Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Iliad May 2011 Readalong Sign-ups.

Welcome to the sign-up post for the May 2011 readalong of Homer's The Iliad hosted here at A Literary Odyssey! I am very excited about this one (and only slightly bummed that my reading of the Hardy novel it beat out will be delayed).

I love The Odyssey and it was the first book I discussed here. It inspired my blog and everything I have accomplished since starting this wondrous piece of the internet up. While I have read The Iliad, it was a long time ago, and it was a bad translation. I am excited to be getting back into the wonders of the Greeks with this title.

If you aren't sure if you want to tackle this one or not, here is a little synopsis taken from;

"One of the greatest stories ever told, The Iliad has survived for thousands of years because of its insightful portrayal of man and its epic story of war, duty, honor, and revenge.

While The Iliad recounts the war between the Trojans and Achaeans, it also is the tragic story of the fiery-tempered Achilles. Insulted by his king, the proud Achilles decides to stand by as his comrades are annihilated, but circumstances finally spur the warrior to wreak savage retribution upon Troy.

The battle between the Trojans and Achaeans stirs ancient passions and vendettas among the gods of Olympus. While the two armies of mortals confront each other, the gods fly to earth to aid their allies and confound their enemies. Soon, they too enter the fray alongside the men, which leads to an attempt to betray Zeus himself, the supreme king of Olympus.

Woven among the battle scenes are the stories of the men and women caught in the war: the Trojan prince Hector, who is torn between duty and love for his wife and young son; Helen, who is the most beautiful woman in the world, but who comes to regret being born; and Priam, the king of Troy, who is too old to battle, but has the strength for one final act of courage."

Like I said, I can't wait to read this one with all of you. Now, be warned that this one is a little bigger than some of the other ones, and it will vary greatly depending on your translation. Make sure you pick a translation you like before you begin (I suggest going and reading the first couple pages of a few at the store before deciding).

The page breakdown is based on my own edition (the same edition that makes up our image for the readalong). I love Robert Fagles and he is a marvelous translator. His translation of The Odyssey is by far my favorite.

Here is the breakdown and it goes by the "books" that make up the tale. There are 24 books, and in my edition (the one translated by Fagles), the actual text of The Iliad is 536 pages.
  • Post 1 will go up on May 16 (a Monday). Post 1 will cover books 1-12 (263 pages)
  • Post 2 will go up May 31 (a Tuesday). Post 2 will cover books 13-24 (273 pages)
I hope that many of you will decide to join in! If you are planning on it, please comment below with a link to your blog (so I can link your name here). I will see on the battlefields of Troy! (<- see what I did there? Clever, aren't I?)


Read the Book
Becca A.
Avid Reader


  1. I bought this edition of The Odyssey and The Iliad a few years for a class that I ended up dropping. I tried to read them on my own but just got confused and gave up. Since I already have the book, I'd love to join in for this readalong too! My first post will be late though, I'm going Germany in May and I will be getting home really late May 15th, so I should be able to post a couple days after that.

  2. I'm in! I bought the Fagles as a treat for myself right before Christmas. I loved The Odyssey so I can't wait to read The Iliad.

  3. I am totally there! I actually read the first part of the Iliad a few months ago, but never finished it...oops...

    My blog is

    Can't wait!

  4. Aw! So wish I could join you! I'm booked now with Austen, who is becoming more and more fascinating to me. I'll be watching with interest though!!

  5. I have this gorgeous copy of 'Iliad' that has been sitting on my shelves for... um, years?
    -insert guilty reader feelings-

    I'm so in, time to get the puppy read!

  6. I have been meaning to read the Illiad for the longest time, I just never found it as gripping as the Odyssey. I think reading it for this read-a-long will get me further in the book. So sign me up!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Ok, I'm in. Can't wait for the first post.

  9. I'm in! My friend and I plan to do this as a buddy read. Not sure which translation we'll decide on yet, but definitely all over this :-) My blog is Thanks for setting it up!

  10. I'm going to try to do this readalong. May is a really busy month for me (an out town bachelorette party, family visiting from out of town, two birthdays, plus a baby shower to plan and host), but I'm going to try to do this! I haven't read The Iliad since college. I enjoyed it then and I still have all my notes.

    Grace @

  11. I can't wait to see what everybody says! I was honestly shocked by how much I loved this book. Hope some of you have the same feelings.

  12. Definitely want to take part. I keep coming across the story of Iliad in various sci fi books. It piqued my interest and I bought it at the start of the year. Was planning to pick it up at some point next month anyway.

  13. OK, I'm signing up though I'll probably be on a different translation unless I can get a Kindle download of yours. I've always loved the stories of The Odyssey but am less familiar with The Iliad.

    Curiosity Killed The Bookworm

  14. Got here through Ellie (above)! I'm signing up too, though I will be reading it in Greek, as soon as I find my copy! (My Mum's put it away somewhere...)

    The main reason I'm signing is because of the fact that I have not read it in nearly 10 years! Too long!


  15. I wasn't going to participate because I've read it before and I already have 16 books planned for the month of May, but what the heck? I'm in.


  16. I'm going to join it too. I will probably use the Lattimore translation (poetry) simply because that is the one I have and used way back when in university. I absolutely LOVE Homer and studied Classical Studies at university, but haven't read any for a long time. Thanks for this push to get back into something that I love.
    My blog is: Books & Other Creative Adventures at

  17. I'm in! Reading The Iliad has been on my to-do list for a few years now.

  18. I'm not doing very well I'm afraid. I'm going to carry on reading but won't be finishing with the rest of you!