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Publisher's Summary

One of the most extraordinary achievements in world literary history. An immensely influential and compelling epic poem of the Trojan War, with characters whose names have become legendary. Too good to be relegated to the dustbin of high-school required reading, the first of Homer's epic poems tells of the counsel of Nestor, Achilles' slaying of Hector, and the defeat of the Trojans by the Greeks. (Translated by Samuel Butler.)
(P)2003 Commuter's Library

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  • James M
  • Madison, MS, USA
  • 12-29-03

Illiad at three or four times the price worth it?

At first I was extremely hesitant to pay so much for an audible title. After carefully considering it I went ahead an made the purchase. I did not regret the expense of this recording one bit.

The narrative was concise and clear. The recording quality was excellent and consistent. There were very few of the annoying changes in the speaker?s volume and tempo that plague so many other recording that can do so much to spoil a work like the Illiad.

Instead the consistent narrative captured the emotion of the work without being campy or maudlin.

The best by far of the Illiad recordings that are available.

83 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


In the past, I had bogged down when trying to read The Illiad, but the Audible version helped me wade through the less inspiring portions of the story. The book reminds me of Moby Dick in the sense that the story can get lost in details at times. The pay-off is when you can look back on the completed tale and see that it has taught you something. The only negative to the Audible version is that each book, or chapter, begins with a synopsis of what is going to happen in the chapter as if the reader (listener) will not be able to figure it out. The result is that it takes away some of the excitement and drama.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marco
  • Stony Brook, NY, USA
  • 06-18-04

Well read and recorded

If, like me, you've always wanted to read the Illiad, this is your chance. It's an excellent story and it is hard to believe it was written thousands of years ago. So much did I enjoy listening to The Illiad, that I am now listening to The Odyssey (which unfortunately is not nearly as good a translation and recording).

I found the recording and reading to be very good. It was easy to comprehend, and I believe the translation to be good.

If you do decide to listen to the book, it may be a little difficult in the beginning to follow the names, but stick with it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Definitely worth the effort

The Illiad can seem slow at times, but it is definitely worth persisting.

Although there are sections that go through enormous detail about who slew whom, there are others of breathtaking beauty. The book provides incredible insight into how much and how little humans have changed over the past few millennia. A story of combat, loss and above all honor.

This translation is beautifully read, with the reader admirably bringing each character to life over 2500 years after they fell on the plains of Troy.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wrong narrator for this story

It's OK; Butler's prose translation makes a good choice for an audiobook, but Lescault is the wrong narrator for the job. Compare his overly-reverent reading to John Lee's rendition of "The Odyssey" by the same translator to see the difference. (Unfortunately, John Lee doesn't have a companion version of "The Iliad." If you want Butler's version of "The Iliad," this recording by Lescault may be your best bet.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • BodminUnited Kingdom
  • 03-18-04

Exercise-bike Homer

It's no substitute for the Greek, nor the Lattimore - and I couldn't live without the Pope version, either, for that matter - but it's pretty good: a fine translation, clearly recorded. I found some of the pronunciations a bit jarring at first but I quickly adapted to them; I love the thought, in these times, of a narrator of the Iliad with a North American accent. So it's near-perfect as an Iliad with which to share one's exercise-bike.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not what I was looking for..

What would have made The Iliad better?

If it was narrated by Derek Jacoby it would be better. When slicing and dicing on the battlefield are discussed, few can "say it like you mean it" better than he. My search (on Amazon) was for "Iliad Derek Jacoby" and this was the top choice audiobook. It had Derek Jacoby in the heading, but alas, he is nowhere to be heard on this Iliad. I just hope the CD I found actually has Derek: my cassette copy is worn-out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jan
  • Calistoga, CA, USA
  • 05-12-05

An extraordinary performance

Narrator Lescaut does an outstanding job; his voice is full of passion and expression; he can modulate it and change it to accord to the personality of the subject; a tour de force

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pankaj
  • Jersey City, NJ, USA
  • 03-01-04

Great Listening! Very Interesting

I liked this book. Its a very interesting reading. It gives a feel about the ancient Greek culture and is a fun book to listen to. The translation is excellent and so is the reading. It does get a bit boring in between and for some reason I felt that the end was not totally appropriate. I mean what happened to the war ultimately?

But nevertheless it is a good book and very interesting. I like mythology and stuff like that. So buy it if such topics interest you. I liked it so much that I am considering buying the Odysseus.

Definately worth it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

awesome story. well read.

it is a good idea to listen to this before the odyssey. both are excellent. and really makes you think what life must have been like BC...

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  • Mark
  • 04-19-09

An excellent reading

Homer's epics were meant to be listened to, and when read with skill, they add so much to the experience of encountering them. I was impressed with the sustained power of this reading, and after listening at length found myself absorbed into the world. I would like to hear, in the future, an unabridged reading of Robert Fagles' translation, but this one is well worth the money and time spent listening to it. I recommend it heartily.

  • Overall
  • Carolynn
  • 03-06-07

The Iliad (Unabridged)

I'm putting my review in after listening to the end of part 1 of this book. I have to say it is not by any means the type of book I would normally read, and to be brutally honest only started listening to it because it was a recent Audible 'free listen'.

However, I have to say I am really enjoying it. The long lists of names are a little irritating, but apart from that it is a fascinating book. Thank you Audible - for without you I would never have read /listened to this little gem.