Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ilium” as Want to Read:
Ilium
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ilium (Ilium #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,853 Ratings  ·  774 Reviews
Dies ist die Geschichte von Thomas Hockenberry, Philosophie-Professor und Homer-Experte, der nach seinem Tod im Auftrag der griechischen Götter vom sagenumwobenen Trojanischen Krieg berichtet – von den tapferen Kämpfern Achill und Hektor, von der schönen Helena, vom legendären Odysseus. Es ist die Geschichte eines Ereignisses, das die Welt für immer verändert hat. Und es d ...more
Paperback, 827 pages
Published July 2004 by Heyne (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ilium, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ilium

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Clouds

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
...more
seak
If someone were to describe this book to me (if they even could), I don't know if I would believe how much I absolutely enjoyed it. Dan Simmons is a mad genius.

Shakespeare-quoting humanoid robots, Greek Gods, post-humans, and old-style humans somehow make the craziest awesome story imaginable.

Ilium is a story told through essentially three unrelated viewpoints. First, there's Hockenberry. This is told in first person. Hockenberry is called a "Scholic," a human from our the 20th century (our time
...more
J.G. Keely
I love the idea of a throwback, an author who takes cues from classics and puts a new spin on them. Mieville took rollicking pulp and updated it, Susanna Clarke made fairy tales and the Gothic novel sing for a modern audience--but if you're going to adopt a bygone style, take only the best, and leave the dross.

By all means, copy Howard's verve and brooding, but skip the sexist titillation. Copy Lovecraft's cosmic horror, but skip the racist epithets. Dan Simmon's Ilium feels like 50's sci fi fo
...more
Kane
Sep 07, 2011 Kane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Literary science fiction". One of the words in this phrase struggles and strains against the other two like an 18-month old who doesn't want to be picked up. It doesn't want to be associated with a genre that often is long on ideas and short on quality prose and sharp and distinct style. It often succeeds in escaping the pull of science fiction's weak gravity. Occassionaly, an author creates a story that is so dense that the word is held in place in an unstable orbit. Ultimately many of those f ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Most excellent.

I like SF, and I like much of what gets lumped under the rather stuffy title 'classic literature'. Clearly, so does Dan Simmons. Set in a very distant future, long after both AI and posthumans have merged, this novel contains three main storylines, all of which ventually intersect.

First, there's a group of languid, pleasure-seeking old-style humans living on old earth, all their needs taken care of by mechanical servitors left for them, presumably, by the posthumans. Upon comple
...more
Jake
May 03, 2012 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review of Ilium in a nutshell:
“I liked it?”

AMBISHUN: DAN SIMMONS HAZ IT.

I’m not sure if it is possible to be too ambitious when creating a plot for a novel, but Dan Simmons seems to be on a mission to find out. There are concepts, there are high concepts, and there are Dan Simmons concepts.

When it’s time for Simmons to begin a new novel, I picture something like this:

Dan Simmons is smoking a pipe (made from the bones of an aurochs), deep in the bowels of Stately Simmons Manor. Inspiration
...more
David
Feb 18, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Quantum-tunneling gods, orbital Calibans, Shakespeare-loving robots
A fantastic sci-fi epic in the tradition of Simmons's Hyperion Cantos. In Ilium, as in the Hyperion books, Simmons really shows off his knowledge of classical literature. He obviously knows the Iliad and the Odyssey inside and out, but the author (through his characters) also fills this book with literary and historical references to Shakespeare, Proust, and a dozen other sources. It's ingenious and it made me to resolve to finally get around to reading the Iliad myself once I've finished this s ...more
James Williams
Sep 15, 2007 James Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think that the Trojan war with nanites sounds like fun
According to the cover for Ilium, it was nominated for the Hugo Novel of the Year in 2004. It absolutely deserved it. It also didn't win, and it deserved that as well.

Don't get me wrong. It's a great book and I loved reading it (indeed, this was the second time I read it and I think I enjoyed it more the second time). It's really three stories all happening in different places in the solar system at the same time, inevitably approaching one another. It's rare to find a book tries this and does
...more
Stephanie
Mar 12, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prepare to have mind blown.

