The New York Times
The Odyssey: A Dramatic Retelling of Homer's Epicby Simon Armitage
In this new verse adaptation, originally commissioned for BBC radio, Simon Armitage has recast Homer's epic as a series of bristling dramatic dialogues: between gods and men; between no-nonsense Captain Odysseus and his unruly, lotus-eating,
"Armitage has given an ageless story new vigor, and has done it with style, wit and elegance."Literary Review
In this new verse adaptation, originally commissioned for BBC radio, Simon Armitage has recast Homer's epic as a series of bristling dramatic dialogues: between gods and men; between no-nonsense Captain Odysseus and his unruly, lotus-eating, homesick companions; and between subtle Odysseus (wiliest hero of antiquity) and a range of shape-shifting adversariesCalypso, Circe, the Sirens, the Cyclopsas he and his men are "pinballed between islands" of adversity. One of the most individual voices of his generation, Armitage revitalizes our sense of the Odyssey as oral poetry, as indeed one of the greatest of tall tales.
The New York Times
One of Britain's most successful poets, the versatile and clever Armitage follows up his translation of the medieval poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" with this engaging and compulsively readable adaptation of Homer's epic, in which the wily sailor-hero Odysseus must outplay, outwit or outlast seductive nymphs, a malevolent enchantress, a one-eyed giant, and his own impious crew in order to reach his home island, his son and his faithful wife. Written for BBC radio, Armitage's version is not a translation of the ancient Greek epic, but rather a dramatic rendering, divided into scenes with parts (mostly in verse) for voice actors. Armitage delivers fast paced and decidedly contemporary language: Odysseus himself envisions "A freak wave cracking the keel of some poor sailing ship.... Just the Gods doing their thing." The transformation of a tale about one man into exchanges among sets of characters can make things seem choppy early on, but it pays off when Odysseus reaches home and has to maintain his disguise until he can slaughter his wife's suitors. Armitage's play will entertain, if not enlighten, anyone interested in the fresh ways that Homer's story can be told. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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- 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
Simon Armitage is the award-winning poet and translator of both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Death of King Arthur, as well as several works of poetry, prose, and drama. He is the Oxford Professor of Poetry.
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