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

The Odyssey

Regular Price:$27.97
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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 (605 )
5 star
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Overall
4.4 (428 )
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Story
4.4 (432 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Benjamin G. Dyson Indianapolis, IN USA 09-17-12
    Benjamin G. Dyson Indianapolis, IN USA 09-17-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    pieborg Melbourne Australia 06-26-12
    pieborg Melbourne Australia 06-26-12 Member Since 2011

    pie

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    "Stilted reading ruins great translation"

    This reading of the greatest of all stories is stiff and stilted. It detracts significantly from the pleasure of Fagles' fine translation.

    It is as if Ian McKellen is trying to impart the book's greatness by adopting a rigid, self-conscious formality. Of course, this has the opposite effect - simply getting in the way of the text. Its a surprising and disappointing effort from a strong actor with a fine voice.

    Sadly I'd have to say save your money, increase your pleasure and read it yourself.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Carlsbad, CA, United States 06-14-12
    James Carlsbad, CA, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2011

    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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    Pål Bodoe, Norway 06-11-12
    Pål Bodoe, Norway 06-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Superb performance of classic narrative"
    What does Ian McKellen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I have tried reading it before, but I could not get into it. McKellen's narration makes the text come vividly alive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Madison WI, WI, United States 03-27-12
    Douglas Madison WI, WI, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Fantastic!"

    This was a great way to read Homer's The Odyssey. Ian McKellen was wonderful. The story is one of the greatest in world history, in fact, it is the story that most other good stories borrow something from.

    The only issue with this recording (which is why the overall is missing a star) is there are some brief glitches and then starting around Audible chapter 9, the voice is really slowed down for about two or three chapters. It was annoying but I simply used my Audible App speed feature and sped through those parts.

    If you've always wanted to read the Classics, but felt intimidated, this is an excellent place to begin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Stillwater, MN, United States 03-01-12
    Carlos Stillwater, MN, United States 03-01-12
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    "Great Story!"
    What does Ian McKellen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice was made for this story! He does an amazing job bringing the characters to life!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nichael Guilford, VT, United States 02-20-12
    Nichael Guilford, VT, United States 02-20-12
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    "Wonderful (but missing notes and introduction)"
    Any additional comments?

    The recording is, of course, wonderful. Giving a

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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