Odyssey

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Overview

STANLEY LOMBARDO is professor of classics at the University of Kansas. His translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey were originally published by Hackett Publishing Company in 1997 and 2000, respectively.

A retelling of Homer's epic that describes the wanderings of Odysseus after the fall of Troy.

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The Odyssey

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Overview

STANLEY LOMBARDO is professor of classics at the University of Kansas. His translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey were originally published by Hackett Publishing Company in 1997 and 2000, respectively.

A retelling of Homer's epic that describes the wanderings of Odysseus after the fall of Troy.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
Susan Sarandon reads an introduction by Tom Palaima as well as synopses of each book, all of which are included in a useful little booklet. Lombardo, a veteran of many performances of his translation, delivers the poem himself in a well-modulated, walnutty voice that occasionally roars out dramatically to handle the more exuberant, even bumptious, passages.
—Katherine A. Powers
Chris Sherman
McCaughrean's fine retelling of Odysseus' wanderings is a heroic tale in the truest sense of the word. It captures all the drama and bloodcurdling action of the original work while making the story accessible to young people in language that is still vigorous and expressive. Odysseus is a commanding figure, a bold leader, able to outwit the strongest monsters, yet so weak he cowers in Calypso's chamber. Readers can follow Odysseus' encounters with Circe, the Lotus-eaters, Poseidon, and Calypso, among others, as well as Penelope's difficulties with her suitors back home. Illustrations by Victor Ambrus complement McCaughrean's style perfectly, their bold colors and lively portrayals displaying all the energy of the text. Ambrus' renderings of the monsters are particularly gruesome. A worthy addition to most library collections.
Horn Book
McCaughrean's adaptation of Homer's epic is both faithful to the original and accessible. Odysseus' perilous adventures on his voyage home from the Trojan War -- including encounters with the Cyclops, Circe, and the Sirens -- will captivate the imagination of a new generation of readers. Pen-and-ink drawings filled with motion alternate with vibrantly colored illustrations.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Robert Fagles's 1990 translation of The Iliad was highly praised; here, he moves to The Odyssey. As in the previous work, he adroitly mixes contemporary language with the driving rhythms of the original. The first line reads: "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns/ driven time and again off course once he had plundered/ the hallowed heights of Troy." Hellenic scholar Bernard Knox contributes extensive introductory commentary, providing both historical and literary perspective. Notes, a pronouncing glossary, genealogies, a bibliography and maps of Homer's world are included.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Zwerger's (The Wizard of Oz) captivating cover image of the Mad Tea-Party for this edition of Carroll's 1865 tale conveys the psychological tension of the interior artwork: Alice, at the head of an elongated table with a pristine white linen cloth, stares at the pocket watch that the March Hare is about to lower into his cup of tea. The Hare, bug-eyed, gazes out at readers while the Mad Hatter to his right, wearing a hat box, fixates on a black upturned chapeau (in lieu of a place setting), and the Dormouse between them sleeps. Across the table, an empty red mug is placed in front of a vacant green chair, and a teacup and saucer trimmed in red seems to be set for the reader. The painting conveys the way in which Zwerger brilliantly manages both to invite readers into the story and to keep them at a distance. From the heroine's first appearance, as she falls down a well while chasing the White Rabbit, with a glimpse of orderly bookshelves at the upper left corner, Zwerger demonstrates the many layers to Alice's journey: a cutaway view reveals that the bulk of the other "shelves" are the result of rats and insects tunneling underground. The supporting cast conveys the artist's nearly sardonic perspective. The contrary caterpillar, with six of its eight arms crossed, would be at home in New York's East Village: instead of a hookah it smokes a cigarette and sips red wine, yet--unlike Sir John Tenniel's sedated counterpart--this caterpillar is lucid, defiantly staring out at an Alice (and readers) absent from the scene. Zwerger's penetrating interpretation reinvents Carroll's situations and characters and demands a rereading of the text. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Charles Dodgson wrote this story at the request of Alice Liddell, and for close to 150 years, it has been a favorite of young readers. Lisbeth Zwerger brings her award-winning artistic skill to the story and offers a very different look for a new generation. Her palette is brighter, the art has more of a layered look than in her previous works, and she offers more frontal views. The whimsy is there and the White Rabbit, Queen, Cheshire Cat and others will be quickly recognized. The illustrations range from full pages to spot art liberally sprinkled throughout the twelve chapters. The story can be read on one level as a magical adventure in which Alice faces a host of very strange things and variety of bizarre characters. It fills a child's need for fantasy and escape. The actual social commentary and satire will elude most contemporary readers, but it in no way diminishes the joy of reading this classic story.
