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The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) by Homer
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The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) (edition 2006)

by Homer

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28,47524233 (4.04)5 / 701
Member:ashbrau
Title:The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Homer
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Odyssey by Homer

  1. 202
    The Iliad by Homer (caflores)
  2. 172
    The Aeneid by Virgil (caflores)
  3. 132
    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (alalba)
  4. 40
    Homer's Daughter by Robert Graves (MarcusBrutus)
    MarcusBrutus: Robert Graves took the story of "The Odyssey's" authorship and expounds on the theory that it was written by a woman. This is a novel based on that idea.
  5. 52
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous (chrisharpe)
  6. 42
    The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel by Nikos Kazantzakis (lilithcat)
    lilithcat: Only Greece's greatest modern writer would have the nerve and ability to send Odysseus back on his journeying.
  7. 86
    Ulysses by James Joyce (chrisharpe)
  8. 32
    The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson (chrisharpe)
  9. 33
    The Lost Books of The Odyssey: A Novel by Zachary Mason (slickdpdx)
  10. 77
    Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (BookWallah)
    BookWallah: Odysseus & Shackleton both had travails getting home from their epic voyages. Differences in their stories: The former’s took 17 years, lost all his men, & was told as epic poetry. The latter’s took 16 months, saved all his men, & is told as gripping biography.… (more)
  11. 37
    The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (Jitsusama)
    Jitsusama: An ancient classic revolving around Greek Myth. A great help to better understand the mythology of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
  12. 49
    Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence by Jeremy Wilson (KayCliff)
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English (212)  Spanish (8)  Dutch (6)  French (4)  Danish (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  All languages (242)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
This is the classic story of how Odysseus leaves the finished battle of Troy for his return voyage to Ithaca only to be beset by many trials and obstacles. Meanwhile, back at the ranch--I mean palace, his wife and son creatively ward off a group of rowdy suitors who want to take Odysseus' wife as their own and gain the kingdom. Also in the background, the Greek gods argue with each other, some punish Odysseus and others try to help.

I chose to read the Alexander Pope translation because I wanted to read the free version on my ereader. I never finished The Iliad because I was overwhelmed by the length of the book. I needed to trick my brain into thinking this wasn't so long. That said, I would recommend a more recent translation like the Fagles' translation. There were portions that I found difficult to understand, and it was especially difficult to understand who was talking at times.

A couple of observations on the great epic poem. There are some very touching (emotional) scenes in this book. One that stands out to me is Odysseus's visit to hell. There he sees his mother and learns she has died of grief over Odysseus's failure to return from the war. He also sees Agamemnon who was killed by his wife and her lover on his return from the war. A cast of characters parades in front of him from the war who are now dead. Another is when Odysseus returns to Ithaca and his old dog dies of joy. Odysseus sees his father, the former king, in rags, and his wife in tears. I rejoiced when Penelope finally had the joy of spending the night with her husband. What a reunion!

I was surprised by some of the violence because I'd read The Children's Homer by Colum three times to my children through the years. Obviously, Colum edited the story to make it more suitable for children. This has a very modern feel when the monster eats his comrades, and when Odysseus cuts off the heads of the suitors and tortures one of the suitors' servants, then he decides to hang the women conspirators.

All in all the enduring classic quality of this story hinges on the emotional connection we all feel to our hero Odysseus. ( )
1 vote heidip | Aug 12, 2014 |
This is a prose translation, which feels a little dated and wordy at times, I'm sure others are better. It's a great story, but told in a convoluted way, and quite unevenly paced. Lots of other bits of Greek myth are touched on as Odysseus wanders from one place to another, spinning his tales as he tries to get home. I found myself getting really involved and loving some of the more compelling story telling parts, but a bit bored by some of the more repetitive and slow moving parts. It inspired a great discussion at book club too. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 4, 2014 |
"When young any composition pleases which unites a little sense, some imagination, and some rhythm, in doses however small. But as we advance in life these things fall off one by one, and I suspect we are left at last with only Homer and Virgil, perhaps Homer alone." - Thomas Jefferson, Thoughts on English Prosody

"I enjoy Homer in his own language infinitely beyond Pope’s translation of him, & both beyond the dull narrative of the same events by Dares Phrygius." - Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley, 27 Jan. 1800 [PTJ 31:339-341]

