(P) and ©1996 Penguin Books USA Inc.
"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)
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Hands down, Sir Ian's performance. I can't think of a better person to read this book.
The Cyclops. Even more frightening than in the 1997 television mini-series had portrayed it. By the undying God's that bit was horrifying.
I have not, but I'll certainly be looking for other books he has narrated after listening to this.
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.
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.
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.
Long, Interesting, Difficult
When Odysseus and his cronies slaughter Penelope's suitors.
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.
Yes, I had to because I was given two days to read it.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.