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The Odyssey | [Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)]

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

4.3 (642 )
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4.4 (465 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Emily JERICHO, VT, United States 10-26-13
    Emily JERICHO, VT, United States 10-26-13
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    "Engaging and a joy to listen to!"
    Would you listen to The Odyssey again? Why?

    Yes--the book is so rich and the narration is fabulous.


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

    The tones of voice he uses for each character bring an element of depth and insight to the reading. Also, it is helpful to hear the names pronounced correctly rather than trying to figure it out on your own.


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

    Nope...far too long for that.


    Any additional comments?

    Great experience. I would recommend any narration by Ian McKellen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy CARY, NC, United States 11-19-12
    Amy CARY, NC, United States 11-19-12
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    "High School reading assignment made enjoyable! ! !"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I would highly recommend this audible book. My son had to read it for school. He did love the storyline, however, before we purchased the audible book, he had been trying to read it in book form. He is a great reader, but even advanced readers can't possibly know how to pronounce all of those Greek names without taking up a lot of extra time. By purchasing this audible book, our son was able to listen to McKellen, who is so enticing to listen to, and not spend any wasted time figuring out names. Now, our son can truly say he ENJOYED the Odyssey, instead of laboring through it. I would highly recommend this audible.com book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    johannna DARIEN, CT, United States 12-05-11
    johannna DARIEN, CT, United States 12-05-11
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    "Should..."
    Where does The Odyssey rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great book but on iTunes when you select chapters on the top bar, it should go directly to that book instead of a random point in a random book


    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 2013
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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.

    0 of 0 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 02-13-14
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 02-13-14 Member Since 2013
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    "An epic tale, an epic narrator, just fantastic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Loos Fukuoka, Japan 09-09-13
    H. Loos Fukuoka, Japan 09-09-13 Member Since 2013

    Customer

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    "VERY POOR Audio Quality"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Sydney, Australia 07-04-13
    Richard Sydney, Australia 07-04-13
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    "Excellent"
    What did you love best about The Odyssey?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Raleigh, NC, United States 03-18-13
    Philip Raleigh, NC, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great story read beautifully."
    What made the experience of listening to The Odyssey the most enjoyable?

    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.


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

    No.


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Dave Adams, Ma, United States 03-16-13
    Dave Adams, Ma, United States 03-16-13
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    "This Audiobook is kick-a$$! Translation AMAZING"
    Would you listen to The Odyssey again? Why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Goodness. All of them! Love this book.


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

    I would have, but I did not have that much time available. But I would if I could.


    Any additional comments?

    Love the narrators voice (this wonderful Ian McKellan). It fits perfectly with the story, reads at a good pace too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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