Odysseus

Odysseus

4.0 1
by Geraldine McCaughrean
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


One of the greatest legends in world mythology comes to life in this retelling of the adventures of Odysseus after the fall of Troy. Cunning and wise, Odysseus is the son and successor of King Laertes of Ithaca, and led the Greek army during the Trojan War. Author Geraldine McCaughrean's taut prose brings a modern, thriller-like immediacy to the ancient story… See more details below

  • Checkmark Peanut Butter & Cupcake Only $7.99 with the Purchase of Any Kids' Book  Shop Now

Overview


One of the greatest legends in world mythology comes to life in this retelling of the adventures of Odysseus after the fall of Troy. Cunning and wise, Odysseus is the son and successor of King Laertes of Ithaca, and led the Greek army during the Trojan War. Author Geraldine McCaughrean's taut prose brings a modern, thriller-like immediacy to the ancient story while still retaining the characters, details, and even some of the rhythms of the epic poem. This superb retelling includes all the great adventures of Odysseus, including his encounters with the evil Cyclops, the monsters Scylla and Charybdis, the beautiful sorceress Circe, and the vengeful god of the sea and protector of all waters, Poseidon. Filled with excitement, romance, and the timeless power of myth, Odysseus makes a perfect companion for young readers interested in learning more about the Greek heroes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this first in a planned four-volume Heroes series, McCaughrean (Stop the Train!) offers a vivid and accessible retelling of the Ithacan king's long, strange trip home after his victory at Troy. Readers unfamiliar with Homer's The Odyssey will likely feel comfortable with this prose version, a straightforward account that hits the legendary highlights. The author does not shy away from a fair number of appropriately gory scenes, as when Cyclops "nibbled [Odysseus's] men like skewered lamb," or when Odysseus, rather than eat the Sun God's cattle, roasts his pet bird to feed his crew. The hero's succumbing to other urges occurs off-stage, as when the goddess Circe leads him to her "white and silver bed." Readers will get a good sense of the peril involved in offending Poseidon and learn the importance of stopping to ask for directions (Odysseus detours to Hades for his). The narrative's rhythm evokes not only the original epic but the ceaseless movement of the "world-encircled sea," as when Queen Penelope looks out the window toward the water and sees only "the waves, arriving, always arriving, always beaching on the shores of Ithaca." Readers will eagerly anticipate Perseus, scheduled to arrive in spring 2005. Ages 9-14. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-McCaughrean delves right into the epic story-Odysseus leaves Troy, trying to return to Ithaca, but is waylaid by many adventures and mishaps. When he angers Poseidon by putting out the eye of the Cyclops, things really go downhill-his men are turned to swine, he is kidnapped by a lovely nymph, and he faces Sirens and the churning whirlpool of Charybdis. After nearly 20 years, he returns home to his amazingly faithful wife and son, defeats her suitors, and is King of Ithaca once again. McCaughrean has written a compelling prose introduction to Homer's epic poem. In keeping with the style of the original, she uses Homeric refrains and colorful, poetic descriptions fashioned out of slightly challenging vocabulary. The story is well suited to reading aloud (but recall that Odysseus does spend a lot of time with nymphs and seductresses). Violent events are not sugarcoated, and the narrative is filled with gory descriptions. A list of monsters and immortals and Odysseus's family tree appear at the beginning. With its fast-paced plot and lyrical language, this retelling makes a captivating read.-Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The much-honored McCaughrean opens a series featuring heroes of antiquity with a characteristically rousing retelling of The Odyssey. Rearranging the original's flashbacks into a linear narrative, she follows Odysseus and his rapidly slaughtered crew from the Island of the Lotus Eaters to his final journey inland to appease the enraged Poseidon for good. Meanwhile, she occasionally shifts the scene to Mount Olympus or back to Ithaca, where Penelope cleverly fends off aggressive suitors while pining for her beloved, who "did not come and did not come and did not ever come." Younger readers may be drawn first to Neil Philip's sumptuous but more abbreviated version of the epic (1996) or Mary Pope Osborne's ongoing, multi-volume rendition-but McCaughrean's vivid prose ("Then strings of water, like the stringing saliva in the corners of a mad dog's mouth, joined sea to sky, and waterspouts stood all round") really kicks the timeless, compelling tale into overdrive. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812627213
Publisher:
Cricket Books
Publication date:
10/10/2004
Series:
Heroes Series
Pages:
148
Sales rank:
942,590
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.72(d)
Age Range:
9 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Geraldine McCaughrean has published more than 130 books, and her work has been translated into 27 languages. One of England’s most popular authors of books for young readers, she is the only writer ever to win the coveted Whitbread Award three times. She lives in Berkshire. Visit her on the Web at www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >