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The Odyssey

Narrated by: Claire Danes
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (490 ratings)
Regular price: $44.95
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Go Behind the Scenes with Claire Danes

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The classicist Emily Wilson has given Homer’s epic a radically contemporary voice.

- The New York Times

Our favorite moments from The Odyssey

The suitors reveal Penelope’s ruse
Odysseus begs the cyclops Polyphemus for mercy
The enchantress Circe tries to bewitch Odysseus

  • The Odyssey
  • The suitors reveal Penelope’s ruse
  • The Odyssey
  • Odysseus begs the cyclops Polyphemus for mercy
  • The Odyssey
  • The enchantress Circe tries to bewitch Odysseus
Claire Danes

About the Performer

Claire Danes is an Audie and Emmy Award-winning actress and star of the TV series Homeland, the 2010 HBO movie Temple Grandin, and much more. In 2013, Danes received the Audie Award for best spoken-word performance in Fiction. Danes is also the recipient of four Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Homer

About the Author

The Iliad and the Odyssey were not invented from scratch by any individual. These great written poems make artful use of a long oral tradition, developed over centuries by many illiterate singer-songwriters. The two epics were composed perhaps in the seventh century BC, by one person or several people, about whom we know nothing. Whoever she, he, or they were, Homer was the most popular poet of antiquity, known simply as The Poet. These metrical, musical, dramatic, thrilling, fast-moving, multi-vocal poems were often performed orally by professional poetry-actors (rhapsodes), and were well-known to everybody in the ancient world: old, young, female, male, rich, poor, educated, illiterate, slave, and free.—Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson

About the Translator

Emily Wilson is a professor of classical studies and chair of the program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. She received a BA in Classics and an MPhil. in English Renaissance Literature from Oxford, and earned her PhD. from Yale in Classics and Comparative Literature. Wilson is the author of three books, and has translated works by Seneca and Euripides. Her acclaimed line-for-line verse translation of The Odyssey, in regular iambic pentameter, aims to capture the poetic magic and rich, complex characterization of the original poem. Wilson has been reading Homer in Greek for over thirty years, and was first exposed to the story of The Odyssey at the age of eight, when she appeared as Athena in her elementary school play.

What members say

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Highly recommended

I Didn’t hesitate to get this audiobook, after hearing the Handmaid’s Tale when it first came out. I wish Claire Danes would narrate every book ! I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and when I heard Madeline Miller (who wrote Circe, a book I also thoroughly enjoyed this year) praise Emily Wilson for her translation of the book, I jumped at the opportunity.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal

I love this translation—I’ve read it several times.

Listening the Claire Danes narrate this, though, is bliss. She conveys so much emotion in her voice and makes the story come alive.

33 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Narrator's Readings of Dialogue Overdone

Emily Wilson's superb translation presents The Odyssey in natural language. Claire Danes, the narrator, almost always presented dialogues in an exaggerated, unnatural way -- her characters often sound a bit manic when they speak. Her presentation of dialogue undermines the naturalness of the language in Wilson's translation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Don't get swept up in the fancy revision.

Fagle's "Odyssey" was great, not my favorite...Butler's was fantastic. Came upon this and was pretty excited to give it a try as well. Undoubtedly not my cup of tea. Others may like it (which is fine) but please be warned that the narration is just so robotic and dry. Nothing against Claire Danes, but...it just doesn't work. Not only was the tone off-putting, but the translation was a bit too modern (which may sound strange to some). I've never found the Odyssey read so...inaccurately. It just felt really off. I'm a sucker for fancy book covers and art designs - so I enthusiastically (and foolishly) jumped headfirst into this as well. Also - is it necessary for 3 hours of "forewords and authors notes and translators notes, etc" before the actual story itself?

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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excellent translation, warm narration

it was very comfortable and pleasurable listening to this audiobook. I liked the colloquial modern English.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Impressive

I was continually surprised at the excellence of the Odyssey as a story, of Emily Wilson’s feeling for poetic English and of Claire Danes’ strong en human telling. In fact, ‘human’, might be the best word to describe all three; I have never felt a story this old come this close. Very well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great book

...and claire danes does a good job reading it...word word word word word word word

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not your father's Odyssey

Gender plays a big part in this new translation; most of the reviews have focused on this being the first translation of Homer by a woman. But there's much more going on here: This version attends to questions of class and status. Slavery is presented in harsh reality. I've not read the Greek in a long time so I don't know how faithful this version is to the original but it does make for a compelling and thought provoking narrative. While Claire Danes is an excellent reader and does what she can with the text I'm not certain that a female voice works throughout the whole thing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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It brought tears to my eyes!

Excellent rendition of this epic story. Every time I read this tale I learn something about being human. In this wonderful translation I learned more of the father son relationship. Don’t miss this opportunity.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Very boring Narration

I struggled to finish book because the narration didn't seem to bring any character to life. I couldnt tell the difference between any characters dialogue. The book itself was fine but the lack of narration made the story less appealing and exciting.

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  • IM1
  • 11-28-18

Line by Line Translation of Homer's Odyssey

The complete line by line translation in modern day spoken english of Homer's Odyssey is very relatable and just mesmerising. I can never get tired of Greek Mythology so maybe I am biased. Claire Danes was phenomenal. She did not try to over dramatise the scenes, nor her voice was robotic. Her narration had just the right amalgamation of emotions, intensity and pace.
Loved it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Lückhof
  • 12-17-18

Beautiful translation and a vivid narration

A beautiful translation of the ancient text combined with a narration that is nuanced and lively make this a great way to enjoy the poem.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vashik Armenikus
  • 12-28-18

First two hours are introduction to odyssey.

Intro could be much shorter , it felt as if author wants to tell her entire autobiography instead. But the translation is excellent, and it’s the best for an audio version

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-30-19

Impeccable

Really stupendous. Could not have enjoyed it more.
Well done all involved especially Emily and Clare.
Thanks
Richard Goodwin

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  • colin watkins
  • 01-14-19

Good story. Well read


enjoyable listen book well read challenging to remember all characters and locations though. worth a second listen.

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  • Thomas Brown
  • 01-07-19

The narrator conveys emotion very well

I've come to Homer's Odyssey after first listening to Stephen Fry's Mythos and Heroes audiobooks. The continuation of greek mythology through the tragedies of Odysseus is the perfect sequel. I was not expecting 2+ hours worth of foreword though which did get a little tiresome to begin with. I understood why this foreword was needed but it dragged on a bit in my eyes, even listening at 1.25x to 1.5x. Nevertheless, the narrator conveys emotion very well and that helps make this classic poem memorable.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-21-19

The introduction killed this.

After 2 hours of the introduction I gave up. Very Dull and not what I had expected.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-31-19

wow

so great. it was really good and I think I just want to do it again.