I am an avid member of Audible because I want books, professional readers and professional recordings…this recording id terrible. A bad listen.
The Odyssey is famous for its survival from antiquity but also as one of the great original pieces of literature and poetry of humanity. Nothing is more astounding about the Odyssey than the fact that it exists and for that alone it is worth anyone's time to read or listen. Regardless of the story, its presentation provides a glimpse of Greek culture around 800 B.C. which also cannot be overvalued.
However, the story of Odysseus is not my favorite and requires a greater than novice-level appreciation for Greek mythology. Without this prerequisite, the character of the gods are largely untranslated to the reader. Even still, the inclusion of the gods (or some of them) is annoying since they seem so inconsistent and juvenile, not to mention categorically misogynistic - but that's a whole different debate. The whole time I read/listened to The Odyssey I was constantly wondering how many Greeks really bought into the story of the gods and how many of them just went through the motions due to social pressures. For me, this tenant of the poem was too much to get around.
The editing of this recording was simply atrocious. There are 24 books in the Odyssey and the audiobook from audible.com broke it up into 24 chapters which would seem to correlate. However, the majority of the books ended in the middle of the chapters, if you catch my meaning. Moreover, it felt as if the sound levels and quality were different from chapter to chapter (not from book to book). And finally, despite his immense popularity, I felt Sir Ian McKellen's performance was lacking in imagination. All-in-all, I felt the audiobook was rather disappointing and would recommend an inquiring listener to choose a different version.
The narration was too fast and very confusing.
It moved too fast. Hard to keep up. This wasn't easy listening. I felt like if I sneezed I would missed something.
I heard good things about this classic, but I couldn't get into it.
Homer's epic tale of Odysseus' long journey home from the Trojan war needs the right voice to tell this story of bravery, tragedy, desire and danger, of love and seduction. McKellan is the perfect choice for this task, narrating with both a light touch (for the descriptions) and creating compelling drama during the conversations, confrontations and excitement. You'll be enchanted by this audiobook, whose 13 hours will fly by in engrossed delight.
Why hire an amazing, well-respected actor as Sir Ian McKellen for the narration and not go to the trouble of capturing a suitable audio recording to do it justice?! The entire thing sounds like it was recorded underwater - whatever audio engineer was on duty that day should find new line of employment.
It's all good. It is an excellent translation voiced by a superb reader. The sound quality was patchy in places but that may have been the download.
It took some time to adjust to Ian McKellen's reading, but once I did it was musical. I missed some names but always enjoyed listening. After some listening I searched for other titles he read and was disappointed when found he did not read the Iliad.
Yes, lovely book, amazing that its been preserved these thousands of years. Also, Robert Fagles is the BEST translator of classical literature I have ever read. I very highly recommend listening to this book, and also following along with the text if possible. Especially for school, it is great to hear it as you read it. Comprehension goes way up.
Goodness. All of them! Love this book.
I would have, but I did not have that much time available. But I would if I could.
Love the narrators voice (this wonderful Ian McKellan). It fits perfectly with the story, reads at a good pace too.
I originally purchased this book because my son was reading it for school and I wanted to be able to talk to him about it. It became one of my very favorite books! It's truly an epic poem, and I think it was especially wonderful to listen to so as to capture the cadence of the spoken word. I would listen to anything narrated by Ian McKellen - he was captivating. Some of the phrases that are repeated throughout the work still make me smile just to think about them. This was a book I was always eager to get back to. Purchase this - you won't regret it!
Considering the odyssey is one of the greatest stories ever put to paper it was definitely worth the time spent. However, the amazing performance of Ian mckellan and the material deserves better than the multitude of audio glitches. Previous reviewers have pointed this out already, but in case you missed it his voice's pitch in some chapters is an octave lower than normal and sometimes he sounds like he's in another room. If you are like me you will be drawn into the story regardless and find these as minor annoyances. Maybe audible will one day attempt to find the master tapes and re-release this.
Odysseus because he is… oddyseus
Oddyseus blinding Polyphemus