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Iliad and Odyssey boxed set Paperback – Jan 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0147712556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0147712554
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 15 x 8.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #175,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Iliad is the story of the rage and wrath of Achilles during the Trojan War while the Odyssey is the story of Odysseus' ten year journey to return home after the sack of Troy. Both are wonderful stories I'm sure we're all familiar with so I won't spend time on a summary suffice to say that both are very well written, composed, and stunning in their imagery and subject matter.
What I will say about these editions is that they look fantastic. Whether sitting on a shelf or a desk, they are just lovely to look at. I'm aware that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but they they look this good it's hard not to notice.
Robert Fagles does a great job translating both books in a manner which captures the spirit and inherent Greek-ness of the stories but makes them easy enough to understand for the modern reader. There is no middle English or half Greek or what some might consider nonsense language, the translation is very straightforward, easy to follow, and easy to understand. It takes a lot of work, dedication, and time to create what Fagles has accomplished here and I salute him for it.
If you're read these stories already in another translation I'd urge you to read Fagles as well, he breathes a different sort of life into the stories. If you've got old battered copies and are looking for new ones these shouldn't fail you ad they look lovely on a shelf together (With the Aeneid too, also by Fagles). If you've never read the Iliad or the Odyssey this set contains both at a modest price point and in the easiest to understand English without robbing the stories of their substance. Excellent work on Fagles behalf, I'll be reading these for many more years to come and hopefully you will be too!
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By Aaron on Nov. 4 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the "deluxe" edition which includes both the Iliad and the Odyssey (ISBN: 0670779644). The volumes themselves are handsomely made with cloth binding and satin page-markers. Fagle's translation certainly has its charm, but on the whole I prefer the older translations of Chapman, Pope, and others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 16 2008
Format: Paperback
The Iliad

With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad.

For example:

"Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
Murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many souls,
great fighters' souls. But made their bodies carrion,
feasts for dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles."
-Translated by Robert Fagles

"Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a heroes did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles first fell out with one another."
-Translated by Samuel Butler

Our story takes place in the ninth year of the ongoing war. We get some introduction to the first nine years but they are just a background to this tale of pride, sorrow and revenge. The story will also end abruptly before the end of the war.

We have the wide conflict between the Trojans and Achaeans over a matter of pride; the gods get to take sides and many times direct spears and shields.

Although the more focused conflict is the power struggle between two different types of power. That of Achilles, son of Peleus and the greatest individual warier and that of Agamemnon, lord of men, who's power comes form position.
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By Luke Johnson on April 16 2011
Format: Paperback
These are beautiful books. Simple paper backs, but so nicely put together. The typeface is easy to read, and the layout of the books is pleasing. Definitely a bargain at $25. They are my summer reading, and can't wait!
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By The Frosty Hound on Feb. 25 2009
Format: Paperback
This box set is an amazing deal and a really great translation of Homer's works. I've read other editions but this one is much clearer, smoother, and understandable to the modern reader.
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By A Customer on April 16 2004
Format: Hardcover
Most of what needs to be said about the Fagles' translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey has been covered in the previous reviews. I would simply add that, despite years of loving the tales of Homer, I was never able to read his works clean through until Fagles returned the fluid poetry of oration to the works.
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Format: Hardcover
It is not perfect, but it is still one of the best books I've ever read. I believe this is a better story than "The Iliad". There are a lot more journey's and adventures. Besides fighting the Egyptians, Odysseus has to battle the goddess Circe, the Cyclopes, a Monster in a cave that he can't defeat, as well as get by the Sirens. He meets merpeople, and visits many foreign lands. He has to avoid lightning bolts, Hurricane's, Crashing rocks, and even go to Hades to consult with the dead. After all of this the prophets foretell that he will lose his ship and all of his men, but that one day he will make it home again. After all of this will he finally reach home only there to be killed?
After the war at Troy, Odysseus is plagued to travel the world for twenty years before returning home because he killed one of Poseidon's sons. While he is away nobody has heard news of Odysseus and can only assume that he has been killed, but since they can not confirm this, they can not give him a proper burial and pass his property on to his son Telemachus. Suitors who believe Odysseus will never return vie for the hand of Odysseus' wife Penelope. They use this as an excuse to use up all of Odysseus' property and to waste away all of Telemachus' inheritance. There are 108 suitors who represent the best young men of Ithaca and they all come from noble family's. These men have no honor however and behave very badly, so the gods are not on their side.
While on his journey home Odysseus visits Hades and there sees Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Heracles, and many of the other Achaean heroes. It is here that he learns the fate of king Agamemnon who's wife plotted his murder upon his return.
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