Buy Used
£5.28
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters Hardcover – 22 May 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, 22 May 2014
£5.28
click to open popover

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins; First Edition edition (22 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007335520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007335527
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

‘[A] brilliant, passionate, world-wandering love letter to Homer … If the only real test of any book about Homer is that it should make you want to go back to Homer, then ‘The Mighty Dead’ passes that test in a blaze of glory’ Sunday Times

‘Nicolson dusts down Homer for a new generation. Superbly written’ Daily Telegraph

‘The book that was waiting to be written … a superbly written account of the poems’ The Times

‘Thrilling and unsettling … [a] wonderfully expressive alloy of travelogue, scholarship and advocacy, which broods with heartfelt grace … Nicolson's books always shine with the Homeric virtues of eloquence, passion, generosity, audacity and candour … He does them proud’ Boyd Tonkin, Independent

‘A hosanna to Homeric wandering and wanderlust … breathes new life into an ancient adventure’ Observer

‘A beautiful study: full of insight, generosity and unaffected passion. The writing is exhilarating’ Guardian

‘A thrillingly energised book … it transmits a whole worldview at once decipherable and dramatically strange … To read Homer is to be struck by what Nicolson calls ‘time-vertigo’ – and this book is one that holds your hand and encourages you to peer over the edge. To read it is to have a fat pair of Homeric jump-leads attached from Nicolson’s sparkling and crackling faculties to your own’ Spectator

‘As gripping as a thriller and as delicately constructed as a sonnet … an astonishing tour de force that reveals Homer to be at once as ancient as papyrus and as modern as MTV … Not only does he have an inward understanding of how Homer’s poetry works, his own prose also has the sharp glitter of a poet’s eye’ Telegraph

‘Erudite, far-ranging in time and space, and provocative …This rich and adventurous book is Nicolson’s own odyssey … [his] enthusiasm is enriching and his examination of the character of the two epics acute and fascinating. Homer matters because he can stimulate books such as this’ Literary Review

Book Description

Why Homer Matters

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Mighty Dead – why Homer matters" by Adam Nicolson is utterly astonishing.

It is the cleverest and most profound book on any subject that I have read in twenty years. It is not a difficult book, as some specialist books on, say, philosophy, theology and philology, for example, are, but it embraces all those and brings together all that makes us Proto-Indo-European speaking people what we are. From my limited vocabulary I'd call it a tour de force, de jeux, de joie, d'esprit; and then I've come nowhere near expressing its impact.

I can hook it up to Schweitzer's wonderful phrase, 'Wir Epigonen', straight from Greek meaning, We inheritors (of a profound culture and civilisation).

You can get it on Kindle for a couple of pounds. Then savour it for the rest of your life, knowing it was the best two pounds you ever spent.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book so much I went and bought another copy as a present. What is good about it? Everyone has heard of Homer and some including me have read the Iliad and the Odyssey. I did not see either of Homer's great works as particularly relevant now. That is why this book is so good. Not only does it tell you a great deal about Homer but how it is still completely up-to-date. It is beautifully written. It starts with the author at sea telling his story about a nasty crossing from England to the very south of Ireland in rough weather. So he manages to use his own experiences as a way of getting into Homer and he continues to do this throughout. This makes it a fascinating read.

I am told by friends that AN has it wrong about the dates of Homer. He puts him as much as 1000 years before other scholars.
I have also been to Greece and Turkey where much of the action takes place and I was pretty convinced by AN's arguments but, even if he is wrong, this is still an enjoyable challenge and worth the effort.
I got my copies from a company called Wordery (as new). I paid the minimum for carriage and the first one arrived well before I was expecting it. I'll be using them again.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book drives you to read Homer. It is full of insights; its language is of the highest order. It provides many insights into the Greek original. Nicholson is a superb travel writer, but above all he revels in the genius of Homer. This book was sheer delight. I recommend it without any reservations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Squirr-El HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Mighty Dead, Adam Nicholson, William Collins, 2014, 314pp

This is a literary book about the poems of Homer, investigating and analysing the story, the poetry, the background, the influences, and just about every aspect that you can think of. It is extremely well-written, and immerses you in the world of the Ancient Greeks in a way that a traditionally-written history book would have difficulty achieving. There are copious notes and references included here, but tucked away at the back without any indication in the text that is not ‘just’ a book about poetry. I read it over three evenings, and didn’t even notice they were there until I had finished. If you have any interest in the poems of Homer or their place in European culture, this is an excellent view of contemporary research, literary, linguistic, archaeological and whatever, but woven together into a magnificent verbal tapestry.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A terrific read; I have not enjoyed a book so much for ages. Lyrical in places and a delight for a Homer-lover. I had not heard of it and found it by chance having seen Adam Nicolson's TV programme on the Bible. I'm now reading Arcadia.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stunning view of what could be a dry subject. Offers so many different perspectives of early civilisation, quite eye opening.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Delightful romp through the past, full of opinion, wit and humour. You don't find many books with this sort of intellectual confidence and it's a joy!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is a great enthusiast for the works of Homer; though I suspect more of an Odyssey man than an Iliadista (I belong to the latter school). This book represents an attempt to explain that enthusiasm, to put it in a historical context and to reflect on its power. If writing or reading poetry has its difficulties, how much more difficult to communicate one's own love of a piece to others; a task requiring Proustian skills. I never felt I fully grasped what Adam Nicolson saw in the works (as against what I see), though his extended section on Odysseus in the grip of Poseidon probably took me as near to that madeleine as I will reach without going to sea.

Fortunately the book succeeded very well in so many other areas. The use of language to place the original events in realms of a steppe-people (red meat and raiding) was very persuasive, moving back the events behind the poem to 1800 BC rather than 1250 BC. The discussion of bardic tradition (is it constantly changing - the Kriepiad, or astonishingly regular - Scottish Islesmen) and the comparison with contemporary tales (The Story of Sinuhe)are all very valuable. If Nicolson never quite got his love of the Odyssey into my fat head he succeeded with his description of place - the gates of Hades in Spain, and the megaron of Emporio in Chios could almost be sniffed. All in all he continues in the tradition of singing this most ancient of songs: many-voiced lord of windy Carnock.
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews