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The Iliad cover art

The Iliad

Written by: Homer,Emily Wilson - translator
Narrated by: Audra McDonald
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Publisher's Summary

When Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey appeared in 2017―rendering the ancient poem in contemporary language that was “fresh, unpretentious and lean” (Madeline Miller, Washington Post)―critics lauded it as “a revelation” (Susan Chira, New York Times) and “a cultural landmark” (Charlotte Higgins, Guardian) that would forever change how Homer is read in English. Now Wilson has returned with an equally revelatory translation of Homer’s other great epic―the most revered war poem of all time.

Brought to life in vivid audio form, this crisp verse translation of The Iliad roars with the clamor of arms, the bellowing boasts of victors, the fury and grief of loss, and the anguished cries of dying men. It sings, too, of the sublime magnitude of the world―the fierce beauty of nature and deities’ grand schemes beyond the ken of mortals.

Wilson’s musical iambic pentameter verse is brought to life in the evocative voice of narrator and Broadway legend Audra McDonald. In her thrilling reading, this magical and often horrifying tale gallops at a pace befitting its legendary battle scenes. The culmination of a decade of intense engagement with antiquity’s most surpassingly beautiful and emotionally complex poetry, Wilson’s Iliad now gives us a complete Homer for our generation.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2023 Emily Wilson (Translation) (P)2023 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Iliad

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Lol to the guy who didn't understand that the poem comes after the introduction and wants to hear it as "written"...

Awesome translation. Thoughtful and digestible introduction. The performance was evocative and her voice is so rich and and warm.

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Not my kind of narrative

I want my credit back. I wasn’t looking for a narrateur that was speeking of the book instead of read it as it was.

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  • KY-Barbara
  • 2023-10-05

Great Work of Scholarship Accessible to All

I am just getting started on this classic work, but already I am engaged and intrigued. I read the ILIAD in Greek 50+ years ago in college, but the professor gave little insight into the universal themes that made the story relevant. I suffered through the classic boxed set two decades ago (also in my Audible library). This work is different, however. I appreciate the pdf with the plot summaries and explanations. Maybe it's just that I've matured to be able to appreciate the work. I'm a fan of the narrator Audra McDonald. The author's insights given as an introduction help make the story relevant to today's world. Alas, we see how ego, vengeance , and patriarchy motivate conflict, which reeks vast devastating consequences. I bought this because my yoga teacher mentioned it as a new translation meant to be orally performed. I'm glad I did.

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10 people found this helpful

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  • Gozerthegozarian
  • 2023-10-06

So disappointed

So disappointed. I resubscribed to audible just to download Wilson’s “The Iliad.” This version “modernizes” the language. The result is soulless droning.

I LOVE the Odyssey as translated by Emily Wilson and narrated by Claire Danes. By some magic Wilson translated and Danes narrated the Odyssey without all the stilted language while preserving, I think even enhancing, the “The Odyssey’s” heart and soul.

Listening to Claire Danes narration of Emily Wilson’s “The Odyssey” is sublime. Close your eyes and one moment you’ll feel like you’re there in the story, in another you’ll imagine yourself in ancient Greece, reclined on a pillow, drinking wine, listening to a bard tell the tale.

Listening to Wilson’s “The Iliad” is a hard slog. It’s like being in school, having to force yourself to pay attention so you’ll pass the test.

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8 people found this helpful

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  • kathryn rogers
  • 2023-11-14

Must Have

The translation was impeccable. The narrator was perfect. I’ve taught this work for nearly 50 years, and this book is a must have for any lover of the classics. I would recommend it for the curriculum in all high schools and universities. Will buy in hardcover.

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  • J. Colville-Hanson
  • 2023-10-20

Great Translation

This is a great translation. Really brings the story alive. And to listen to it in a woman’s voice—chef’s kiss!

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  • Dr. A.
  • 2023-11-30

Superb

Wilson’s Iliad flows, is clear, crisp, and unafraid to move from elegant to colloquial registers, and back again, as Homer does. She is also honest enough to see both the horror and the hope. Excellent translation, excellently read.

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  • Shizont
  • 2023-11-25

Very accessible, evocative, entertaining.

A wonderful listen. Wish I had listened before trying to read the printed text. I’ll go back now to reread.

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  • Travis Peterson
  • 2023-11-16

Very well done

10/10 on all fronts. A wonderful translation and stellar performance filled with joy and sorrow.

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  • J.
  • 2023-11-09

Not your father’s Iliad

An accessible translation. In the introduction the author provides insight to the challenges of translating Ancient Greek for modern audiences and yet preserve a classical feel. Unless I missed them there were several famous scenes that were greatly rewritten abridged or completely left out. For example Helen on the walls with Priam pointing out the Greek heroes is missing. Paris’ fight with Menalaous goes a bit differently from what I remember. Nobody seems to take Protrocolas for Achilles when the former dons this armor to rally the Greeks to save their ships. This is a key motive for Protrocolas and why Achilles feels such remorse. Remorse that he channels into hatred towards Hector. If I was not acquainted with other translations I would have missed some of the central themes of this classic

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  • Lennox Rodney
  • 2024-02-21

The battles…

Jumped right out at you as if you were seeing it. Awesome imagery and language.

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  • CA reader
  • 2024-02-05

The careful and incredibly nuanced “voices” of Audra McDonald

Emily Wilson’s narrative is contemporary and heroic art, delivering both empathy and horror at the same time. The story moves with an inexorable momentum. McDonald is spectacular in conveying the gore and agony of battle while also varying her tone to inhabit the characters of myriad gods and heroes. I have read the Iliad in other translations, but this is the first time I have so viscerally felt the brutality, humanity, and the spectacle of this ever-relevant epic poem. Many thanks to Audible for taking on this project

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