An Apple Books Classic edition.
Homer’s eighth-century epic poem is a companion to The Iliad. It tells the story of Odysseus, who journeys by ship for 10 years after the Trojan War, trying to make his way back home to Ithaca. Homer’s work was intended to be performed out loud, so it’s a masterful example of poetic meter and rhythm. But above all, ;The Odyssey is a story of adventure-and true love.
Odysseus has been gone for 20 years, and he longs to reclaim his role as king and reunite with his beloved, faithful Queen Penelope. During his absence, hundreds of suitors have eaten his food, lived in his home, and even plotted to kill his son. But before he can confront his enemies at home, Odysseus must fight a cyclops, escape after being imprisoned by a lovesick nymph, and confront the twin terrors of Scylla and Charybdis. As if that wasn’t enough, the gods take their grudges out on him, adding obstacles to suit their whims. Will Odysseus ever get home? And what will he find once he does? Within the pages of this ancient Greek classic are the origins for many of the myths we’re familiar with today. Pick up a copy and meet Odysseus, Homer’s timeless hero.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Before Gandalf had recruited his first hobbit or a single drop of Stark blood was spilled in pursuit of the Iron Throne, Odysseus was fighting gods and men in a heroic quest to reunite with his family and reclaim his rightful place as king of Ithaca. What strikes us most about this epic-to-lead-all-epics—written thousands of years ago—is just how effectively it still satisfies our thirst for gory action, high-stakes drama and supernatural elements. It turns out a good story never goes stale; The Odyssey is just as exciting, inspiring and entertaining today as when Greek author Homer first shared it.
British actor Stevens of Downton Abbey fame brings Homer's epic poem to life with this well-executed reading of the classic tale of the Greek hero Odysseus and his 10-year journey home. When Odysseus is presumed dead after the Trojan War, his wife, Penelope, is awash with suitors looking to court her and in turn take over the land. While Penelope stalls the persistent suitors, her husband is cursed to wander the seas encountering all manner of mythical beings and even the gods, who all play their part in helping, or mostly hindering, the hero in his quest to find home. Stevens, with a cool, unmannered delivery, brings a modern vocal interpretation to his performance, making this ancient poem engaging to the modern ear and easy to listen to. With his relaxed reading, Stevens proves that this classic poem is definitely not some dry, dusty work of ancient history, but a vibrant exciting story that, like the best tales of adventure, works best when read aloud, as scholars contend it was intended. A Farrar, Straus and Giroux paperback.
looks like an original version, but in English! Useful introduction at the start for a novice. Chapter introductions also useful. This is a hard read and the use of words takes a bit of getting used to. Seems to lose itself in places, other bits easy to follow.
A list of "who's who" would be handy, it would be a long list but for a non-expert sometimes it's hard to know who someone is and in the text who is actually "speaking".
Stick with it and you will make it! Would make a good film - particularly some bits of it.
Brilliant .... But
How to review The Odyssey without sounding like the most presumptuous twerp? Let's have a go.
Actually I'm not reviewing The Odyssey. I'm reviewing this ebook. Firstly it's free, which is a big plus to a Yorkshireman. Secondly it looks great on the iPad and is easy to access via the Apple reader.
There are no negatives, hence the five stars, however I do have some advice. As you may know most free ebooks are long out of copyright and can be reproduced freely. Many are classics of world literature and free access for all is a great and noble project. However if you sensed a 'but' coming you were right.
When we read classics of English Lierature in ebook form the only issue is whether the interface is any good. There are lots of various readers available and you probably have your favourite. So far so good. My advice concerns the literature of the classical period. Most of us don't read ancient Greek or Latin, me included, so we must rely on others to translate for us. As the translation must be old enough to be out of copyright this means that many date back to the Victorian / Edwardian period and even earlier. This means that we must come to Homer via the perspective of an earlier time and it is their reading of him with which we are presented.
Many of these translations are wonderful and capture some of the brilliance of Homer as an epic poet. This version is that of Alexander Pope, one of our greatest writers. It is a work of sheer brilliance and beauty. It's also quite difficult to follow for anyone new to Homer and the classical world.
Homer was a poet. Pope's translation attempts to capture the structure and more importantly the rhythm of the original. I maintain that for all it's beauty this is not the best introduction to the work. It would be a shame if a reader were put off finding out more about classical literature by starting with this translation. There are modern translations that read more like a novel and are much easier for those new to the material. Unfortunately you'll have to pay for them.
Once you've read a modern version come back to Alexander Pope. You'll enjoy him all the more.