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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.

Critic Reviews

"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)
"It's a deeply satisfying experience to listen to McKellen's subtle, resonant voice weave the story. Cherish the images as the web of this great tale is woven before the eyes of the mind." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Terrible Sound Quality

Great classic book, but the sound quality is awful. Not worth buying. Basically a waste of money.

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Terrific

Sir McKellen could not have been any better. A great story with a great performance.

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great performance, terrible audio quality

I loved Ian MacKellen's performance but the recording was terrible. I could hear background noise some of the time and there was one part when the audio seemed sluggish. like some one slowed down the pace. other than that, this translation was great and not too difficult to follow.

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Amazing

This book was truly amazing. Ian mckellan kills it, and this story which has been around for so long will never die because of it's greatness. This translation brings it to life. It's amazing that after centuries a story that enthralled ancient greece still does the same to us around the world today.

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Audio Problems!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Everything except for the audio problems.

Any additional comments?

For a long chapter or two the audio slowed down. It sounded ridiculous. I had to play it on 1.5 speed to get it close to normal. Really ruined the listen for me.

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Marisa

GREAT audio book with a wonderful translation. The audio quality sometimes dips, but this was very helpful, seeing as it's a poem, better heard that read.

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A Must-Listen!

Sir Ian McKellen outdid himself in a splendid narration! He brought each character to life and set each scene masterfully. Highly recommended!

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First Audible Purchase, still not finished

What did you like best about The Odyssey? What did you like least?

The feeling that if anybody is going to hand this to me, its Robert Fagles translation read by Ian McKellen. I love that.
I need to immerse myself more in the world to get it. (To much effort for my lazy soul).

What was most disappointing about Homer and Robert Fagles - translator ’s story?

I had to get a Cliffnote's version to sort out what I was hearing. Too much.

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

Have not, but he's Gandalf.

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

I got the Illiad, and a couple of other titles just to keep up.

Any additional comments?

Ugh. Too much

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Fantastic!

A beautifully read version of Homer's epic. One of the classics that is surely as relevant today as it when it was first told.

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Overall, wonderful

Overall, it is a spellbinding story that has been spoken and read over generations. My one complaint is that sometimes the recording sounds mumbled, and makes it harder for casual listening. However, if you want a story of Gods, Monsters, and a journey home, this is the story for you!