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The Odyssey

Homer

Book Overview: 

The Odyssey is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems (the other being the Iliad), attributed to the poet Homer. The poem is commonly dated to between 800 and 600 BC. The poem is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, and concerns the events that befall the Greek hero Odysseus in his long journey back to his native land Ithaca after the fall of Troy.

It takes Odysseus ten years to return to his native land of Ithaca after ten years of war; during his 20-year absence, his son Telemachus and his wife Penelope must deal with a group of unruly suitors who have moved into Odysseus’ home to compete for Penelope’s hand in marriage, since most have assumed that Odysseus had died.
The poem is a fundamental text in the Western canon and continues to be read in both Homeric Greek and translations around the world.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This evil also! I am well prepared.
He ended, and the sun sinking, resign’d
The earth to darkness. Then in a recess 270
Interior of the cavern, side by side
Reposed, they took their amorous delight.
But when Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
Look’d rosy forth, Ulysses then in haste
Put on his vest and mantle, and, the nymph
Her snowy vesture of transparent woof,
Graceful, redundant; to her waist she bound
Her golden zone, and veil’d her beauteous head,
Then, musing, plann’d the noble Chief’s return.
She gave him, fitted to the grasp, an ax 280
Of iron, pond’rous, double-edg’d, with haft
Of olive-wood, inserted firm, and wrought
With curious art. Then, placing in his hand
A polish’d adze, she led, herself, the way
To her isles’ utmost verge, where tallest trees
But dry long since and sapless stood, which best
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Community Reviews

I have read The Odyssey three times. The first was not really a read but more of a listen in the true oral tradition. During embroidery class one of us, young girls on the verge of entering the teens, would read a passage while the rest were all busy with our eyes and fingers, our needles and thr...more

It's impossible not to smile when you start reading such a classic and, after only the first few pages, you realize and completely understand why it's regarded as one of the most important works in literature. I'm always a little anxious when I tackle such important and renowned books for being a...more

"Okay, so here's what happened. I went out after work with the guys, we went to a perfectly nice bar, this chick was hitting on me but I totally brushed her off. Anyway we ended up getting pretty wrecked, and we might have smoked something in the bathroom, I'm not totally clear on that part, and...more

So my first “non-school related" experience with Homer’s classic tale, and my most powerful impression, beyond the overall splendor of the story, was...HOLY SHIT SNACKS these Greeks were a violent bunch. Case in point: ...they hauled him out through the doorway into the court,
lopped his nose an...more

What can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? I'm sure that the influence and importance of it has been discussed to death already, so I won't even get started on that.
My reading experience was surprisingly pleasant: I didn't expect to get so invested! I found the language a bit h...more

The first line in Emily Wilson’s new translation of the Odyssey, the first by a woman scholar, is “Tell me about a complicated man.” In an article by Wyatt Mason in the NYT late last year, Wilson tells us “I could’ve said, ‘Tell me about a straying husband.’ And that’s a viable translation. That...more

"I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman!"
—Homer
(Simpson)

Following James Joyce’s lead, I used Homer’s heroic story as inspiration and research for a novel-in-progress.
But how can I, a mere mortal, do justice to the most famous epic poem ever written? An...more

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Representation of Human: "The Odyssey" by Homer (translated by Robert Fitzgerald; read by Dan Stevens)

I humbly declare this book to be the greatest literary work of mankind. If you don't learn Greek (worth it just to read this Meisterwe...more

Quite possibly one of my favourite books!
It was this novel that ignited my love for Greek and Roman mythology and antiquity - leading me to choose a degree in Classical Civilisations.
I always look back on The Odyssey with fondness - I love all the monsters he faces and the gods who involve themse...more

Ever since I first read Homer’s epic describing the adventures of Odysseus back in my school days, three of those adventures fired my imagination: The Lotus Eaters, The Cyclops and the Sirens, most especially the Sirens. I just did revisit these sections of this Greek epic and my imagination was...more

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