The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters

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27 Ratings

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3 out of 5 stars
By Richard Bowden on 03-06-15

Often thought provoking, occasionally cringeworthy

What did you like best about The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters? What did you like least?

It's an important literary subject and the writer does a decent job in parts of opening up the text. The writer does a good job of conveying the world in which he believes the Iliad and Odyssey were written.

Would you recommend The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters to your friends? Why or why not?

If someone has a deep interest in Homer and Ancient Greece then yes I would recommend it. However the reader must understand that this book for large parts in discomfortingly pretentious. The writer seems obsessed with linking himself to the Homeric Heroes through his actions and this at times makes the writer look a little foolish. If you can get past these eye rolling sections the book is a very good read.

What about Dugald Bruce Lockhart’s performance did you like?

The spoken performance is fine, it fits very well with the tone of the book.

Could you see The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Of course not, unless it was on BBC4.

Any additional comments?

It's a bit of a shame that most of the analysis of the Odyssey is squashed into the last real chapter of the book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Steven on 27-08-16

Fascinating book, woeful narration

Adam Nicolson is, by his own admission, a latecomer to appreciating Homer and in this book he writes with characteristic thoughtfulness and insight about how his awakening to the Iliad and the Odyssey have contributed to his understanding of himself and of the meaning of human life. It is a persuasive and at times provocative case, stripped of sentimentalism and illuminated with moments of harrowing autobiography. His language is as visceral and vibrant as the poems themselves. As an audiobook, however, it is let down by the narration which I found rather hurried and breathless. Worst of all was Dugald Bruce Lockhart's pronunciation and misplaced stresses of proper nouns, not only of the classical characters and places, but more generally. To pronounce Titian 'tight-ee-an' for example is just nonsense and the less said about his attempt at Srebrenica the better! The 9hrs were littered with such stumblings, enough to become an annoying distraction from what is a work of compelling erudition.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By John Horncastle on 08-01-18

Wonderful book

This is a fascinating book. The author's love shines through as he follows the threads of the Odyssey and the Iliad back to the pre-Classical world. The scholarship and insight brings context which will enrich the reading of Homer or indeed exploring the Bronze Age. The narrator reads with great verve.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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