Why Homer Matters

Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: History, Ancient History
4.2 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Adam Nicolson sees the Iliad and the Odyssey as the foundation myths of Greek - and our - consciousness, collapsing the passage of 4,000 years and making the distant past of the Mediterranean world as immediate to us as the events of our own time. Homer's poems occupy, as Adam Nicolson writes, "a third space" in the way we relate to the past: not as memory, which lasts no more than three generations, nor as the objective accounts of history, but as epic, invented after memory but before history, poetry that aims "to bind the wounds that time inflicts".

The Homeric poems are among the oldest stories we have, drawing on deep roots in the Eurasian steppes beyond the Black Sea. These poems, which ask the eternal questions about the individual and the community, honor and service, love and war, tell us how we became who we are.

©2014 Adam Nicolson (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Nicolson's spirited exploration illuminates our own indelible past." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Why Homer Matters

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable study.

Pleasing narration and a fascinating subject. One of my best audible experiences. Well with the time.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

I have not read Homer since University. I find it amazing that we are still reading in the original or in translation something written in 700 B.C. The events depicted in the epics are thought to have taken place, as early as 1800 B.C.

Nicholson explores the age old question of was there such a person as Homer or more than one person. The author covers the history of Homer, Nicholson says the linguistic analysis suggest that “The Iliad” was first then “The Odyssey”. Nicholson sums up what we still look for in Homer: “Wisdom, his fearless encounter with the dreadful, his love of love and hatred of death, the sheer scale of his embrace, his energy and brightness, his resistance to nostalgia.”

Nicholson has written a beautiful study: full of insight, generosity and unaffected passion, the book is about what Homer means to him. One of my favorite narrators John Lee narrated the book.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Why Homer? Adam answers the question full. This bookIs must read.

A superb work of imaginative, intellectual and beautifully written piece of history about Homer and The Illiad and the Odyssey. And it is about so much more than Homer and the stories. The author spreads tentacles out to reach the the cores of the many Bronze Age civilizations from which Adam Nicolson believes the Homeric myths derive. The connections he draws between Them and his penetrating suggestions of meaning are nothing short of dazzling. Nicholson's book should be read And reread.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing book

Easily the most interesting book on Homer I’ve ever read. The author speaks on the universal human themes in the stories and relates them to his own life. There is a portion where the author recounts being the victim of a sexual assault while visiting a foreign country. This section in particular is beautiful written and spoke to me on a personal level.

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OBSURE and... You have to be kidding!

Oblique, incoherently written, indulgent, trite, and a waste of my time with this audio book on a recent drive

1 person found this helpful