Mel's Reviews > An Iliad: A Story of War

An Iliad by Alessandro Baricco
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Jul 12, 09

Read in June, 2009

Just a quick one: I am a diehard Troy/Iliad reader and am doing research in order to write my thesis about Andromache in the next couple of years. A friend picked this book up for me specifically because it included a chapter from Andromache's point of view.

As a concept, this is a good idea. In my opinion there are too many Helen-centric or Achilles-centric narratives taken from the Iliad when other characters have just as much to say. However, in An Iliad, the first person voices aren't varied at all and the most jarring aspect of the book is the head-hopping point of view switching that doesn't just happen from section to section, it also happens from sentence to sentence. The biggest example of this was in Priam's section were it went from a third person telling referring to him as 'The Old King' in a few lines, then switched to first person and an 'I' narrative. It jumped like this over and over which made it hard for me to care about the characters or what was happening.

People with no knowledge of the Iliad are likely to be bored with the constant listing of combatants. People like me, who love the story and feel quite close to it, are going to be frustrated and annoyed.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Gabriella I agree with you on the unfortunate switching of voices in Priam's section at the end. I have to say though, that even if I knew what was going to happen chapter after chapter, I really enjoyed the modern narration; the only thing I didn't like is the complete deletion of Achille's death, I still don't remember who killed him (should do some research, I know!). As for the listing of combatants, it goes together with the detailed information given about the combats, so I think they will really catch the new reader's attention and make them enjoy such parts. Good luck on your thesis! :)


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