., author of Hero, Ike, and Ulysses S. Grant)

"Stephen Mitchell has done a marvelous thing here: he has given fresh energy and poetic force to a work that perennially repays our attention. Without the Iliad the West would be a vastly poorer place; Homer’s achievement speaks to every successive generation with its unflinching understanding of the essential tragic nature of life. Mitchell’s translation is a grand accomplishment.” (Jon Meacham, author of American Lion)

"Mitchell’s wonderful new version of the Iliad is a worthy addition to his list of distinguished renditions of the classics.” (Peter Matthiessen)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (173 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.2 (143 )
5 star
 (75)
4 star
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3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (149 )
5 star
 (89)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Emily Bozeman, MT, United States 01-01-14
    Emily Bozeman, MT, United States 01-01-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awesome"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Molina's reading of this classic is just spell binding. I could listen to the way he pronounces the Greek names endlessly!


    What did you like best about this story?

    gods vs man, man vs man, gods vs gods. Timeless


    Which character – as performed by Alfred Molina – was your favorite?

    really all of them


    Any additional comments?

    skip the incredibly long, pedantic chapters by the translator....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Warren Phoenix, AZ 07-26-13
    Joseph Warren Phoenix, AZ 07-26-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As Expected"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Iliad to be better than the print version?

    At times- its a little harder to skip through pages of very descriptive killing. I did that reading a different translation. The Iliad, as beautiful as it is, can be quite long winded.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character arch types of Hector and Achilles. One fights for honor and defending his people. One fights for revenge and glory. Both become famous. Both die in the same war. It sends a message of means over the ends. Its the journey not the destination. It highlights human nature and makes me question who I am and what I want to be.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hector speech about the inevitability of death and encouragement to fight. It reminded me of the Braveheart freedom speech. Braveheart may have borrowed from it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard MADISON, WI, United States 02-20-13
    Richard MADISON, WI, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    104
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unabridged....hmmm half way true"
    Would you try another book from Homer and Stephen Mitchell (translator) and/or Alfred Molina?

    From Homer Yes... Stephen Mitchell ....no...


    Has The Iliad turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I love the Illiad, What turns me of is this book is 1/3 commentary, and the remaining 2/3's appears to be only part of the full Iliad (even taking account of the 'extra' parts).


    What does Alfred Molina bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good reader.... like


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Yep all of the above


    Any additional comments?

    Homer-Like
    This book- dislike not fully the Iliad. Just talking and bits and pieces...Baby Food? don't know..

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Sacramento, CA, United States 02-04-13
    Richard Sacramento, CA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Returning to the classics: this was a great choice"
    What made the experience of listening to The Iliad the most enjoyable?

    The music in the wording was enjoyable. As soon as I finished, I had to go immediately to the Odyssey.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I learned what Homer said and not what Hollywood’s distortions


    Which character – as performed by Alfred Molina – was your favorite?

    Achilles


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was exhilarating and heightened my imagination. I’m eager to find additional classics from the period.


    Any additional comments?

    It is kind of fun to revisit all the books I should have read in school.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Gannon Novato, CA 12-25-12
    Mark Gannon Novato, CA 12-25-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "this is a tough one to get into."
    What disappointed you about The Iliad?

    maybe I was distracted, but I've listened to the first couple of chapters and I don't know what the heck is going on or what it's about


    Would you ever listen to anything by Homer and Stephen Mitchell (translator) again?

    Yes, I will give this a second chance and re-listen from the start.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I don't know if it's the narrator or that the book is boring.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not yet.


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to a lot of books while driving but if I am lost after the first 1/2 hour or so it's really tough to keep going or start over.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Chesapeake, VA, United States 03-01-12
    Rachel Chesapeake, VA, United States 03-01-12 Member Since 2011

    Girltron/Rabbithorn

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buyer Beware"
    What did you love best about The Iliad?

    Alfred Molina's voice is very beautiful.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a good translation. It's more fair to call this a modern epic poem abridgement of the Iliad. The tipoff is that weird, weird introduction. The

    2 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart Black Mountain, NC, United States 02-09-13
    Stewart Black Mountain, NC, United States 02-09-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Read the story and leave out the commentary. There seemed to be more comment than story


    What could Homer and Stephen Mitchell (translator) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Just translate the story


    How could the performance have been better?

    It was slow and monotone


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Thank goodness I could return this to get something better c

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Euharlee, GA, United States 09-17-12
    Robert Euharlee, GA, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't finish the story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I would have loved the story if it had all been there. The only reason I marked one star is because thats the lowest it goes.


    What was most disappointing about Homer and Stephen Mitchell (translator) ’s story?

    They didn't finish. The book stopped at Hector's burial. Nothing was there about taking Troy or the Trojan Horse. Immensely disappointing.


    What about Alfred Molina’s performance did you like?

    Great


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Lots, would have more if the story went to completion


    Any additional comments?

    Yes put the rest of the story in it. This may be my last purchase from Audible.

    4 of 32 people found this review helpful
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