"Read also Milton’s paradise lost, Ossian, Pope’s works, Swift’s works in order to form your style in your own language." - Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 19 Aug. 1785 [PTJ 8:405-408]
  ThomasJefferson | Jul 30, 2014 |
"When young any composition pleases which unites a little sense, some imagination, and some rhythm, in doses however small. But as we advance in life these things fall off one by one, and I suspect we are left at last with only Homer and Virgil, perhaps Homer alone." - Thomas Jefferson, Thoughts on English Prosody

"and what finer specimens could [the teacher of Latin and Greek] produce & comment on ... in Belles lettres than Homer, Anacreon, Theocritus, Virgil, Horace, Terence & the Greek tragedians, all of them school books?" - Thomas Jefferson to Jason Chamberlain, 1 Jul. 1814 [PTJ:RS 28:447-448]

" ... the sublime measure of Homer ... " - Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 21 Mar. 1819

"I would advise you to undertake a regular course of history & poetry in both languages, in Greek, go first thro’ the Cyropaedia, and then read Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon’s Hellenies & Anabasis, Arrian’s Alexander, & Plutarch’s lives, for prose reading: Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey, Euripides, Sophocles in poetry ... " - Thomas Jefferson to Francis Eppes, 6 Oct. 1820
  ThomasJefferson | Jul 30, 2014 |
Read part of it in high school. Then the whole thing in college, and recently taught (parts of) it to my 9th graders.

The story is so great. I want to re-read! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (154 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Homerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aafjes, BertusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bendz, GerhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Björkeson, IngvarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boutens, P.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckland-Wright, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burkert, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butcher, Samuel HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, SamuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christian, AntonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coornhert, Dierick Volckertsz.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dimock, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Due, Otto SteenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, Charles WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flaxman, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuchs, J.W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Peter V.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Peter V.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirk, G. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerlöf, ErlandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lang, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichmondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, T. E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linkomies, EdwinPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loomis, Louise RopesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Louise Ropes LoomisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lucas, F. L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mandelbaum, AllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKellen, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKellen, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Walter JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montbel, DugasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmer, George HerbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pope, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, Howard N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rees, EnnisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riba, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, D. C. H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, Emile VictorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, Adamsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rouse, W. H. D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Samuel ButlerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segalá y Estalella, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, T. E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shewring, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stanford, William Bedell.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinmann, KurtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stolpe, JanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svenbro, JesperForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmerman, Aegidius W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voss, Johann HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Way, Arthur S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific--and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise--
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

John Keats
Dedication
for my sons and daughters - Translator's dedication (Fitzgerald, 1963)
For Lynne
su gar m'ebiôsao, kourê - Translator's dedication (Fagles, 1996)
First words
By now the other warriors, those that had escaped headlong ruin by sea or in battle, were safely home.
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.
Quotations
Tell me Muse, of the man of many ways, who was driven far journeys, after he had sacked Troy's sacred citadel.
(Lattimore translation}
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The Odyssey is the epic poem about the great adventurer Odysseus. After the great fall of Troy, Odysseus has some difficulties finding his way back to Ithaca. He encounters sirens, giants and many other mythical creatures and it takes him 10 years to find his way home. I enjoyed this book because it of the mythology and the adventure that it portrays and I think it is a good read.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140268863, Paperback)

Robert Fagles's translation is a jaw-droppingly beautiful rendering of Homer's Odyssey, the most accessible and enthralling epic of classical Greece. Fagles captures the rapid and direct language of the original Greek, while telling the story of Odysseus in lyrics that ring with a clear, energetic voice. The story itself has never seemed more dynamic, the action more compelling, nor the descriptions so brilliant in detail. It is often said that every age demands its own translation of the classics. Fagles's work is a triumph because he has not merely provided a contemporary version of Homer's classic poem, but has located the right language for the timeless character of this great tale. Fagles brings the Odyssey so near, one wonders if the Hollywood adaption can be far behind. This is a terrific book.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:16 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

A new translation of the epic poem retells the story of Odysseus's ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 45 descriptions

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Audible.com

26 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Eight editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140268863, 0140275363, 0143039954, 0140445927, 0140449116, 0140383093, 0451530683, 0141192445

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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