Stoic wrote:I'd like to be able to read both Homeric and Attic Greek, and I've been struggling a bit with Mastronarde. For beginners, I've heard arguments for starting out with one or the other. I wonder what the others here think.
It's not really an argument that can be solved here. If you learn any one dialect well you can probably move to the others fairly easily. Homeric has fewer contractions, which can be an advantage, but because it is poetic it has some other problems, like dropped augments. I'm also not a big fan of Pharr's book, referenced above. It is very hard to follow, and the grammar is not even presented in the text, but is stuck in a reference grammar in the back. I haven't tried the other Homeric book, it might be better. However, Pharr's essay in favor of starting Greek with Homeric is worth the read if you are interested in these arguments.
Don't give up on Attic just because you find Mastronarde hard. Personally, I love his book, but people have different learning styles and there are many other books out there that might be more suited to your taste.