I have a confession to make: I have a Masters in Ancient History but this is the first time I’ve read The Iliad in its entirety. And now for another confession: I really didn’t like it as much as I feel I should have.
I enjoy The Odyssey. Odysseus rocks and I’ve always had a major soft spot for Telemachus. So it’s not that I have anything against Greek epic… just THIS Greek epic. I don’t know how much of it was the translation and how much was the work itself, but I just wasn’t interested most of the time.
Ultimately, I think this just confirms something that I (and all those who know me) have known for years: Rome > Greece in my little corner of the Classics.
If only all Dickens was so easy to read. Normally, reading his work is like chewing on language – lovely, wonderful language, yes, but time consuming nonetheless. A Tale of Two Cities is very different. There is still the elegance of writing that one expects from Dickens, but it’s tied in with what I like to call a Ripping Yarn, along with his usual, brilliant social commentary.
I picked this book up, expecting it to be a challenge. Instead, I couldn’t put it down.
Absolutely excellent book, and that’s high praise for someone who doesn’t say that a lot about books published after 1950. Horrifically depressing too, of course, in that quiet, underlying way that I’m particularly fond of. Great style, and very clever execution.