I had only read small excerpts before, so it was a pleasure to finally read the whole work. I found a lot of what I was expecting: a moody Achilles, a patriotic Hector, brutal battles, and meddling gods (in fact, quite a bit more of all of these than I was expecting). I was surprised at the focus on the pain and horrors of war, the longing of the soldiers for peace (especially in the early books), the criticism that both Paris and Achilles took from their compatriots, and the regrets of Helen.
Stanley Lombardo’s translation was very informal and very readable. I would like to read a more formal translation at some point, but I enjoyed Lombardo’s quite a lot.