I like dense reads, and I like immersing myself in complex worlds created by brilliant minds... but never, NEVER have I read a more astonishingly complex novel. 1/2 the way through this gigantic mind bender I was still completely without a clue about what was going on in the book. The fact that I and so many others rate this book so highly tells you a little something about our Mr. Simmons and the quality of his writing. Who get's away with this?? Nobody does... excpet
...more
Scott Rhee
Mar 20, 2014 Scott Rhee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I can't seem to say enough in the way of praise for Dan Simmons. The guy is a frickin' genius and one of the best writers working in any genre today.

"Ilium" is his science fiction magnum opus. It is a grand epic in the same way Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and Frank Herbert's "Dune" series were grand epics in their genre. The funny thing is Simmons's "Ilium" is a sci-fi epic ABOUT one of the greatest epics of all time, Homer's "The Iliad". Well, it's not so much about "The Iliad" as it
...more
Mark
Jul 22, 2007 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans, literature fans
The Iliad serves as the starting point here ("Sing, O Muse, of the rage of Achilles..."), and from there Dan Simmons proceeds to amaze you with some of the most literate science fiction you'll ever read. The story unfolds in three parts, which are skillfully woven together to increase dramatic tension as the plot lines spiral closer to each other. The end of Ilium is a soft stop, there is some closure but it leaves much open for the next book Olympos.

The science fiction is the good stuff that s
...more
Mitch
Jun 23, 2010 Mitch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In spite of the violent content, I really like Dan Simmons' Hyperion and its sequel.

This book looked like it had potential. For reasons unknown, the Greek gods are kicking it on Mars and the Trojan War is being fought with a lot of their participation.

Now the book starts throwing in all sorts of sci-fi wonders...nice, but not enough to save this.

First- it's far too detailed and has too many repeated references to the Iliad. Second, some seriously unbelievable things happen several times. And th
...more
Jason
Dec 26, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2009
Dan Simmons, one of my favorite authors. This book has it all, it has the Trojans, Troy, and the Iliad. Aliens, robots, and Gods of all sizes. This book is a blast to read and will appeal to fantasy readers, science fiction readers, and even to historical fiction readers. A must read.
Nicholas Armstrong
A book should not be hard to read. To pick up a book, and to read the words and enjoy them should not be hard, it should just be. Reading this book was hard. Every moment I normally would pick up a book to read a little I would pick up this, and every time I did not look forward to it.

It baffles me; I could have sworn that I enjoyed Hyperion and that it was well-written, could I have been so wrong? This was not enjoyable, it was not well-written, and it was so hugely disappointing.

700 pages is
...more
Trayana
Dec 21, 2015 Trayana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, owned, bg
Четиринайсет години след най-популярното си произведение „Хиперион“ Дан Симънс представя на зажаднялата публика своя нов роман „Илион“, в който залага на познатата формула: паралелни и привидно несвързани сюжетни линии плюс загадки. Този път те са комбинирани с литературни анализи for Dummies, и подсладени с описания на жени, за които авторът ни съобщава, че били секси.

Да кажа няколко думи за сюжета, преди да дръпна дявола за опашката и да изразя негативното си отношение към книгата.