Children's Literature
Lister retells Homer's classic epic about what became of Odysseus after the Trojan War. The book is not in chronological order, and it begins with Odysseus's stay on the island of Nausicaa with the Phaeacian lords. In chapters four to ten, Odysseus retells what happened immediately after Troy. He tells the Phaeacian lords about his encounter with many of the creatures famous from Greek mythology—the Lotus Eaters, the one-eyed Cyclops, the enchantress Circe, Hades, the Sirens, Calypso, the six-headed Scylla, and the man-eating whirlpool Charybdis. The final eight chapters tell the end of the story and Odysseus's return home. Meanwhile, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus have been under siege from the suitors who believe Odysseus to be dead. The suitors insist that Penelope choose one of them to marry. When Odysseus returns, he kills the suitors, is reunited with Penelope and regains control of his kingdom. The book provides a look at Greek life and customs including marriage, war, and belief in the gods. While the book is able to stand alone for readers who are not familiar with The Iliad, it is general enough that it would not be for students looking for an in-depth study of Odysseus. It is part of the "Kingfisher Epics" series. 2004, Kingfisher/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 8 to 12.
—Lynn O'Connell
Library Journal
Translations of Homer tend to fall on a spectrum, ranging from those of Lattimore or Murray and Dimock (Loeb Classics), which aim to be faithful to the subtleties of the Greek, to those of Fagles and Fitzgerald, which aim to be good English poetry as well. This new version of the Odyssey falls in the middle. McCrorie (English, Providence Coll.) is a poet and translator whose accomplishments include a version of Virgil's Aeneid. For his Odyssey, he developed a modified dactyl that allows him to achieve the swiftness and rhythmic variety of Homer. Bringing a sensitive ear to Homer's diction and verbal formulas, he transliterates names rather than using their Latin equivalents in order to remain close to the sound of the Greek. If this translation does not stand out from the others available, it is nevertheless a worthy addition. Recommended for all academic libraries.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 Lister, has, with some success, retold Homer's famed epic for children. Rather than beginning the story in the traditional way, after the battle of Troy, his version begins with the shipwreck on Phaeacia. Odysseus sets the scene with the help of the bard, Demodocus, then tells his story. For a young audience, this flashback technique is confusing and unwieldy. Then, in the next three chapters, Lister crowds all of the historical facts and names that he removed from the beginning. He also tries, mostly in early chapters, to update some of the language while maintaining the tone of the story. The result is uneven and, in some places, humorous; for example, when the Cyclops growls at his uninvited guests, ``Who the hell are you?'' However, Lister's telling improves as the book progresses, and the picture book format with, for the most part, effective, sometimes exciting, full-color illustrations, makes this new version of the Odyssey, while not preferable to those of Picard (Walck, 1952; o.p.), Church (Macmillan, 1951; o.p.), Watson (Golden, 1964; o.p.), and Colum (Macmillan, 1925; o.p.), at least another good choice. Constance A. Mellon, Department of Library & Information Studies, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-This smoothly written retelling may interest the same audience that enjoyed Neil Philip's The Adventures of Odysseus (Orchard, 1997). Covering mostly the same selections with approximately the same detail, Mitchell places small bits of background information in the margins of the stories and on pages in between them. These tidbits won't be enough for researchers, but could whet the interest of those reading for pleasure. However, some students may find them distracting. Full-color drawings, photographs of sites and artifacts, and reproductions appear throughout. The best illustrations surround the text on all sides, imparting a sense of the drama of the tales. Mitchell's casual writing style may interest children not ready for the elevated text of the original and reluctant readers but there is no fire in this telling, making it an additional purchase.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Chris Hedges
Lombardo has brought his laconic wit and love of the ribald, as well as his clever use of idiomatic American slang, to his version of the Odyssey. His carefully honed syntax gives the narrative energy and a whirlwind pace.
The New York Times Book Review
The El Paso Times
"Why didn't something like this come sooner. Maintains the dignity of Homer's work while folding comfortably and well into today's vernacular. allows reders to read this masterpiece as comfortably as a modern novel."
Bloomsbury Review

