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Publisher's Summary

A masterly retelling of Homer’s epic poem 'The Iliad' recreates the age of heroes in this spellbinding introduction to the Greek Classics.

©2000 Rosemary Sutcliff (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Black Ships Before Troy

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  • teammine
  • 20-11-13

Captivating for kids and adults

I am preparing to teach a unit on Ancient Greece and mythology to my kids and their homeschool co-op. Black Ships before Troy is the version of the Iliad that they were assigned. I found this version to be perfectly appropriate for both my daughter (8) and my son (12), though both of them have a fairly refined sense of story and have been exposed to a lot of different kinds of literature.

Black Ships is beautifully written and even uses much of the verbiage from the epic poem to retain the imagery that resonates through Homer's Iliad. What it leaves out is the many details such as the listings of the various commanders and kings and how many ships were under their authority, among other types of details that may be lost on children. The interplay between the gods and men is retained and the feelings and emotions of the characters throughout the story are beautifully portrayed. The essence of the Iliad is perfectly intact, making this a perfect introduction of a foundational story to young audiences.

For younger children, the scene in which Hector's body is dragged is hard to take--it is supposed to be, and elicited strong reactions from my children and gave us material for discussion. Why did Achilles do what he did? What kind of things can grief do to a person? What should he have done, and do you think he could have resolved this a different way? The redeeming factor is that Hector's body is preserved by the gods, so that helped a bit.

I found the reading of this retelling of the Iliad for a younger audience to be a definite enrichment to the literary lives of my children and highly recommend it. We listened over lunch every day and in the car and couldn't wait for the next chance to turn it on. Five stars all the way around.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua Kane
  • 27-01-16

Amazing story!

I've listened to it 23 times.It is a great performance and has a feel of Ancient Greece.

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  • Happy Customer
  • 18-11-15

Enjoyable for the whole family

We have the book illustrated by Alan Lee. The children turn pages while I wash dishes. We all enjoy Glenister's narration. Thank you audible!

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  • Emily
  • 11-02-13

A wonderful telling of a classic story

This retelling of the story of the Illiad is wonderful, vivid and dramatic, and Robert Glenister reads this perfectly. This ancient story is made entertaining, accessible and has been made into a classic audiobook, and one which is well worth adding to your collection.

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  • myz
  • 09-07-12

Highly Recommended

Where does Black Ships Before Troy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was a standout, largely due to the performance, by the lovely Robert Glenister. The story, though of course familiar, was told well and at a great involving pace.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration

What does Robert Glenister bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice has a very pleasant tone and he does the different voices very well, without being over the top

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gaialove
  • 21-08-20

Beautifully told

We listened to this between 5th & 6th grade & followed with the wanderings of Odysseus. Great book.

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  • fiddledebbie
  • 09-05-20

Wow

I have heard the basic story before, but never have I heard specific details which are shown in this book. It brings out more of the story than the abridged versions, and creates a wonderful world of Greek gods, Trogan horses, and Beautiful winged women whose voices draw you to your death.

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  • Stephanie
  • 28-04-20

Appropriate retelling of Homer’s Illiad

I have used this with my 7th grade English class for several years and it is extremely well done and an appropriate version for middle school- From “the Golden Apple” until the “Fall of Troy” my students stay engaged and enthusiastic. Great audio version of a great book!

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  • J_D123
  • 24-12-19

Exciting adventure well told

Excellent narrative and reading. True to the original yet up to date. The basis of our culture.

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  • Diane
  • 27-06-18

Great first introduction

Wonderful introduction to the Iliad, exactly what I wanted for my 11 and 12 year olds.

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  • Alexander Lovell
  • 06-08-20

Great introduction to Homer

A fantastic introduction to Homer's Odyssey for children and young adults. I grew up listening to this and it has immense sentimental value to me

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  • London Student
  • 22-02-16

Fantastic adaptation of the Iliad cycle

This story tape inspired my love of classics when young. Am still inspired by the performance!