Homer's masterpiece tells the story of Odysseus, the ideal Greek hero, as he travels home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, a journey of 10 years and countless thrilling adventures. Rich in Greek folklore and myth, featuring gods and goddesses, monsters and sorceresses, The Odyssey has enchanted listeners around the world for thousands of years.
Mandelbaum's robust, romantic, lyrical translation has an openness and immediacy unsurpassed by any other. Read aloud, it is a wonderful way to experience this enduring classic.
©1990 Allen Mandelbaum.; (P)1996 HighBridge Company
This book has probably been on my "to-read" list since high school. I finally decided to read it when I acquired an audio version of it read by the incomparable Derek Jacobi. I obtained a physical copy of the same translation, and read along with the narration. It was a fabulous experience. The translation was by Allen Mandelbaum, and is extremely well done. I have read parts of several other translations, and to me, nothing comes close to this one because of the way Mandelbaum has tried to stay true to the poetic nature of the story. It is all set in Iambic Pentameter, just as the original was. I can only imagine how long it must have taken him to set it up so poetically, and yet stay true to the story of Odysseus and all his trials. The story is not hard to follow once you get used to the fact that the gods can work a lot of tricks. They can transform themselves or anyone into anything, or any other human being. It is quite a talent. But it makes for some fascinating situations. In the end, I was entertained by the story line, enchanted with the narrator, and in love with the poetry, not to mention in awe of the fabulous Homer, who wrote this story so many centuries ago. I am so happy that it has been preserved for all to enjoy today.
Though this is a prose translation (not the original poetry), it is an excellent listening experience. It flows beautifully and is full of imagery. Derek Jacobi's wonderful voice and expression is a major reason for the success of this audio book. I've long known the individual events in this adventure, but this is the first time I've heard the whole journey.
I'm sure I'll listen to this again and again over the years.
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