McCrorie's new translation can be recommended without reservation to the generations of students to whom it is bound to be assigned and to any reader who'd like to get as close to the original as is possible without reading the original Greek. It is refreshing, accurate, and direct.

— Jay Kenney

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Edward McCrorie's translation of the Odyssey into English hexameter has much to recommend it... I have developed an appreciation for the clarity and briskness of McCrorie's verse.

— G.S. Bowe

Choice

A lively and engaging version of Homer's Odyssey that brilliantly blends pleasurable readability with fidelity to the original... McCrorie has simplified the choice of an English Odyssey even in a field of very skillful competitors (Lattimore, Fitzgerald, Mandelbaum, Fagles, Lombardo), providing the best available verse translation of the Odyssey for Greekless readers.

Anglo-Hellenic Review

McCrorie has produced an epic with its own rhythms, idioms and developing pleasures.

Classical Bulletin

Bold new translation.

— Emily Anhalt

From the Publisher
Wonderfully readable... Just the right blend of roughness and sophistication. (Ted Hughes)

Robert Fagles is the best living translator of ancient Greek drama, lyric poetry, and epic into modern English. (Garry Wills, The New Yorker)

Mr. Fagles has been remarkably successful in finding a style that is of our time and yet timeless. (Richard Jenkyns, The New York Times Book Review)

Stephen Coonts
"Homer's ancient song, The Odyssey, is a treasure waiting to be discovered by every generation. Eickhoff's fresh, bold, contemporary translation rival's Fitzgerald's. I highly recommend it."
From Barnes & Noble
The greatest adventure story of all time, this epic work chronicles Odysseus's return from the Trojan War and the trials he endures on his journey home. Filled with magic, mystery, and an assortment of gods & goddesses who meddle freely in the affairs of men.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881036572
  • Publisher: Sagebrush Education Resources
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999

Meet the Author

Homer
S. H. Butcher

Samuel Henry Butcher was born in Dublin to Samuel Butcher, Bishop of Meath. John Butcher, 1st Baron Danesfort was his younger brother. He became an eminent classical scholar and, in his final years, an English politician. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge between 1869 and 1873 where he was Senior Classic and Chancellor's medalist. Elected fellow of Trinity in 1874, he left the college on his marriage, in 1876, to the daughter of Archbishop Trench. From 1876 to 1882 he was a fellow of University College, Oxford, and from 1882 to 1903 he became Professor of Greek at Edinburgh University. He was President of the British Academy, 1909-1910.

Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang (31 March 1844 - 20 July 1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him.

Biography

We know very little about the author of The Odyssey and its companion tale, The Iliad. Most scholars agree that Homer was Greek; those who try to identify his origin on the basis of dialect forms in the poems tend to choose as his homeland either Smyrna, now the Turkish city known as Izmir, or Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea.

According to legend, Homer was blind, though scholarly evidence can neither confirm nor contradict the point.

The ongoing debate about who Homer was, when he lived, and even if he wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad is known as the "Homeric question." Classicists do agree that these tales of the fall of the city of Troy (Ilium) in the Trojan War (The Iliad) and the aftermath of that ten-year battle (The Odyssey) coincide with the ending of the Mycenaean period around 1200 BCE (a date that corresponds with the end of the Bronze Age throughout the Eastern Mediterranean). The Mycenaeans were a society of warriors and traders; beginning around 1600 BCE, they became a major power in the Mediterranean. Brilliant potters and architects, they also developed a system of writing known as Linear B, based on a syllabary, writing in which each symbol stands for a syllable.

