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The Iliad Hardcover – September 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Hardcover: 95 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher Books; 1st edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753451077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753451076
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6. Gory battles dominate this rendering of the ancient epic. A thorough prologue provides background details that set the story near the beginning of the Trojan War. Achilles, who is angry with Agamemnon, refuses to fight with the Greek army. After losing his best friend, he rejoins the battle and avenges Patroclus's death by killing Hector. Gods and goddesses join in the willful contests that propel this story. In a brief epilogue, the war ends with the infamous Trojan Horse; a helpful cast of characters is also included. Strachan carefully follows the action of the original story but eschews oral tradition and brings this version, which reads like a made-for-television movie script, into the '90s. The ancient bard relied heavily on epithets, metaphor, simile, and formalized language; Strachan has boiled out all the flavor of Homer. Well-executed, neo-classic illustrations that depict the action are generously spread throughout. Though the human figures look more European than Greek, the battle gear and costumes appear authentic, and Ambrus uses watercolor in striking ways to portray bloody battle scenes. If students are clamoring for the Greek epics, this is an acceptable purchase.?Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5^-8. This large, handsome volume presents The Iliad as a prose adventure tale. In Strachan's measured retelling, it's a noble story, told with dignity as well as danger and daring. Even the prologue is exciting, setting in motion the actions and reactions of gods and men and leading them, step by inevitable step, to the siege and fall of Troy. An appended glossary tells who the characters are and how to pronounce their names. A solid choice for young readers looking for a good abridged version of The Iliad. Carolyn Phelan

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 5 and 7 year old boys are loving it though a little bit bloody. The retelling is action packed and exciting. They beg for the next chapter to hear what happens next. The character glossary in the back is very helpful for keeping track of all the characters.
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Format: Hardcover
My first grade-aged son picked Strachan's ILIAD out and has been happily obsessed by it for days.

The recommendation says "grades 4-6," but a precocious reader may enjoy this ILIAD earlier. While the language is occasionally a challenge for a first grader, the overall package is irresistible - plenty of battles, the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon, the Trojan Horse, the death of Achilles.

The School Library Journal review ("If students are clamoring for the Greek epics, this is ...acceptable") makes Strachan's ILIAD sound like something to settle for. The youg reader at our house would disagree. He wants to read it himself, he wants us to read it aloud. He can't get enough. This is a great choice to get an early reader interested in the story. We'll get to more poetical translations later. This is a great start.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Dujmovic VINE VOICE on December 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My young son--a first grader--checked this one out of his school library, and I'm glad he did. It's too advanced for him to read with ease, but it was perfect for Dad to read to Son. Writer Ian Strachan has masterfully condensed Homer's vast story into less than 100 action-filled pages, and the illustrations by Victor Ambrus are dynamic and beautiful--even with all the blood. Sure, it's bloody and cruel, but that's the Iliad, and that was ancient warfare.

This book turned into a cornucopia of spin-off topics: Greek mythology with its mercurial and cupid "gods"(excuse the puns)--a good foil for Christian parents to use in contrasting pagan gods with the real God--geography, the Romans' use of Greek myths (how Odysseus is Ulysses, for example, Herakles is Hercules, Zeus is Jupiter, etc), how stories were handed down orally and then in written form for centuries, archeology (Schliemann's discovery of Troy). So, while my son started with a story of guys sword-fighting, he got much more in the bargain.

Highly recommended--despite the gore.
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