The Odyssey

( 7 )

Overview

With bold imagery and an ear tuned to the music of Homer’s epic poem, Gareth Hinds reinterprets the ancient classic as it’s never been told before.

"Gareth Hinds brings THE ODYSSEY to life in a masterful blend of art and storytelling. Vivid and exciting, this graphic novel is a worthy new interpretation of Homer’s epic."
—Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series

Fresh from his triumphs in the Trojan War, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, wants nothing more ...

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The Odyssey

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Overview

With bold imagery and an ear tuned to the music of Homer’s epic poem, Gareth Hinds reinterprets the ancient classic as it’s never been told before.

"Gareth Hinds brings THE ODYSSEY to life in a masterful blend of art and storytelling. Vivid and exciting, this graphic novel is a worthy new interpretation of Homer’s epic."
—Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series

Fresh from his triumphs in the Trojan War, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, wants nothing more than to return home to his family. Instead, he offends the sea god, Poseidon, who dooms him to years of shipwreck and wandering. Battling man-eating monsters, violent storms, and the supernatural seductions of sirens and sorceresses, Odysseus will need all his strength and cunning—and a little help from Mount Olympus—to make his way home and seize his kingdom from the schemers who seek to wed his queen and usurp his throne. Award-winning graphic artist Gareth Hinds masterfully reinterprets a story of heroism, adventure, and high action that has been told and retold for more than 2,500 years—though never quite like this.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Booksmack!
The blue-blue cover of this graphic interpretation of Homer's epic evokes the ocean. The reader will see a lot of it over the course of the next 250 pages, as Odysseus makes his way home to Ithaca through a watery hell, even as his wife and son fightoff the attentions of an unruly band of suitors. Homer's Odysseus is no Shackleton. He is a flawed leader who must rely on the intervention of his gods to make his way, eventually without a single one of his men. Hinds does not leave much to the imagination, giving the reader plenty of the sex and violence that are the story's trademark. Even if you don't know your Telemachus from your Polyphemus, this visual interpretation will treat you kindly. Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13", Booksmack!, 12/2/10
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Taking a world-famous epic poem and adapting it into a graphic-novel format for modern readers is certainly an enormous endeavor. But since Hinds already performed the same feat quite admirably with Beowulf (Candlewick, 2007) he has proven himself more than capable of the task. To sum up the classic story: Odysseus tries to get home after the Trojan War, but many obstacles are thrown in his way, and many people, creatures, and gods try to stop him. His men are loyal on the one hand, yet bad at following critical orders on the other, which results in even more delays. Meanwhile, his faithful wife Penelope waits for him while fending off scores of impatient suitors. Luckily for Odysseus, he does have a few supporters, including the goddess Athena. Hinds's beautiful watercolors skillfully capture the rosy-fingered dawn, the wine-dark sea, the land of the dead, and many other settings and characters that will inspire readers. This adaptation goes far above and beyond the "highlights" coverage that other versions such as Tim Mucci's The Odyssey (Sterling, 2010) provide. Hinds's work will be a welcome addition for fans of Homer's original work and for newcomers to this classic story.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Publishers Weekly
One of the oldest and most often retold literary classics is faithfully recreated in watercolors and pastels. Hinds, who has previously adapted Beowulf and several Shakespeare plays in comics format, uses different translations as a basis for his adaptation, trimming the text but keeping all the events of Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War. The adaptation is most impressive in its ability to convey the despair, anguish, and joy of the characters in a sudden, striking way that text alone can't, pulling these familiar figures out from a thousands–year-old story and presenting the reader with human faces. Hinds's watercolor landscapes of the Greek coast, islands, and mountains are another strong point. But seeing the characters as they exchange archaic dialogue emphasizes its stilted and unnatural quality. And in some sections, particularly in early exposition, the text is so plentiful it crowds out the art. Still, Hinds has created a work that both honors the epic's long tradition and helps readers see these characters in a new light. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Alissa Lauzon
Following his triumphs in the Trojan War, Odysseus wants nothing more than to return to his family in Ithaca. He angers Poseidon, however, and is cursed to years of wandering the sea, batting monsters, storms, and supernatural seductresses. Meanwhile, Ithaca is besieged by suitors determined to force Odysseus's wife into a new marriage. Finally the other gods take pity on Odysseus and help him find his way home again. As he did with Beowulf (Candlewick, 2007/VOYA June 2007), Hinds has beautifully adapted Homer's Odyssey with pencil and watercolor illustrations. He makes use of several translations yet retains the essence of Homer's tale. Eye-catching artwork on the front and back covers and the detailed Grecian urns on the end pages bring readers immediately into Hinds's visual interpretation. The bright and colorful illustrations help make the classic epic poem accessible, despite occasional awkwardness in the text. The close-up frames of the characters' faces powerfully convey the emotions in the scene in a way that is more convincing and meaningful than words. The violence of Homer's tale is convincingly captured without being overly graphic, with the exception of Odysseus's slaughter of his wife's suitors, which has splatters and pools of blood consuming the frames. Reviewer: Alissa Lauzon
Children's Literature - Michael Jung PhD
Having created graphic novel adaptations of William Shakespeare's King Lear and The Merchant of Venice, Hinds reaches back further in history to the epic poem of Homer in his graphic novel adaptation of The Odyssey. The epic is told through Hinds' distinctive watercolor and pencil art. Although Hinds' characters come across as a little stiff near the beginning (particularly Odysseus's son Telemachus, who looks like a string bean compared to the burly suitors), the art improves considerably as the graphic novel continues, using dynamic angles and lighting to effectively dramatize key scenes (such as the harrowing escape from the Cyclops' cave, which is colored in haunting shades of red). Readers should also note that while a great deal of the adventures in The Odyssey are covered in the graphic novel adaptation, Hinds abridged the story and often referred to popular translations of the epic poem, especially the Robert Fitzgerald and Robert Fagles versions, in creating this graphic novel. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD
Kirkus Reviews
Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer's epic. Following Odysseus's journey to return home to his beloved wife,Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist's use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus's cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don't confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763642686
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 60,051
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gareth Hinds is the creator of several acclaimed graphic novels based on classics. About THE ODYSSEY, he says, "It was incredibly exciting to work with this material. Gods, monsters, flawed heroes, battles, and all the best and worst of human nature, set against an ancient Mediterranean backdrop. It’s a dream project."