Scholars disagree on when Homer lived or when he might have written The Odyssey. Some have placed Homer in the late-Mycenaean period, which means he would have written about the Trojan War as recent history. Close study of the texts, however, reveals aspects of political, material, religious, and military life of the Bronze Age and of the so-called Dark Age, as the period of domination by the less-advanced Dorian invaders who usurped the Mycenaeans is known. But how, other scholars argue, could Homer have created works of such magnitude in the Dark Age, when there was no system of writing? Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, placed Homer sometime around the ninth century BCE, at the beginning of the Archaic period, in which the Greeks adopted a system of writing from the Phoenicians and widely colonized the Mediterranean. And modern scholarship shows that the most recent details in the poems are datable to the period between 750 and 700 BCE.

No one, however, disputes the fact that The Odyssey (and The Iliad as well) arose from oral tradition. Stock phrases, types of episodes, and repeated phrases -- such as "early, rose-fingered dawn" -- bear the mark of epic storytelling. Scholars agree, too, that this tale of the Greek hero Odysseus's journey and adventures as he returned home from Troy to Ithaca is a work of the greatest historical significance and, indeed, one of the foundations of Western literature.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Odyssey.

Good To Know

The meter (rhythmic pattern of syllables) of Homer's epic poems is dactylic hexameter.

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Read an Excerpt

The Odyssey


By Homer

American Guidance Service

Copyright © 1994 Homer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1561036390


Chapter One

Book I

To the Muse.

*

The anger of Poseidon.

*

In Poseidon's absence,

a gathering of the gods in Zeus' halls on Olympus.

Athena's plea for help for the stranded Odysseus;

Zeus' consent.

*

Athena in the guise of Mentes visits Ithaca.

Her advice to Telemachus:

he is to confront the Ithacan elders

with the problem of the suitors

and to leave Ithaca to search

for news of his father.

*

Penelope's appearance among the suitors.

Her silencing of Phemius the singer.

Telemachus and the suitors:

their sharp exchange.

*

Nightfall:

Telemachus and his old nurse, Eurycle*¯¯a.

Muse, tell me of the man of many wiles,*

the man who wandered many paths of exile*

after he sacked Troy's sacred citadel.*

He saw the cities-mapped the minds-of many;*

and on the sea, his spirit suffered every*

adversity-to keep his life intact;*

to bring his comrades back. In that last task,*

his will was firm and fast, and yet he failed:*

he could not save his comrades. Fools, they foiled*

themselves: they ate the oxen of the Sun,*

the herd of Helios Hyperion;*

the lord of light requited their transgression-*

he took away the day of their return.*

Muse, tell us of these matters. Daughter of Zeus,*

my starting point is any point you choose.*

All other Greeks who had been spared the steep*

descent to death had reached their homes-released*

from war and waves. One man alone was left,*

still longing for his home, his wife, his rest.*

For the commanding nymph, the brightest goddess,*

Calypso, held him in her hollow grottoes:*

she wanted him as husband. Even when*

the wheel of years drew near his destined time-*

the time the gods designed for his return*

to Ithaca-he still could not depend*

upon fair fortune or unfailing friends.*

While other gods took pity on him, one-*

Poseidon-still pursued: he preyed upon*

divine Odysseus until the end,*

until the exile found his own dear land.*

But now Poseidon was away-his hosts,*

the Ethiopians, the most remote*

of men (they live in two divided parts-*

half, where the sun-god sets; half, where he starts).*

Poseidon, visiting the east, received*

the roasted thighs of bulls and sheep. The feast*

delighted him. And there he sat. But all*

his fellow gods were gathered in the halls*

of Zeus upon Olympus; there the father*

of men and gods spoke first. His mind upon*

the versatile Aegisthus-whom the son*

of Agamemnon, famed Orestes, killed-*

he shared this musing with the deathless ones:*

"Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say*

that we devise their misery. But they*

themselves-in their depravity-design*

grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns.*

So did Aegisthus act when he transgressed*

the boundaries that fate and reason set.*

He took the lawful wife of Agamemnon;*

and when the son of Atreus had come back,*

Aegisthus murdered him-although he knew*

how steep was that descent. For we'd sent Hermes,*

our swiftest, our most keen-eyed emissary,*

to warn against that murder and adultery:*

'Orestes will avenge his father when,*

his manhood come, he claims his rightful land.'*

Hermes had warned him as one warns a friend.*

And yet Aegisthus' will could not be swayed.*

Now, in one stroke, all that he owes is paid."*

Athena, gray-eyed goddess, answered Zeus:*

"Our father, Cronos' son, you, lord of lords,*

Aegisthus died the death that he deserved.*

May death like his strike all who ape his sins.*

But brave Odysseus' fate does break my heart:*

long since, in misery he suffers, far*

from friends, upon an island in the deep-*

a site just at the navel of the sea.*

And there, upon that island rich in trees,*

a goddess has her home: the fair-haired daughter*

of Atlas the malevolent (who knows*

the depths of every sea, for he controls*

the giant column holding earth and sky*

apart). Calypso, Atlas' daughter, keeps*

the sad Odysseus there-although he weeps.*

Her words are fond and fragrant, sweet and soft-*

so she would honey him to cast far off*

his Ithaca; but he would rather die*

than live the life of one denied the sight*

of smoke that rises from his homeland's hearths.*

Are you, Olympus' lord, not moved by this?*

Was not Odysseus your favorite*

when, on the spacious plain of Troy, beside*

the Argive ships, he sacrificed to you?*

What turned your fondness into malice, Zeus?"*

Zeus, shepherd of the clouds, replied: "My daughter,*

how can the barrier of your teeth permit*

such speech to cross your lips? Can I forget*

godlike Odysseus, most astute of men,*

whose offerings were so unstinting when*

he sacrificed to the undying gods,*

the masters of vast heaven? Rest assured.*

Only Poseidon, lord whose chariot runs*

beneath the earth, is furious-it was*

Odysseus who deprived the grandest Cyclops,*

the godlike Polyphemus, of his eye.*

(Thoosa-nymph whose father, Phorcys, keeps*

a close watch on the never-resting deep-*

gave birth to that huge Cyclops after she*

had lain in her deep sea-cave with Poseidon.)*

And ever since his son was gouged, the god*

who makes earth tremble, though he does not kill*

Odysseus, will not let him end his exile.*

But now we all must think of his return-*

of how to bring him home again. Poseidon*

will set aside his anger; certainly*

he cannot have his way, for he is only*

one god against us all, and we are many." NNN*

Athena, gray-eyed goddess, answered him:*

"Our father, Cronos' son, you, lord of lords,*

if now the blessed gods indeed would end*

the wanderings of Odysseus, let us send*

the keen-eyed Hermes to Calypso's isle,*

Ogy´gia. Let him there at once declare*

to her, the goddess with the lovely hair,*

our undeniable decree: Steadfast*

Odysseus is to find his homeward path.*

