The Odyssey

4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

Regular price: $44.95

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About This Audible Audiobook

Acclaimed actress Claire Danes burnishes an epic story of heroes, gods, and monsters in a groundbreaking translation of The Odyssey, the first great adventure story in the Western literary tradition. When the wily warrior-king Odysseus sets off for home after the Trojan War, he doesn’t realize this simple undertaking will become a perilous journey of 10 years. Beset at every turn, he encounters obstacles, detours, and temptations—both supernatural and human—while his wife Penelope fends off would-be suitors desperate to take the throne.

Emily Wilson is the first woman to take on the daunting task of translating over 100,000 lines of a three-millennium-old poem from Ancient Greek to modern-day English. Her breathtaking rendition captures the poetic immediacy of the original text, while allowing listeners to experience The Odyssey with an honesty and directness few other versions have achieved. The result is a lean, fleet-footed translation that recaptures Homer’s “nimble gallop” and brings an ancient epic to new life. A fascinating introduction provides an informative overview of the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the major themes of the poem, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Emily Wilson (translation), Adrian Kitzinger (maps copyright) (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

28 of 34 people found this review helpful

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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.

6 of 7 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Oh dear.

Claire Danes ruins Emily Wilson's amazing new translation. It's incredibly sad. I didn't even bother to finish listening, it is so awful. Danes uses a tremulous voice to -- I suppose -- add drama. But she adds it to everything from mundane exposition to Scylla and Charybdis, so you get 13.5 hours of unrelenting, undifferentiated melodrama.

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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excellent translation, warm narration

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

1 of 1 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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Slow start!

The introduction is over an hour...this almost got me to the point of quitting and returning the purchase. Fortunately, I slogged through it. Ms Danes has a pleasant voice, but there was no differentiation between the character voices (male or female) so at times it was challenging to be aware of what characters had lines of dialogue.

All that noted it was well worth my time to listen.

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Tremendous even the Second Time Through!

Superb translation & narration! I am so glad this was done by audible and executed so WELL!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 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.