Robert Postill's Reviews > The Iliad

The Iliad by Homer
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's review
Feb 01, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, fiction, got-it
Read from April 14 to August 01, 2013

Wow, I stayed away from the greek classics for a long time, foolishly thinking they had nothing to offer me. How wrong could I have been. This book is a mammoth (it almost defies belief considering how hard it would have been to write) but its soul is intimate. The book follows the tragic arc of battle and leaves a lot of modern books far in the shade. The characters are real fallible humans and their mistakes look a lot like our mistakes. The consequences are a lot more visceral (i.e. get in a huff, get your friends killed) but still it's clear what's happening and even across the distance of time it's quite possible to empathise with the characters. Strangely the foreword is an excellent read and sets a solid context for what follows.

If I'm critical the bits I don't like are the bits around the Gods. But then if you think about it Homer is just using the common thought tools of the time to explain the mysterious. So that's an unfair nitpick in a lot of ways.

The translation is excellent and based on this I'm going to the bookshop to buy more Homer. You should too :)

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Reading Progress

07/31/2013 marked as: read

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