Book Review: The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

In this passionate, deeply personal book, Adam Nicolson explains why Homer matters - to him, to you, to the world - in a text full of twists, turns and surprises.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been reading The Iliad and The Odyssey again this year, as I am writing a novel which draws upon the ancient Cretan myth of Ariadne and the Minotaur and so am immersing myself in all things Greek. A friend recommended this book to me, as a way of helping me understand Homer. I read it slowly, over many months, a chapter at a time. It spins together poetry, history, linguistics, mythology, psychology and memoir into an absolutely dazzling examination of these two ancient and influential poems. Adam Nicholson writes beautifully, and knows so much, and thinks so deeply – his passion and erudition is astounding. I found myself underlining passages of his prose, and making notes, and trying to learn from him. I feel this is a book you could read again and again, and always discover some fresh insight.


Here is just one: “The Iliad’s subject is not war or its wickedness but a crisis in how to be.”



You might also like to read my review Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marsden:

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Kate Forsyth
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