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The Odyssey Audiobook

The Odyssey

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Publisher's Summary

This new translation by award-winning translator Robert Fagles captures the energy of Homer's original in bold, contemporary idiom. This is an Odyssey to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude are woven into the rich tapestry of danger, disaster, and ultimate triumph. Written by the blind poet, Homer, in the 8th century B.C., The Odyssey is the foundation for modern European literature. It is read by Ian McKellen, one of the most highly acclaimed actors in the English-speaking world.

For informative lectures about Homer and The Odyssey, don't miss CliffsNotes on Homer's The Odyssey (Unabridged).

(P) and ©1996 Penguin Books USA Inc.

What the Critics Say

"To re-create a world where everything is living...is very nearly as difficult as to create it. Fagles does this with triumphant assurance; every arrowhead flashes lightning, every bush burns; Homer is with us." (James Dickey)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1417 )
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Story
4.5 (1168 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Septimus MacGhilleglas 10-02-11 Member Since 2011

    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is easily one of the best I've ever heard."
    What did you love best about The Odyssey?

    Ian McKellen's talent as a narrator is astounding. His cadence and inflections are sublime. The only complaint I have is the 3 seconds of electronic organ noise separating the books. This is one of the few books that I could listen to over and over.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel Fitchburg, WI, United States 10-14-10
    Gabriel Fitchburg, WI, United States 10-14-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful!!!"

    Ian McKellan's narration of the Odyssey is delightful. I love listening to his mellifluous voice, as he describes the "twists and turns" of Odysseus voyage home. Highly recommended!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ethan 09-22-16
    ethan 09-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Are you kidding?"

    The story is amazing. The recording and narrating, however, are beyond terrible. There is a constant buzz in the background of the audio, and you can even hear unrelated voices talking indistinctly in the background. I have to focus as hard as I can to properly hear what the narrator is saying and still struggle on some words. Because I have the credits, I am deleting this book and buying another version. I cannot believe they are selling this audio file for $30. DO NOT BUY. I could've recorded it better on my iPhone in my garage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Purnell Des Moines, Iowa 06-03-16
    L. Purnell Des Moines, Iowa 06-03-16
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    "Fantastic in every respect"

    Except variable audio quality. In some places the recording is muffled and there is a slight echo.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael norris AUSTIN, TEXAS, US 05-10-16
    michael norris AUSTIN, TEXAS, US 05-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Shameful audio quality"

    Each chapter is at a different volume, so that some can barely be heard, while other chapters are slowed down and ian sounds like Darth Vader.... Then there's the screechy annoying "music" between "chapters" ( actually about half the time it just pops up in the middle of a chapter) that is so piercing and harsh that it'll make you rip your headphones off in a hurry. I'd really like a refund.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrian Sera Vanitoso 04-17-16
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    "Truly, this was an Odyssey!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Odyssey the most enjoyable?

    Hands down, Sir Ian's performance. I can't think of a better person to read this book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Odyssey?

    The Cyclops. Even more frightening than in the 1997 television mini-series had portrayed it. By the undying God's that bit was horrifying.


    Have you listened to any of Ian McKellen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not, but I'll certainly be looking for other books he has narrated after listening to this.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not laugh or cry at any moment, I'm really not the type. My only arguably extreme reaction is that I find myself talking and typing in the same dialect as the book was written, it's quite amusing really.


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing keeping this book from a perfect rating is the strange peaks and valley's it takes when it comes to quality. KEEP IN MIND, nothing so bad that I'd shy away from listening to it again, or recommending it to virtually everyone. However, there are chapters where the quality of the audio is strangely bad, and most bizarre is when for whatever reason, Sir Ian's voice drops in pitch, as if it was slowed down. This is hardly a glaring issue, but it seems odd since something so trivial could be fixed in a matter of minutes with a simple program like Audacity or any number of free basic audio software.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Reader 01-11-16
    A Reader 01-11-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Great translation, great reading, strange audio quality"

    The Odyssey is a classic. There is nothing more to say in that regard. And Ian McKellan is a splendid reader. Everything I could want in an audio version of this superb translation of a great classic.

    The only critique I have of this recording is that the 24 books of the work and the 24 chapters of the recording do not align for some reason, likely a remnant of pre-MP3 days. Therefore, breaks come oddly in the middle of the story, and not at the more natural conclusion of each book. No big deal, however, the audio quality varies between chapters, and McKellan's voice rises and lowers in pitch. This is strange and I wish the publisher would revisit the recording and make it smoother.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Elfstrom 10-25-14
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    "Really helped with World Lit course"
    If you could sum up The Odyssey in three words, what would they be?

    Long, Interesting, Difficult


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Odyssey?

    When Odysseus and his cronies slaughter Penelope's suitors.


    What does Ian McKellen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ian's voice brought the characters to life. He eliminated the need to sound out words I did not recognize and made the repetitiveness of the text more bearable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I had to because I was given two days to read it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe HOOVER, AL, United States 03-21-14
    Joe HOOVER, AL, United States 03-21-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Epic? Sure, I guess."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 03-17-14
    Amazon Customer United States 03-17-14
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    "I just couldn't get into this book."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narration was too fast and very confusing.


    What was most disappointing about Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)’s story?

    It moved too fast. Hard to keep up. This wasn't easy listening. I felt like if I sneezed I would missed something.


    Any additional comments?

    I heard good things about this classic, but I couldn't get into it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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