But I shall make my way to Ithaca*

at once, to give his son the strength to summon*

the long-haired Ithacans; when they assemble*

he can denounce-and scatter-all the suitors:*

they are forever slaughtering his sheep,*

his shambling oxen with their curving horns.*

Then off to sandy Pylos and to Sparta*

I'll send him to seek tidings of his father's*

return; he may yet hear some hopeful word-*

and men will then commend him for his search."*

That said, Athena fastened on fine sandals:*

these-golden, everlasting-carried her*

with swift winds over seas and endless lands.*

The goddess took her bronze-tipped battle lance,*

heavy and huge and solid; with this shaft,*

she-daughter of so great a force-can smash*

the ranks of warriors who've earned her wrath.*

One leap-and from Olympus' peaks she reached*

the land of Ithaca. She stood before*

Odysseus' door, the threshold of his court.*

She gripped the bronze-tipped shaft, and taking on*

the likeness of a stranger, she became*

lord Mentes, chieftain of the Taphians.*

She found the braggart suitors at the gate.*

Delighting in their dicing, they reclined*

on hides of oxen they themselves had skinned-*

with pages and attendants serving them,*

some mixing wine and water in wide bowls,*

while others washed the tables down with sponges*

and readied them for food, and others still*

stacked meat in heaps on platters-high and full.*

The very first to notice Mentes' presence*

was young Telemachus. He-sad, morose-*

sat with the suitors. In his reverie,*

he saw his sturdy father-would that he,*

returning suddenly, might banish these*

intruders from his palace and restore*

the rights and rule that had been his before.*

Such was the sadness of Telemachus,*

alone among the suitors, till he saw*

Athena; he rushed toward the outer door,*

ashamed that none had gone to greet the stranger.*

He drew near, clasped her right hand, even as*

his left relieved her of the heavy lance.*

And when he spoke, his words were like winged shafts:*

"My greetings, stranger. Welcome to our feast.*

Eat first-and then do tell us what you seek."*

He led the way; Athena followed him.*

Once they were in the high-roofed hall, he placed*

her lance against a column at whose base*

a polished rack, with slots for spears, was set;*

within that rack there stood still other shafts,*

the many spears that brave Odysseus left.*

He led the stranger to a tall chair, wrought*

with care; across its frame he spread rich cloth.*

There he invited her to sit and rest*

her feet upon a stool; and he himself*

sat nearby, on another well-carved chair,*

set far off from the suitors, lest his guest,*

in all that brouhaha, might look askance*

at feasting with such overbearing men-*

and, too, because he wanted so to gather*

what news he could about his distant father.*

That they might wash their hands, a servant poured*

fresh water from a lovely golden jug*

into a silver basin; at their side*

she placed a polished table. The old housewife*

was generous: she drew on lavish stores;*

to each of them she offered much and more.*

The carver offered meats of every sort,*

and for their wine he set out golden cups;*

and these-again, again-a page filled up.*

But then the suitors swaggered in; they sat,*

in order, on low seats and high-backed chairs.*

The pages poured fresh water for their hands,*

and servants brought them baskets heaped with bread.*

The suitors' hands reached out. The feast was theirs.*

When they had had their fill of food and drink,*

the feasters felt the need for chant and dance-*

at banquets, these are pleasing ornaments.*

A steward now consigned a handsome harp*

into the hands of Phemius, who was forced,*

from time to time, to entertain those lords.*

He struck the strings, and music graced his words.*

Then, as Telemachus turned toward his guest,*

lest he be overheard, he held his head*

close to the gray-eyed goddess-and he said:*

"Dear guest, will you be vexed at what I say?*

This harping and this chant delight these men,*

for all these goods come easily to them:*

they feed-but never need to recompense.*

They feast at the expense of one whose white*

bones, surely, either rot beneath the rain,*

unburied and abandoned on the land,*

or else are preyed upon by churning waves.*

Yet, were Odysseus to return, were they*

to see him here again, they would not pray*

for gold or richer clothes-just faster feet.*

But he has died by now, died wretchedly;*

and nothing can console us now, not even*

if some man on this earth should say my father*

will yet return. The day of his homecoming*

is lost: it is a day we'll never see.*

But tell me one thing-tell me honestly:*

Who are you? Of what father were you born?*

Where is your city, where your family?*

On what ship did you sail? Why did that crew*

bring you to Ithaca? And who were they?*

For surely you did not come here on foot!*

And also tell me truthfully-is this*

the first time you have come to Ithaca,*

or have you been my father's guest before?*

For many other foreigners have come*

to visit us-like you, my father knew*

the ways of many men and many lands."*

