War Music

by Christopher Logue

Paperback, 1988





Farrar Straus & Giroux (1988)


This text contains the first three volumes of Christopher Logue's recomposition of Homer's Iliad - Kings, The Husbands and War Music.

User reviews

LibraryThing member TomMcGreevy
It is such pure pleasure to read brilliant verse. I now understand why The Iliad is an epic. The previous translations I had read had left me cold, if not totally bored. This work is a retelling rather than a translation proper; it transforms the story into a living breathing masterpiece, just as
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it must have been in its original form. The verse is powerful and even shattering in spots, the lives of the Greeks and Trojans made meaningful to the contemporary reader. I cannot recommend a work more highly than this. I intend to read more of Logue, as much as I can lay my hands on.
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LibraryThing member ElizabethPisani
A poetic retelling of Homer which made me realise for the first time what an extraordinary story teller the Greek was. I've read lots of translations of the Illiad. Now, having read Logue's translation, I finally "get it". Logue is not exactly linear in his translation work; I'm hoping he'll fill
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in the gaps and publish as a single volume soon.
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LibraryThing member Bat
Smashing version of the Ilyad if you find direct translations hard going. Great, novel poetry, but it reads enough like a novel to keep the pages turning.
LibraryThing member AlCracka
Recommended by Tom: "When it works, it really works."
LibraryThing member amylofgreen
This is a must read for any Homer lover. This takes everything that is great about Homer and modernizes and recreates a musical, poetic work of art. It is not only a must read, it is a must re-read! Enjoy!
LibraryThing member alanteder
"Who says prayer does no good?*", but Buyer Beware.
Review of the Blackstone Publishing audiobook edition (Nov 2019) of the Faber & Faber hardcover "War Music: An Account of Homer's Iliad" (Nov 2015)

It is great to cheer for an audio edition of Christopher Logue's (23 November 1926 – 2 December
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2011) magnum opus modernist version of The Iliad which brings the new poem back to the oral tradition of its inspiration. It is not so great that despite Audible's promo advertising, which states that it includes "previously unpublished material," the audiobook actually does not include the 2015's hardcover's Appendix "Great Men Falling a Long Way" which were the 30 pages of unpublished work that could be reconstructed after Logue's passing. Nor does it include the 4 page Editor's Note that explains the unpublished material. The poem as recorded ends with the final line of Pax, Logue's account of Book 19 of The Iliad:
Someone has left a spear stuck in the sand.
which is still a good valedictory image of forlorn desolation to end on.

So this audio edition of War Music includes the narrated versions of:
1. "Kings: An Account of Books 1 and 2 of Homer's Iliad" (2001)
2. "The Husbands: An Account of Books III and IV of Homer's Iliad" (2001)
3. "All Day Permanent Red: An Account of the First Battle Scenes of Homer's Iliad" (2003) (Books 5 and 6 of Homer)
4. "Cold Calls: War Music Continued" (2005) (Books 7 to 9 of Homer)
5. "War Music: An Account of Books 16** to 19 of Homer's Iliad" (1981)
and it is missing the fragments which, if completed, would have been the proposed volume 6 Great Men Falling a Long Way which theoretically would have filled in the missing gaps with Logue's versions of Homer's Books 10-15 and Books 20-24.

The performance by veteran narrator Simon Vance was excellent throughout.

* A line from All Day Permanent Red (2004).
** The 1981 edition collects earlier published smaller volumes such as "Patrocleia of Homer" (1963), GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm) and Pax.
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