We recognize the names: Achilles, Odysseus, Zeus, and Apollo. We’re taught that The Iliad is a foundational text of civilization. Until now, The Iliad was hijacked by academics and used to bludgeon schoolchildren as a boring-yet- mandatory reading.

Poet, novelist, essayist, and former teacher John Dolan revisits this ancient tale and restores it to its ancient glory. The Greeks and Trojans are still fighting. The gods are still interfering. But in Dolan’s version, you’ll be amazed at how funny, raw, and terrifying this doomed world of war really is. He strips away at the archaic language to reveal the true meaning and themes that animate this tale of war and futility.

John Dolan’s work under the nom de guerre “Gary Brecher” The War Nerd has been met with both acclaim and controversy. Dolan’s version of The Iliad is sapped of the usual saccharine romance attributed to “heroes” and lets the action tell the story. Regardless of attributed name, Dolan/Brecher is an astute observer of modern warfare who now turns that keen analysis to the most classical of documented battles, The Iliad.

John Dolan works with Mark Ames (of eXile fame) to produce the Radio War Nerd weekly podcast on military matters. Born in Denver, Colorado, Dolan currently lives in Macedonia.