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Homer: Iliadby Stanley (trn) Lombardo
Synopses & Reviews
HOMER SPEAKS — LISTEN UP!
More than 3,000 years after the fall of Troy, here at last is a rendition of the Homeric epic that everybody can understand and appreciate. The world can't hear Homer speak his own words, but Stanley Lombardo is the next best thing. Reading his own acclaimed (unabdriged) translations, Lombardo's insightful rendition takes advantage of the rhythms and other poetic resources of everyday American speech. The result provides cinematic and performance qualities to the time-honored poetry — sharp scene cuts, dynamic language, urgency of the characters (human and divine). His virtuoso performance in these audiobooks reflects years of experience before a wide variety of audiences — beautifully paced, shaped, intoned, and acted throughout.
"The definitive English version of Homer for our time." — Common Review
"The excellence of Lombardo's performance can't be lauded too much. There's no other translator of the world's greatest poetry that is also a world-class reader." — Douglass Parker, University of Texas at Austin
"Just the right degree of involvement or detachment as each circumstance in the reading calls for." — William Levitan, Grand Valley State University
"Remarkably true to the centrality of performance in Homer, the varied pacing and tone, the clarity, speed, narrative drive, and moments of breathtaking beauty." — Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University
"The quality of Stan's voice, which has an honest, unshowy American core, makes these performances sound fresh, intimate, and believable --very different from those theatricized oral interpretations that overplay the 'epic' note. Altogether this is as good as Homer gets in English." — Richard P. Martin, Stanford University
STANLEY LOMBARDO is Professor of Classics at Kansas University.
"More than almost any other book, Homer's Iliad is meant to be spoken aloud, so it's a natural fit for audiobooks. With his fluid translation of ancient Greek into the rhythms of contemporary conversation, Lombardo has rendered the story of the final stretch of the Trojan War and its plethora of jealous, vengeful gods and warriors feasting, battling and endlessly speechifying, more boldly modern and recognizable than the remote marble tableaux conjured by most other versions. Lombardo's expert reading makes the tale's convolutions easy to follow despite its length, and though he doesn't always reach for the extremes one might expect (Achilles' crashing rage sometimes sounds like mere irritation, and soldiers faced with certain death can seem less than petrified), his voice does become mesmerizing. The interruptions between books, in which Sarandon reads synopses of the next, are jarring and unnecessary, since the synopses are printed in a handy booklet, along with a useful map and list of names and places. Similarly, while the thrumming cello and percussion theme that opens and closes each book sets the tone nicely, the electronic chords that sometimes accompany dreams, deaths or appearances of the gods are rather off-putting. Such quibbles notwithstanding, Lombardo's Iliad both sings to 21st century ears and holds true to Homer's original vision; the blind bard would be proud. Lombardo has also translated and narrated Homer's Odyssey for Parmenides." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The selections have been made with an eye toward keeping the major characters, events, and themes in clear focus.
Before Greece had tragedy, comedy, history, or even formal schools, there was Homer. Greeks, young and old, learned about the realities of life by hearing separate episodes from Homer sung at public festivals, and then remembering the stories through the power of song. What they remembered was what mattered most.
These epics offered bluntly honest views of life. Think of that as you are listening to Stanley Lombardo. When he performs Homer, we feel what Bob Dylan calls the 'inner substance of great folk songs, their pulse and vibration and rumbling force.' We grasp the power words had before books, movies, and iPods. Homer taught the ancient Greeks about life, death, love, and war. Now in Lombardo's words and voice, Homer teaches us, too.
- Tom Palaima, University of of Texas at Austin
HOMER SPEAKS – LISTEN UP!
More than 3,000 years after the fall of Troy, here at last is a rendition of the Homeric epic that everybody can understand and appreciate. The world can't hear Homer speak his own words, but Stanley Lombardo is the next best thing. Reading his own acclaimed (unabdriged) translations, Lombardo's insightful rendition takes advantage of the rhythms and other poetic resources of everyday American speech. The result provides cinematic and performance qualities to the time-honored poetry—sharp scene cuts, dynamic language, urgency of the characters (human and divine). His virtuoso performance in these audiobooks reflects years of experience before a wide variety of audiences—beautifully paced, shaped, intoned, and acted throughout.
Stanley Lombardo is a Professor of Classics at Kansas University
About the Author
Stanley Lombardo is professor of classics at the University of Kansas. His translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey were originally published by Hackett Publishing Company in 1997 and 2000, respectively.
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