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The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War | [Caroline Alexander]

The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War

Few warriors, in life or literature, have challenged their commanding officer and the rationale of the war they fought as fiercely as did Homer's hero Achilles. Today, the Iliad is celebrated as one of the greatest works in literature, the epic of all epics; many have forgotten that the subject of this ancient poem was war - not merely the poetical romance of the war at Troy, but War, in all its enduring devastation.
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Publisher's Summary

Few warriors, in life or literature, have challenged their commanding officer and the rationale of the war they fought as fiercely as did Homer's hero Achilles. Today, the Iliad is celebrated as one of the greatest works in literature, the epic of all epics; many have forgotten that the subject of this ancient poem was war - not merely the poetical romance of the war at Troy, but War, in all its enduring devastation.

Using the legend of the Trojan War, the Iliad addresses the central questions defining the war experience of every age. Is a warrior ever justified in challenging his commander? Must he sacrifice his life for someone else's cause? Giving his life for his country, does a man betray his family? How is a catastrophic war ever allowed to start - and why, if all parties wish it over, can it not be ended?

As she did with The Endurance and The Bounty, Caroline Alexander lets us see why a familiar story has had such an impact on us for centuries, revealing what Homer really meant. Written with the authority of a scholar and the vigor of a best-selling narrative historian, The War That Killed Achilles is a superb and utterly timely presentation of one of the timeless stories of our civilization.

©2009 Caroline Alexander; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 12-14-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 12-14-09 Member Since 2005
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    "Full of Surprises"

    Alexander has done a great service to those of us who struggled with The Iliad years ago in high school or college. Here she provides an interpretation which will leave everyone who reads it (or listens for that matter) wondering why our teachers did not make this work so interesting. Perhaps it is maturity that has caused me to return to this volume and this fine book orienting us to it.

    The writing is good, the reading good, and the content well worth the effort.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arjun Thornhill, ON, Canada 04-11-10
    Arjun Thornhill, ON, Canada 04-11-10 Member Since 2009

    I am a writer from Toronto. I am 34 and hooked on audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply Excellent"

    This book is so informative and easy to listen to. A must buy for any fan of Greek History.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-06-13

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "Less History, More Literary Extrapolation"

    Exactly as my title announces, there is less history to be had in this work than there is literary extrapolation. Some of it is very much historical, as this extrapolation comes from earlier tribes and traditions, keeping in mind there are hundreds of years between the Trojan War and Homer's Iliad. If you're looking for pure history, you won't find it here. There is history to be had, but it's more breakdown of the characters and themes that make The Iliad the great work that it is. As a literary analysis, this book is a home run. Having read both prose and poetic verse translations of the classic epic, this book operates more like a college thesis on Homer's tale. For the scholastically-inclined, this isn't a bad thing. I might even suggest that for those who couldn't finish The Iliad (you know who you are), this book might be the catalyst for higher appreciation that's needed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeSLiE 09-27-12
    LeSLiE 09-27-12

    QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Recommended to Any and ALL Ancient History Lovers"

    Wow! I just finished listening to this book. I can't believe how much I learned about Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War.

    This is a Five Star book. It is well worth the credit.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-23-14
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2010

    Audio-addict!!

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    "Completely Brilliant!! Fresh and thrilling POV!"

    I am so blown away that someone could make this age-old story fresh and new!! Caroline Alexander has written an extraordinary book, with an in-depth look at the actual events of Homer's Iliad. Not the historicity of the events, though it is discussed, but she focuses on the importance and meaning of the language, characters and events in this epic story. I've studied it in high school, college, and have read innumerable books that look at every aspect of the Iliad. However, this author makes it all seem brand new! Setting each scene in the context of the contemporary meaning, Alexander's interpretation opens a whole new enchanting world to readers, reviving this tired tale to its intended glory! Anyone with a passing interest of ancient history will enjoy this audiobook.
    I must admit when I think of the Iliad, I roll my eyes. I'm bored by the thought of Homer. I believed, until now, that I had heard all there was to say about the Trojan War and Achilles. But I was Completely Wrong! I will not roll my eyes again to anything written by this author! She is quite brilliant and fascinating! I think she could make the phone book seem interesting. :)

    Michael Page is the PERFECT narrator. Making it a must buy!! I'm thrilled that decided to listen to this! A great surprise find!

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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