(P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
Do not be put off by the title, this is an excellent adaptation of Homers two classic works, and will definitely be enjoyed by adults as well. The adaptation is sympathetic, and the story flows extremely well. The narrator suits the task very well. Give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
In The Children???s Homer Padraig Colum weaves The Iliad into The Odyssey to make a single narrative in two parts. He begins the first part with the scene from the Odyssey where Athene recommends Telemachus to embark on a voyage to search for news of his father, and then has a minstrel, Nestor, Menelaus, and Helen narrate to Odysseus??? son the major causes and events of the Trojan war. In the second part Colum closely follows the sections of The Odyssey from Odysseus??? leave-taking from Calypso to his arrival back home at Ithaca. As the subtitle of Colum???s book reveals (The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy), Odysseus here becomes the focal point of both The Odyssey and The Iliad.
Colum keeps many of the humorous insults, terrible battles, moving conversations, cultural textures, vivid similes, fantastic elements, and epic flavors of Homer???s epics in his 4.5 hour book. Perhaps due to his young audience or limited space, he also leaves out many impressive things, like Achilles repeatedly dragging the body of Hector around the walls of Troy, Odysseus visiting Hades, and Odysseus executing his serving women after having them clean up the gory remains of his slaughter of the suitors. The English translation seems faithful and strong, though it does favor thee, thy, and thine, as well as ???archaic??? forms like hast and spake.
I believe that although any reader (from child to adult) should really listen to the unabridged Homerian epics (of which there are many excellent translations and readings available on audible), if kids would be daunted by their length or more graphic gore, this would be a good choice, for although much shorter than the originals, it is not dumbed down and retains their grim view of mortality and vibrant view of life. And Robert Whitfield (Simon Vance) gives his usual elegant and assured reading.
This book was required reading for my son. Since he has tires easily while reading long chapters, I try to get all his novels on CD or audiofiles. He loves mythology, and he loved this book and the narration of the performer. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes mythology.
My children and I listened to this book, when my children were studying Greek and Roman civilizations in history. We all enjoyed it. Recently, I recommended it to a friend whose son has just finished studying ancient civilizations. I'm sure she will enjoy it as much as we did.
My children 12 and 10 years old loved listening to this. We planned to listen to only 30 minutes each day but they begged for more.
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