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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 (619 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lisa Marysville, OH, United States 03-09-13
    Lisa Marysville, OH, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "What a wonderful surprise!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary Koebergen Scottsdale, Arizona USA 03-08-13
    Zachary Koebergen Scottsdale, Arizona USA 03-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Audio problems are inexcusable"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Odysseus because he is… oddyseus


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oddyseus blinding Polyphemus


    Do you think The Odyssey needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Hah


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Raynham, MA, United States 02-27-13
    John Raynham, MA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2007
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    "A Classic, Wonderfully Rendered"

    One of the great stories in western culture, acted not read, by a true master. This is the way it was meant to be enjoyed, listened to as entertainment for several nights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kelso LONGMONT, CO, United States 02-04-13
    Bill Kelso LONGMONT, CO, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011

    Audio Addict / Autodidact

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    "Technical issues, but quite enjoyable"
    Would you listen to The Odyssey again? Why?

    I might listen to it again for research purposes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like Ian McKellen's narration the best. He does a great job throughout.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    As other reviewers have mentioned, there are several places where it's apparent that some of the narration has been dropped or clipped. Also, the sound quality is inconsistent. Sometimes it's clear and rich, other times it's barely audible. If not for Ian McKellen's narration, I probably would not have finished this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart rd5 Hamilton, New Zealand 01-28-13
    Stuart rd5 Hamilton, New Zealand 01-28-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Sir Ian is fabulous"
    What did you love best about The Odyssey?

    The narration style of Sir Ian McKellan


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

    A very unique rhythm to the narration that keeps you listening with no fatigue at all despite this being a very long epic


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saundra Williams 12-30-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent Listen!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to any one looking for an entertaining story of politics, mystery, power and corruption. I had read the book years ago when I was in high school and thoroughly enjoyed it. It let my imagination just run wild.


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

    I could definitely listen to this book in one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Wood Cambridge 11-29-12
    Elizabeth Wood Cambridge 11-29-12
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    "Fantastic translation, ok reading."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's much better than the libravox recordings.


    What about Ian McKellen’s performance did you like?

    Steady deep voice, clearly spoken.


    Any additional comments?

    Ian McKellan's voice for ladies is rather annoying though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alison Leadville, CO, United States 11-13-12
    alison Leadville, CO, United States 11-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    "classic story beautifully read"

    This classic tale is relevant and compelling today. The reading is understandable and the pace is perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    bjeweld frankfort, ky, United States 10-04-12
    bjeweld frankfort, ky, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Difficult at the start but worth it."
    Would you listen to The Odyssey again? Why?

    Yes because it was a difficult & somewhat boring in the beginning two chapters. Then sped up throughout the next several chapters & finished very strong.


    What other book might you compare The Odyssey to and why?

    The Illiad also by Homer very similiar books & equally as good.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ingenius way he overcame the suitors.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    It's one of the greats for sure. This was my 2nd time reading it. First was in high school & I think it would benefit anyone who read it in school to reread now that they are older & experienced real modern day life. I took away a completely different understanding 2nd time around & some 30 yrs between readings. It takes an awful time getting started or at least it did for me. The first few chapters I truly suffered thru them but after that I didn't want to stop and the last 3 chapters I couldn't put it down I had to finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Cara Simi Valley, CA, United States 10-01-12
    Cara Simi Valley, CA, United States 10-01-12
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    "Great translator, great narrator!"
    If you could sum up The Odyssey in three words, what would they be?

    I don't think it's really possible to sum up The Odyssey in three words. But if I were pressed to do it, the three words would be: epic, adventure, and compelling.


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

    I have not listened to any of Sir Ian's other performances, but I will be on the look out for them! He's fabulous! I was concerned about listening to this instead of reading the print book since it's assigned for a class, but I believe i'm getting just as much out of it by listening as I would by reading.


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

    It's over 13 hours long!


    Any additional comments?

    My only issue with this performance is the high pitched tones that are used to signify the beginning and ending of each book. It's quite painful when I'm listening with headphones!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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