Първата и на
...more
Matt
Jun 12, 2007 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not just sci-fi readers
The plot of this book is to complex to even attempt to go into but it has a dead historian recording events of the Trojan war for the gods, strange humans on a seemingly distant future earth, a machine race of explorers living on the outskirts of the solar system, and Shakespeare. Believe it or not they all go together in not such a surreal way as you might think. The characters are well rounded and evolve with the story. I don't know that it has important moral implications in the world but it ...more
Josh
Dec 16, 2014 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-on-podcast
Ilium defies description. It's epic sci-fi with huge twists, characters tempting fate, some fickle and furious Greek gods, Achilles and Hector from Homer's Iliad, Shakespeare-spouting robots from Jupiter, oh, and some trippy worm holes. It's good stuff. Video thoughts at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIeLP...
Lel
I went through a full spectrum of emotions while reading this book. Swinging between laughter, horror, sadness, boredom and confusion. The first half of the book I had no idea really what was going on, who was who and what the main plot of the story was. I mean there are aliens, Greek gods on Mars and a dinosaur! Who puts that lot into one story? I still dont think I can really explain the plot and characters to someone who hasn't read this book without sounding crazy and just rambling.
About 50%
...more
Becky
Apr 11, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Hands down the best scifi that I’ve read in the last ten years. This was the first time that I’d read Dan Simmons and I was floored by the depth of his characters, the complexity of his plot, and the intricate and fascinating world(s) he created. I personally liked the feeling over never really knowing more than any of the characters. I enjoyed the mystery of being on level with the characters, unsure of what would come next. Nothing about this is a light read. The book treats you like an adult ...more
Katharina
Holy bloody freakin' incredible hell. Or Hades. Whatever. I'm... I have no words. Seriously. This was beyond brilliant. I don't know who took Dan Simmon's brain, drugged it up, sprinkled it with colours and glitter to come up with THAT but please do it again. Often.

Ilium is a wild mixture of science-fiction, fantasy, a history (or should I say literature?) lesson, and awesomeness. And it's only the first part - don't think you can get in other books between Ilium and its sequel Olympos (I wante
...more
Derek
This is an absolute marvel, its ingenuity is second to none genre-wise. I totally enjoyed this, though for the life of me, I anticipate explain why it has taken me more than six months to read this beautiful book? On and off of course. It wasn't as straight forward as most other Dan Simmons I've read, and yes, I did struggle just a bit at the beginning, but once I got the plot mechanism, everything flowed like a charm. The story is beautifully crafted, the characters are amazing and the warping ...more
Ivan Lutz
ZApravo puno lošije nego sam očekivao. Opet, Simmons piše kao nitko, precizan je i pjevan; ritmičan i bogat.. No, priča kao priča me malo(krc malo, puno) umorila, eto.
Heath
Mar 27, 2015 Heath rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning - some spoilers in here.

I read this book as I had thoroughly enjoyed the author's short story in the 'Songs of the Dying Earth' compilation, and also as it is one of the few fiction stories out there with an ancient greek setting.

It is beautifully written particularly at the beginning - the world is richly described with histories, technologies, scientific concepts and races. Quantum technology, buckycarbon, macromolecular devices and fax nodes; old style humans, post-humans and moravec
...more
Anthony Ryan
Dec 19, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterly far-future sci-fi epicness from Dan Simmons. Thousands of years into Earth's future the human population has stagnated into a contented form of indulgent immortality; no-one dies and no-one goes hungry, but also no-one really does anything more interesting than the take part in the occasional sex party or get eaten by a cloned Allosaur. Meanwhile a present-day historian has been resurrected on Mars, apparently at the whim of the ancient Greek gods in order to act as observer to the sieg ...more
John Boettcher
Jul 10, 2013 John Boettcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought that the best I was ever going to read from Simmons was his Hyperion series. That thought was seriously challenged with Ilium, and it's sequel, Olympos.

The way that Simmons weaves the tale of Troy into a science fiction masterpiece is absolutely astounding. For high school and college student who struggled greatly and mightily through Homer's epic poems, these two books should be required reading BEFORE reading Homer's actual work. Simmons's knowledge of the stories, it's characters,
...more
Armand
I could probably sit here and write a grad-school length essay about Dan Simmons' Ilium, an aircraft carrier of a novel if I've ever seen one, but in the interest of your time and mine, I'm going to avoid describing the plot (which you could readily find anywhere, although I would argue that you are better served by NOT looking up the plot) and generally also avoid discussing literary themes. Instead I just want to tell you why this novel is pretty awesome.