Athena, gray-eyed goddess, answered him:*

"My words to you are true: I'm Mentes, son*

of wise Anchialus; the Taphians,*

tenacious oarsmen, are the men I rule.*

Now I have landed here with ship and crew;*

we cross the winedark sea toward Temese-*

all this in search of copper. What we stow*

is gleaming iron, which we're set to barter.*

Outside the city, moored in Rhe*¯¯thron's harbor,*

close to the fields, beneath Mount Neion's forest,*

my ship is waiting. Years ago, your father*

and mine were guests and friends. (Just ask the brave*

Laertes-though they say he shuns the city;*

it seems that now he much prefers to grieve*

far off, alone, except for one old servant.*

She, when his body aches from the hard climb*

he makes, from slope to slope, to tend his vines,*

still carries food and drink right to his side.)*

NNN*

"Now I have come-for I had heard indeed*

that he, your father, had returned. Surely*

it is the gods who now obstruct his journey.*

For bright Odysseus has not died upon*

this earth: he is alive somewhere, delayed*

upon an island set among vast waves,*

held by harsh savages, against his will.*

I am no augur or interpreter*

of flights of birds, but now I shall foretell-*

even as the immortals prompt my soul-*

events my mind can see: Your father will*

not be kept back from his dear land much longer,*

though they may bind him fast in iron chains;*

he is a man of many wiles, who can*

contrive the way to reach his home again.*

But you-do tell me now with honesty:*

Are you, so tall, indeed Odysseus' son?*

Your head and handsome eyes resemble his*

extraordinarily; we two had met*

quite often in the days before he left*

for Troy, where others, too-the Argives' best-*

sailed in their hollow ships. But since then I*

have not seen him, and he has not seen me."*

Telemachus' reply was keen and wise:*

"Dear friend, I cannot be more frank than this.*

My mother says I am his son, but none*

can know for sure the seed from which he's sprung.*

In any case, would I had been the son*

of one so blessed that he grew old among*

his own belongings. I, instead, am born-*

or so they say-of one who surely was*

the most forsaken man, the most forlorn.*

Now you have had and heard my full response.&

Continues...

Continues...


Excerpted from The Odyssey by Homer Copyright © 1994 by Homer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Suggestions for further reading
A note on the Greek text
Bk. 1 The Gods, Athene and Telemachos 1
Bk. 2 Telemachos and the Suitors 10
Bk. 3 Telemachos in Pylos 19
Bk. 4 Telemachos in Sparta 30
Bk. 5 Odysseus and Kalypso 47
Bk. 6 Nausikaa 57
Bk. 7 Odysseus in Phaiacia 64
Bk. 8 Phaiacian Games and Song 71
Bk. 9 The Cyclops 83
Bk. 10 Kirke 95
Bk. 11 The Underworld 107
Bk. 12 Skylla and Charybdis 120
Bk. 13 Return to Ithaka 130
Bk. 14 Odysseus and Eumaios 140
Bk. 15 Telemachos Returns 151
Bk. 16 Odysseus and Telemachos 163
Bk. 17 Odysseus Comes to his House 173
Bk. 18 Odysseus as Beggar 186
Bk. 19 Eurykleia Recognises Odysseus 195
Bk. 20 Insults and Omens 208
Bk. 21 The Trial of the Bow 217
Bk. 22 The Suitors Killed 226
Bk. 23 Odysseus and Penelope 237
Bk. 24 The Underworld, Laertes, Peace 245
Index 257
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 475 )
Rating Distribution

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(271)

4 Star

(81)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(55)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 477 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An Epic of Odysseus' Return

    This is an amazing translation; the language is flawless, almost poetic. And, of course, a timless classic. I had to read this book for my English Honors course and expected boredom. However, I was pleasently surprised-- I enjoyed it! It's the story of the Greek hero, Odysseus, after the Trojan War. On the start of his voyage home, he provokes Poseidon, god of the sea. Thus, releasing the god's wrath. Odysseus faces many obstacles, on account of Poseidon's anger, including an encounter with Cyclops, Circe, and the Sirens, and a journey to Hades' Underworld. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates classic literature. Though the language does take time to become accustomed to, the hardest part of this book is the vast amount of characters. I recommend composing a list of all the gods and goddesses in addition to demigods and heroes.

    27 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    Completely unbelievable!

    I am amazed at this book! I was actually required to read this for summer reading and I wasn't exactly thrilled to see how thick it was of pages. But as I read it I became enchanted of the way the words are written and the characters, and the plot! I loved it so much I kept on reading, and before I knew it I was finished with it! An incredible tale written in ancient times that tells the story of an exiled soldier trying to return home with many sinister obstacles bloking his way. A great read for anyone who loves greek mythology, and for people who just love monsters and heroes.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful!