Gareth Hinds lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2011

    Highly recommend!

    I am an English teacher and most of my students are low level learners. The Odyssey is part of my curriculum, but many of my students really struggle with the text. This book is a God send!!!It is extremely well written and stays spot on with the original text. The illustrations are fantastic and engaging. My students LOVED reading the Odyssey and did SO much better with their unit test (which I did not change at all from the one I use with the regular text). This book is a delight !

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    A Must Read

    The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds is a story about Odysseus, a hero of the Trojan War, desperately trying to return home to his wife and home of Ithaca. The gods have not looked upon him favorably, and he has incurred the wrath of Poseidon by blinding his son Polyphemes. He relates the tales of the Sirens, the Cyclops, the deadly Scylla, who destroy his ship and crew men, and traveled to the depths of Hades and returned. His journey is tireless, long, and filled with sadness. Although he has suffered countless times, because of his loyalty and persistence to the Gods he is rewarded in the end by returning to his wife and home of Ithaca. This book is well written and stays in the spot of the original text. I recommend the book to all ages who love Greek mythology.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by LadyJay for Teens Read Too

    Gold Star Award Winner! Many of us are familiar with Homer's timeless classic. Odysseus, hero of the Trojan War, is desperately trying to return home. The gods have not looked upon him favorably, and he has incurred the wrath of Poseidon. His adventures are housed in this new graphic novel edition. He relates the tales of the Cyclops, the Sirens, and the deadly Scylla, who decimate his ship and crew. His journey is long, tireless, and wrought with sadness. Because of his persistence and loyalty to the gods, he is rewarded in the end. Gareth Hinds has retold and illustrated many classic tales, including BEOWULF, KING LEAR, and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. His artwork is nothing short of amazing. He has provided stunning watercolors to enhance the retelling of this epic poem. He has also made the poem much more accessible to teen readers. Hinds has taken great pains to stay true to the original tale, including quotes that come directly from the text. This edition would be an excellent way of supplementing a unit about THE ODYSSEY. Teen readers who are curious about Greek mythology and literature should definitely give this graphic novel a chance. I am anxiously awaiting Hinds' next literary offering!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    if you love Greek mythology!

    Gods, cyclops adventure, action just a classic book

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    Posted December 17, 2010

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