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Odysseus

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006

    An ageless story

    Odysseus: A Retelling of the Odyssey Cricket books 2005 148 pp 8.50$ Geraldine McCaughrean ISBN 0-8126-2721-0 As one wave arrived, another was always drawing back again out to sea, out to the open sea that is always traveling, always traveling. Page 148 The Odyssey is the second part to Homer¿s classical Iliad and Odyssey. Ithaca¿s honorable king, Odysseus has started his voyage home from the ten-year siege of Troy. Everything goes wrong when a storm carries his fleet off course into a flood of dangers and enemies. Problems plague Odysseus and his men, from giants to mutiny, the most dangerous of which is the wrath of the sun and sea gods. Worse still, suitors are swarming into Ithaca to seek the hand of Odysseus¿ lovely queen, Penelope. Will Odysseus make it home in time or will he be replaced as Ithaca¿s king? Odysseus loves his family, Penelope his wife and his son Telemachus and The Odyssey describes his ten year voyage to get home to them. Odysseus left home when Telemachus was only a baby but Telemachus knows a tremendous amount about his father from heroic tales and descriptions from his mother. Penelope is the radiant queen of Ithaca. She misses Odysseus more every passing moment. Despite constant propaganda by her suitors Penelope continues to believe that her husband is still drawing breath. I think that the story of the Odyssey is one of the most incredible pieces of literature in history. Odysseus is the second version of the Odyssey I have read. I enjoyed that it was more detailed in some areas than the first version I read, however, I felt that some parts of the story could have been more descriptive. For example, when Ido the sea nymph rescues Odysseus, Geraldine McCaughrean more fully describes why the nymph rescues Odysseus, which makes the story more interesting. At another point, when Odysseus tricks Circe into transforming his men from pigs back into men, I thought the author could have provided much more detail to this very intriguing part of the story. The book focuses on ethics and courtesy and more so the lack there of. Examples of the lack of courtesy include the Cyclops eating Odysseus¿ men and also when Circe transformed Odysseus¿ men into pigs. The giants and the Cyclops are incredibly despicable with a blatant disregard for any common courtesy. The kings in this story, however, are much more kind and helpful. One king gives Odysseus the bag of winds, a magical bag containing the wind currants of the world the other king gives him a ship and protection from the furious Poseidon. With this help Odysseus finally returns home. This is a fantastic book that is perfect for fans of adventure and fantasy between the ages of nine and fourteen that are looking for a quick read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mythology. Sam Sklar

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