    Fagles makes this classical story accessible to everyone, using easy to read language while relating the adventures of Aeneas as he leaves Troy after being defeated by the Greeks and makes his way to Italy to found Rome. It contains travel tales like the Oddyssey and battles as in the Illiad. The introduction is also well worth reading.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    The translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey by Robert Fitzgerald are more enjoyable to read, and are also more reliable and accurate. They are written in prose. If you want poetic versions, you can't beat the translations by Richard Lattimore. My personal favorites are the Fitzgeralds. I am a lawyer. I studied Greek subjects at U.C. Berkeley under professors Gregory Vlastos and Michael Frede. My favorite writers are Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Proust.

    9 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004

    A delightful introduction to epic literature.

    This is a great book for those who are new to epic poetry, like myself. It's written in prose (in paragraphs, rather than poetic stanzas). Squillace has done a fine job of introducing contemporary terms, where appropriate, without interrupting Homer/Palmer's story-telling rhythm. It's an engaging story, and the characters are fascinating, and I enjoyed it so much that I read all the footnotes at the end. Somewhat-interesting discussion questions at the conclusion. Read the Introduction after you read the book, not before. I wish I could find a translation of the Illiad by Palmer/Squillace, as they did a very good job of making the story, the characters and the language approachable. 'O'Brother Where Art Thou'? Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    This is not complete

    Starts at Book XVII

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    It was required

    i read this book, and I found it interesting at first but when it got to the part where he kept on talking about ALL of his journeys that were actually in Iliad to the Phaeacians, it got VERY annoying, long, and never ending. In addition, it was boring to hear about all his other journeys because it had so many different characters that unless you actually knew them all you would get confused. Honestly, I would not recommend this book because I did not find it fascinating. I found it annoying, and boring. Maybe I am just not interested in these types of books. The only reason I read it was because it was a requirement on the summer reading list.

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    GREAT ADVENTURE STORY

    i read this book as part of a school assignment but i absolutely LOVED IT. it is a great adventure and love story. i really enjoyed the read and i strongly recommend this book to all readers. it was not difficult for me to understand at all either. when i read it, it was not written out in prose so it is pretty easy if you read the sentence full on until the period. overall great read!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2006

    THE book OF LYYYYYYYFe

    This was a required book for school, so I thought it would be extremely boring, and it was. Only until the late middle of the book do you get fully into it. Though it was not one of the best books I have read I do reccomend reading this classic adventure of odysseus's return home from Troy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    JUST ONE WORD IS REQUIRED : EXTRAORDINARY.

    THIS IS THE MOST MAGICAL NOVEL IN THE WORLD AND IT HAS BEEN BORE AS SUCH. THE ADVENTURES AND THE ROMANCE IS WHAT KEEPS YOU HOOKED TO THE PAGES, WITHOUT LETTING YOU GO.THE ILIAD AND THE ODDESSEY ARE BY FAR THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD BESIDES THOSE OF THE BIBLE,AND OF GODS AND GODDESSES.THIS NOVEL SHALL FOREVER REMAIN THE GREATEST AND DEAREST TO MY HEART.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Homer is an amazing story teller!

    I had to write the Iliad for a school project and recammend it; I also love the Odyssey;Odysseus has always been my favorite character!He has cunning kindness, all wrapped into one man

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    To all you Homer Haters out there......

    This book is SUPER INTRESTING! I don't see how it could be boring at all...... You must be very immature.....well whatever DEUCES:)

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Line numbers missing?

    I love the odyssey and this version was particularly clear, but I would like a version with the original lines of poetry listed out so I can take notes properly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Nicely performed.

    Great performance of an old classic.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2007

    Review

    I read this book for a high school english assignment and, breaking the stereotype of my generation, found it very enjoyable. Our teacher required us to use Fagles translation and I had no problem understanding it. I would reccomend using online resources only to clarify or answer any questions if you arent familiar with the culture of Homers time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2006

    Interesting

    I had to read this epic. I was wrapped in the story from the moment I started reading it.Although it is complicated, it is very exciting to know about ancient Greece...and Odysseus' flings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2000

    outstanding

    This book should be in the hands of every student reading The Oddyssey. Some translations really stink, but not this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2000

    Awesome

    Awesome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2015

    Highrock

    ?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2015

    Lostmoon

    She runs and hisses at any shadows

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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