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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 (719 )
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4.4 (535 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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 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 2012
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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
  •  
    bjeweld frankfort, ky, United States 10-04-12
    bjeweld frankfort, ky, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2015
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    2
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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Benjamin G. Dyson Indianapolis, IN USA 09-17-12
    Benjamin G. Dyson Indianapolis, IN USA 09-17-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A great clasic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Odyssey to be better than the print version?

    Ian McKellen does a wonderful job narrating this masterpiece. Not sure if I would go as far as saying it is better then the print form, but for the busy guy that doesn't have the time to sit down and read, it does well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Homer at his best. The epic journey home of the hero after twenty years lost in the world.


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

    No, definitely need to listen to this in multiple attepts.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Saginaw, MI, United States 09-15-12
    Rick Saginaw, MI, United States 09-15-12
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    "A Brilliant Actor Reads a Classic"

    The Odyssey was assigned for a grad school class, and I found that following along with the audio version while simultaneously reading the text helped immensely in following the story and getting engaged with the work. The performance is astounding, as you would expect from a first-rate actor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johan Solna, Sweden 08-08-12
    Johan Solna, Sweden 08-08-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Not interesting for me"
    What did you like best about The Odyssey? What did you like least?

    The good. The epic story. Performance of Ian McKellen. The general flow of the language.
    The bad. All the parts not focusing on the epic story (which would be about 70% of the book). It is so stupefying simple. No character development. Everything is spelled out for you. Repetitive, if I hear another "Odyssey master of ... " I am going to scream.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)? Why or why not?

    Maybe.


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

    First time.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not impressed at all. For being a "classic" the writing is so simple it could be a children book (the content might be a bit too bloody for it though :) ).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb Reno, NV, United States 08-04-12
    Caleb Reno, NV, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great translation of an epic tale"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to a friend who's never heard the tale, but I would warn them about the extremely high pitched annoying tones played between chapters. Ripped my head phones off the first time thinking something was wrong.


    Any additional comments?

    Drop the freaking chapter change tones. They were aweful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Carlsbad, CA, United States 06-14-12
    James Carlsbad, CA, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2014

    Audiobooks rock. Reading rocks too, but I can read twice as many good books this way, while walking, driving, etc.

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    "Ian McKellen is great, story good but tedious."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. Classic.


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

    Cyclops.


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

    He is an awesome actor who had all the voice and language.


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

    It is a follow-up to The Illiad, I believe, and the way Homer wrote, everything was basically followed up, eventually. He likes telling stories over and over, from different points of view, but with exactly the same language from previous tellings. But, you know, he was a front-runner, so, you have to give him that.


    Any additional comments?

    I got a little tired of Dawn appearing every morning with her rosy-red fingers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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