Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Odyssey has been the standard translation for more than three generations of students and poets. Macmillan Audio is delighted to publish the first ever audio edition of this classic work, the greatest of all epic poems. Fitzgerald's supple verse is ideally suited for audio, recounting the story of Odysseus' long journey back to his wife and home after the Trojan War. Homer's tale of love, adventure, food and drink, sensual pleasure, and mortal danger reaches the English-language listener in all its glory.
In keeping with the oral tradition of the time, Dan Stevens, whose many celebrated performances include Downton Abbey's Matthew Crawley, makes this epic tale come alive. The listener becomes totally immersed in the adventure and drama of the story – this is the way The Odyssey was meant to be experienced.
Also included on the program is a portion of the poem read in ancient Greek so that listeners may experience the lyricism and music of the original language.
©1998 Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc. (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
This was my first experience with this classic and it was fantastic! can't wait to hear similar stories narrated by Dan Stevens. thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
Everything I said about Stevens' reading of The Iliad is true for this one, and then some. It's a nearly perfect marriage of translator and narrator. (Homer's not half bad either.)
The structure of The Odyssey is a wonder: multiple layers, multiple points of view, all of it flowing forth effortlessly.
Fitzgerald's translation of The Odyssey was my first contact with Homer. There are other translations that are more accurate, on a line by line basis; but few that throw off as many sparks of compact beauty.
I will never buy another work with Dan Stevens as narrator. Listening to the sample, I thought, "His reading isn't bad, and I can try to forget that smarmy face of his." "Just focus on the voice," I told myself. But while listening to the full recording I noticed something unforgivable; he can't do voices. He has one voice for all characters: male, female, young, old; they are all the same voice. True, his "narrator" voice is (slightly) softer and milder compared with the (slightly) louder and more robust voice he uses for all characters.
As an avid fan of audiobooks, I'm used to more mature, skilled narrators who can do accents, falsetto female characters and a range of emotions. Even the trashiest spy novels I've listened to have single narrators who expertly replicate an entire cast of voices. In this case, unfortunately, the publisher has chosen a handsome young starlet of extremely limited range, an especially poor choice for one of the oldest and most revered texts in the Western canon.
To hear what a more mature actor can do, check out Ian McKellan's reading of The Odyssey, also available on Audible. (Just note that it's a different translation. If you are matching up with a written text, this is important.)
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