First of all, Ilium is just plain bold
...more
Matt
May 16, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It isn't every day that you read a book that features genetically evolved post-humans who have moved to Mount Olympos on Mars in the year 4000, taken the personas of the gods of the Greek Pantheon (Zeus, Apollo, Athena, etc.), and then open space-time gateways to direct humans through the events of the Iliad in 1,200 BC. The whole notion of beings from the future appearing as gods, upgrading the DNA of humans by frequently mating with them, and producing powerful demigod offspring like Heracles, ...more
Lewis
Aug 26, 2011 Lewis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An alternate future earth where humans have forgotten how to read. Living robots who share a love of classic literature. An ancient Greek battle where iconic heroes do battle with the gods of Olympus. Mix these all up in a space opera novel (or two) and you get the novels Ilium by Dan Simmons. This complex, lengthy tome is quite the journey, spanning two books (the second is Olympos, but I’m just writing one review for both novels).
The plot lines are so complicated and detailed (indeed, each b
...more
James
Aug 26, 2010 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently reread the Iliad of Homer this book is a good follow-up both as a change, in genre, and as renewing my knowledge of the Iliad helps in understanding Simmons' novel. For in his novel Homer's relevance is more than an opening prop or gimmick. It is the Iliad that initially provides a bearing, a compass for the reader upon which the rest of the narrative depends, and without which, it could be argued, the rest, at least during the first third or so of the book, would unravel. This i ...more
Kat Hagedorn
http://tinyurl.com/3f74j3

How very unfortunate that Simmons' duologies fail with the second book as much as they succeed in the first book. I was really looking forward to reading Olympos, the second book of this duology, until I read the abysmal reviews.

But apparently, Simmons plays even more havoc with his created world-- that of a re-imagined Trojan War, set on Mars no less, and the Earth that can no longer house true humans except those who live exactly 100 years and have no culture to speak
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dragons & Jetpacks: Ilium / Overall Discussion / **SPOILERS** 22 43 Dec 07, 2015 11:48AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Dan Simmons ? 1 30 Oct 09, 2012 06:51PM  
  • Absolution Gap
  • The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2)
  • The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3)
  • The Chronoliths
  • Darwin's Radio (Darwin's Radio #1)
  • A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2)
  • The Algebraist
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • The Game-Players of Titan
  • Gridlinked (Agent Cormac, #1)
  • Transcendent (Destiny's Children, #3)
  • The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #1)
  • Schild's Ladder
  • Cosmonaut Keep (Engines Of Light, #1)
2687
Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master
...more
More about Dan Simmons...

Other Books in the Series

Ilium (2 books)
  • Olympos (Ilium, #2)

Share This Book



“Rage.

Sing, O Muse, of the rage of Achilles, of Peleus’ son, murderous, man-killer, fated to die, sing of the rage that cost the Achaeans so many good men and sent so many vital, hearty souls down to the dreary House of Death. And while you’re at it, Muse, sing of the rage of the gods themselves, so petulant and so powerful here on their new Olympos, and of the rage of the post-humans, dead and gone though they might be, and of the rage of those few true humans left, self-absorbed and useless though they have become. While you are singing, O Muse, sing also of the rage of those thoughtful, sentient, serious but not-so-close-to-human beings out there dreaming under the ice of Europa, dying in the sulfur ash of Io, and being born in the cold folds of Ganymede.

Oh, and sing of me, O Muse, poor born-against-his-will Hockenberry, dead Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., Hockenbush to his friends, to friends long since turned to dust on a world long since left behind. Sing of my rage, yes, of my rage, O Muse, small and insignificant though that rage might be when measured against the anger of the immortal gods, or when compared to the wrath of the god-killer Achilles.

On second though, O Muse, sing nothing of me. I know you. I have been bound and servant to you, O Muse, you incomparable bitch. And I do not trust you, O Muse. Not one little bit.”
29 likes
“Want to talk about Shakespeare's sonnets?" asked Orphu of Io.

Are you shitting me?" The moravecs loved the ancient human colloquial phrases, the more scatological the better.

Yes," said Orphu. "I am most definitely shitting you, my friend.”
29 likes
More quotes…