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The Iliad & The Odyssey | [Homer]

The Iliad & The Odyssey

Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity.
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Publisher's Summary

Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity. If Homer did in fact exist, this supposedly blind poet was from some region of Greek-controlled Asia-Minor and recited his poems at festivals and political assemblies. In this extraordinary two volume audio set, the glorious saga again unfolds, telling the story of courage and magical adventure in Ancient Greece.

The Iliad, the first of Homer's epic poems, tells of the counsel of Nestor, Achilles's slaying of Hector, and the defeat of the Trojans by the Greeks.

In The Odyssey, in his perilous journey home after the Trojan War, Odysseus must pass through the land of the Cyclopes, encounter Circe the Enchantress, and face the terrible Charybdis and the six headed serpent Scylla.

Both epics are translated here by Samuel Butler.

(P)2002 Commuters Library

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (677 )
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4.0 (323 )
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3.7 (323 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Colin New Paltz, NY, United States 08-11-10
    Colin New Paltz, NY, United States 08-11-10 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Worth the listen."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eythor 04-11-10
    Eythor 04-11-10 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    1
    Overall
    "Pleasantly hard"

    This reckording is at first quite hard to concentrate on. the story can be confusing and the gnarrator monotonic. after a while the listening gets easier although still requiring a good bit of concentration but the story is delivered in a style that makes you believe that that's how it was so
    many years ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Oshkosh, WI, USA 04-24-09
    Michael Oshkosh, WI, USA 04-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    25
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Narration needs work"

    Overall the books are good reads, but the narration is rough. I thought The Iliad was harder to listen to than the Odyssey, but maybe it was just me getting used to the narrator in the second book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xavier 02-18-12
    Xavier 02-18-12 Member Since 2011

    I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    109
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    Story
    "I took a break in "reading" after enduring 5 hours"

    Isn't this considered one of the 100 greatest books of all time? What does that say for my self esteem? Normally a great book which starts off boring gets better after you have gotten past the first 25 percent of the piece. When does this one get interesting? Maybe it is a joy for people with photographic memories but I don't have one. It feels like a hundred different characters(mortals, gods, half gods, deformed half mortal/half animals) were introduced for me to digest in the first five hours. I'm determined to revisit and try to finish this "classic" but no way do I recommend unless you crave violent incomprehensible plots.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne WELLS, MAINE, United States 05-29-12
    Anne WELLS, MAINE, United States 05-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "A simple story and a lot of gore"
    What made the experience of listening to The Iliad & The Odyssey the most enjoyable?

    I've always been curious about these books and it satisfied my curiosity. The Odyssey had more of a story. The Iliad was mostly about fighting which does not interest me at all.


    What could Homer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Given the characters simpler names in order to keep track of them. These names were probably simpler in his day.


    Which character – as performed by John Lescault – was your favorite?

    Hector. Even though he was a brutal warrier, he had a soft side.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Many sessions


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice 05-21-12
    Alice 05-21-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Difficult Listen"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Worthwhile in the sense of learning (or reminding myself) about Greek mythology and history. But both The Iliad and the Odyssey were written as oral history/ballads, and as such Homer calls out every single character and his/her lineage. It's a bit much. His prose is highly repetitive and there is not much that the narrator can do to make it an enticing listen.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Homer? Why or why not?

    Having had four years of Latin in high school I should have remembered how ponderous the works seem in translation.


    What three words best describe John Lescault’s voice?

    Pleasant, a bit bored (hard to make much of Homer), dogged.


    Did The Iliad & The Odyssey inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tarra LANSING, MI, United States 07-18-12
    Tarra LANSING, MI, United States 07-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    29
    10
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "This book was so dry that I put it down"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    some entusiasm and effort


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Hunger Games- again


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The guy was boring- I could not follow


    What character would you cut from The Iliad & The Odyssey?

    Just the narrator!!!


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Ashtabula, OH, USA 05-26-05
    Jesse Ashtabula, OH, USA 05-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
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    72
    50
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    1
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    Overall
    "A classic?"

    While this book is considered literary classic, the narrator leaves much to be desired. The up & down volume is a distraction! I want this selection in my library, only because I am a true fan of the classics.

    3 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard L. Oakes Tucker, GA United States 03-23-05
    Howard L. Oakes Tucker, GA United States 03-23-05 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    105
    12
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    0
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    Overall
    "Bad Narration"

    The narrator reminds me of an electronic voice companies used to use to repeat numbers. I have never read these books, but the pace of the reading puts me to sleep. I am sure the books are better than the impression I now have of them, but I will probably never read them now.

    8 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Owen Tabor 08-11-07
    Owen Tabor 08-11-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    94
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "pretty boring"

    I couldn't stay focused on the story. I never made it past the Iliad. I have heard the Odyssey is better. Maybe I'll get a chance to find out one day.

    2 of 23 people found this review helpful

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