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The Odyssey | [Homer]

The Odyssey

One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, the Homeric saga of the shipwrecks, wanderings, and homecoming of the master tactician Odysseus encompasses a virtual inventory of the themes and attitudes that have shaped Western culture. The tale of Odysseus' encounters with such obstacles as Calypso, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens, and the lotus-eaters, and his dramatic return to Ithaca and his patient wife, Penelope, forms a prototype for all subsequent Western epics.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, the Homeric saga of the shipwrecks, wanderings, and homecoming of the master tactician Odysseus encompasses a virtual inventory of the themes and attitudes that have shaped Western culture. The tale of Odysseus' encounters with such obstacles as Calypso, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens, and the lotus-eaters, and his dramatic return to Ithaca and his patient wife, Penelope, forms a prototype for all subsequent Western epics.

(P)2006 Books on Tape

What Members Say

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4.0 (81 )
5 star
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3.7 (21 )
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  •  
    Melissa Phillips S. Orange, New Jersey United States 08-16-07
    Melissa Phillips S. Orange, New Jersey United States 08-16-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good British Sound"

    A very good reading by Mr. Lee, who has a hint of Sean O'Connery in his voice at times. For these American ears, the slight British (I should say Scottish) accent does the trick in making me imagine the poetry of a hightened foreign language. The reading moves along at a fast enough clip to keep you focused on the action. And Lee doesn't overdo voices for different characters, so it is always Homer coming through. The only drawback was that I was looking for the Fitzgerald translation, as it is advertized, but it is actually the Samuel Butler prose translation. I'm not disappointed though: it took me a while to realize I was'nt even hearing poetry, Butler does such a good job with idiomatic repetitions ("child of dawn" for example) and a certain elevated style. He captures the dactylic hexameter, if I correctly recall the meter of the Greek, quite well, and, although he was writing this in the early 20th Century, again if my memory serves right, it reads very up-to-date. Butler, by the way, believed that the Odyssey was not written by Homer but by a young girl, hence the poem's focus on proper family life. This belief doesn't affect the translation.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AdExec 01-04-07
    AdExec 01-04-07 Member Since 2013
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    "Narrator makes it"

    Homer's works can often be dry and boring when read aloud. John Lee brings The Odyssey to life - I can't wait to listen to it again!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 02-10-07
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 02-10-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Great reading, but not Fitzgerald"

    This is an excellent, strong reading of the Odyssey; but despite the blurb here, it is NOT the Robert Fitzgerald translation, but the Samuel Butler prose version (edited to replace the Roman names Butler used with their Greek originals). Five stars anyway for being well done, but you should know what you're getting.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mitchel Swampscott, MA, United States 05-01-07
    Mitchel Swampscott, MA, United States 05-01-07 Member Since 2007
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    "odyssesy"

    This was the perfect way for me to "read" this classic. It's a terrific translation, and John Lee is my favorite reader, with just the right mix of warmth, humor and serious to his voice.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
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    Daniel Tacoma, WA, USA 01-05-09
    Daniel Tacoma, WA, USA 01-05-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Only So So....."

    I had high hopes going into this. I didn't remember reading this in High School and Greek mythology interests me. Honestly, I ended up being somewhat disappointed. While it was great in some parts with a lot of interest, there were large parts of what I can only term as fluff. The beginning and end really hampered the story for me, while the middle was truly enjoyable. I could be wrong and this is a good translation of an interesting myth and I just don't know how to appreciate it. In truth, it's probably best to seek out an abridged version as that will keep your interest piqued.

    On another note, the narrator is more than admirable. The comparison to Sean Connery is there and he reads with very well pronounced words and feeling behind him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Santiago Teaneck, NJ, USA 03-31-10
    Santiago Teaneck, NJ, USA 03-31-10
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    "Always a classic!"

    This is a timeless classic. Wonderful to listen to the story again. I had not read it since College.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Ann Sterling, VA, United States 09-02-09
    Ann Sterling, VA, United States 09-02-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Terrific! Absorbing!"

    I thought this was very nicely read! I found Odysseus believable (even though sometimes I wanted to slap him in the face), and Athena cool. I found Penelope something of a long-suffering bore - WHY didn't she send those horrid suitors packing? She was just BEGGING for trouble. I wanted to tear my hair out that O's only solution to the suitor problem was to KILL them all! Whoa, fella! Didn't you learn to play nice in kiddie garden? Now I have to go back and read/listen to the Illiad to see how it started! I LIKE this narrator!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    9/4/10
    Overall
    "Homer from Home"

    I first read the Odyssey thirty years ago on a bus journey from Cardiff to Sunderland via London which took over sixteen hours to complete and cost ?9.40 return (hence the via London bit). The great advantage was that I was able to read it in one sitting. Once you get over the endless strings of names and the very picaresque style, it is possible to enjoy The Odyssey as a good read in itself. However, the real beauty of this book is to marvel at the thought that Troy was destroyed in 1188 BC and that this huge work dates from around the 9th Century BC - and to consider the huge influence that it holds over all modern literature. Calypso, the Oxen of the Sun, Cyclops, Mentor, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis - are all here together with so much more that is familiar and yet strange. I first read this in order to get the inside edge on James Joyce - but on re-reading got so much more. Like all great works, it improves with age!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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