The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

3.7 47
by Margaret Atwood
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1841957984

ISBN-13: 9781841957982

Pub. Date: 09/28/2006

Publisher: Canongate U.S.

Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, “I’ve chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses

Overview

Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, “I’ve chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn’t hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781841957982
Publisher:
Canongate U.S.
Publication date:
09/28/2006
Series:
Myths Series
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
37,660
Product dimensions:
4.73(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.59(d)

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Penelopiad 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
caemin More than 1 year ago
Margaret Atwood reinvigorates Homer's classic by telling the other side of the story, albeit in a feminist perspective. Well done!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be a good read, Atwood did a good job in my opinion of describing what life could have been like in ancient Greece. The book was an easy read, and had some interesting points on what historical events might have looked like to someone from ancient Greece. Atwood also had some interesting ideas on what Odysseus and Penelope where like, and what really happened those thousands of years ago. Some things i did not like about the book was how Penelope cried about everything happening, and like a person i knew who also read the book said 'She must have drank water all day just to be able to cry like she does!' Over all though, i did enjoy the book.
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
Ah, Atwood. I've been reading her works since my eighth grade teacher gifted me her Journals of Susanna Moodie with an inscription telling me that she looked forward to the day when I would bring her my own published work. I've had a love/hate relationship with Atwood ever since. But The Penelopiad was new to me. My daughter is reading it for her AP English class and she asked me if I could hold on to it for her when we were out this past weekend. It was one of those moments when I found myself early for a meeting and sitting there with my Americano. I had a choice: I could either read the literary book my kid just gave me, or play the Dot game incessantly. I chose to read. And that was it. I was hooked. Now if you've read some of my other reviews, you'll know I'm a huge fan of fractured fairy tales. And while Greek mythology and a retelling of the Odyssey isn't exactly a fairy tale, it has elements of what I love. Atwood tells the story completely from the point of view of Penelope and the twelve maidens. It is classically Atwood and absolutely brilliant. The academic in me, recommends reading The Odyssey before The Penelopiad but it isn't really necessary. If you've seen Odysseus: Voyage to the Underworld (a really sh*tty movie) or had a peek at Percy Jackson (a really good series) you'll recognize some of the stories. But the real treasure in The Penelopiad is that it is told from Penelope's point of view (after her death). Only Atwood would take the quintessential hero story and say, wait a minute! What about the 15-year old girl he married and dragged off to his remote island and then left there with a baby while he gallivanted around the countryside for TWENTY years? What about HER story? This telling is a feminist re-imagination of the legend. In classic Atwood style, it re-imagines the tale we think we know and forces the reader to question what the true telling of The Odyssey might be. (If you are unfamiliar with Atwood's work, shame on you! Get reading! But she has taken many, many texts and dug the subtext out and ran with it.) This book has rekindled my love affair with Atwood's work. I highly recommend you check it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my summer reading book I hope it's good!!!
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
The Penelopiad is Margaret Atwood’s take on the story of Odysseus and his wife Penelope, but from the perspective of Penelope.  It was a fabulous recreation of the Odyssey, with a slightly modern twist.  I like how Penelope explains how Odysseus’s famous exploits could have been explained by myths, or could have been normal but exaggerated experiences.   It kind of reminded me of The Liars’ Gospel in that way, making you think about whether or not the Greek mythology (or Jesus’s legend, if we’re talking about The Liars’ Gospel) is truth or situations that were created.  I highly recommend if you enjoyed The Liars’ Gospel and/or The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller! Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book
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Rachel Weissler More than 1 year ago
A delightful tongue-in-cheek retelling of classic mythology.
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