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Memorial

A Version of Homer's Iliad
Narrated by: Mark Ashby
Length: 1 hr and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Matthew Arnold praised the Iliad for its "nobility", as has everyone ever since - but ancient critics praised it for its enargeia, its "bright unbearable reality" (the word used when gods come to earth, not in disguise but as themselves). To retrieve the poem's energy, Alice Oswald has stripped away its story, and her account focuses by turns on Homer's extended similes and on the brief 'biographies' of the minor war-dead, most of whom are little more than names, but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably - and unforgotten - in the copiousness of Homer's glance.

"The Iliad is an oral poem. This translation presents it as an attempt - in the aftermath of the Trojan War - to remember people's names and lives without the use of writing. I hope it will have its own coherence as a series of memories and similes laid side by side: an antiphonal account of man in his world... compatible with the spirit of oral poetry, which was never stable but always adapting itself to a new audience, as if its language, unlike written language, was still alive and kicking".
—Alice Oswald

©2011 Alice Oswald, Afterword copyright 2012 by Eavan Boland (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful poetry

The text is beautiful and moving. The narration is excruciating. He ends every line with a rising intonation that drove me absolutely crazy. It's such a shame -- I feel like this is an ideal work to be experienced aurally!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

A clever idea brilliantly executed -- a poetic interpretation of the Iliad. The glimpses of the characters are so sharply drawn I could not have felt closer to them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant and moving

This poem allows you to experience the oral tradition of the Iliad as it may have been felt in 5th century BCE Athens. It captures the deaths of these 200 Iliadic warriors and takes you back 3000 years to the Trojan War.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I Tried. Really, I Did.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

It's a great idea: the lost names of real human beings that Greece and Troy saw fit to sacrifice to an immortality for others who had a lot already but wanted more. I tried several times to get through this but couldn't put it all together. In fact, my insistence on trying several times to make heads or tails only resulted in futility. I have to admit that I never got to the end but that I sure tried. I was expecting some type of intimacy with common folk barricaded inside the walls or dying beneath the sun.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Modern Greek language or George RR Martin

Would you be willing to try another one of Mark Ashby’s performances?

I have no reason to remember his name, so perhaps by chance I will stumble across him again, for better or worse.

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

Eternal frustration. I can't quite claim my anger and sadness are the author's fault; ay, the world is far too imminently catastrophic. This poem was a great idea, so I'll go with disappointment. Coupled with my city's traffic, this audiobook just made my ADD worse.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful