The Iliad

Dear Iliad,

Giant among all of literature, we spent a month together and it was wonderful. It’ll be a while until we see one another again, but I believe we will one day.

With Love,
Hannah

P.S. Book Details
Author: Homer
Book Length: 683 pages
Book Genre: Classic
Publication Date: ~750 BC
Synopsis: Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.

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You may be thinking, “Why would she write a review on a book that has been reviewed by literary critics and academics?” Let me tell you, this book felt like conquering a giant, so I want to record my personal experience. Since it is so hyped up, I felt a certain air of nerves. I have read Sarah J Maas books, which are much longer than the Iliad. Yet, I faced this book with much more trepidation. I am pleased to announce, this book reads nicely and pulls readers into a long drama of the gods, and their little play-thing: humanity.

I enjoyed the interpersonal drama and seeing the pettiness of people and gods alike. In addition to making me chuckle, it was interesting to look at how wisdom was personified, or power and strength. There can weaknesses within a potential gift when used in excess or without the tempering of other virtues. Homer articulated events and made meaning to them in a way which engages readers to this day.

I can see why this is a great epic, but I got a little bored during the fighting scenes. This is just me, I do know a lot of people love this book for the fighting scenes. I found it helpful to know the main plot points of the story, because it kept me engaged when the book dragged on. The first half of the book was difficult to read, because I was looking forward to what started happening in the end. So, it took me longer than I anticipated to read the book. Yet, it was well worth it.

While this book could be read by anyone, I think a person with strong critical thinking or a mature mind would enjoy it more. High school students and above will be able to comprehend and track with what is going on, which will definitely help with the desire to keep reading. Up for a challenge? The Iliad is not old and crusty, rather still alive and kicking.

Goodreads

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