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Paperback The Odyssey of Homer Book

ISBN: 0060931957

ISBN13: 9780060931957

The Odyssey of Homer

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Presents the story of Odysseus' return from the Trojan War to his homeland in a modern English translation.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

They gave me the wrong book

The book is all torn up, it’s not even the hard cover that I ordered!

Good for introductory epic-poem readers.

This was my first epic adventure, and I was pleased to discover that this translation (Palmer) is arranged in prose rather than poetic stanzas. Very easy to read. Squillace, the editor, contributes admirably by introducing contemporary terms and descriptions that do not detract from the greater work. Were you to ask me which terms were his and which belonged to Palmer's original 1927(9?) translation, I'd have to search, they are that seamless. The Introduction is much better read at the end of the book that before you begin. The footnotes are very interesting, I recommend reading through them all at once (there aren't too many) than flipping to them every time they appear. Keeps the story moving, that way, and they are not critical to the plot. The discussion questions at the end are pretty weak. If only there was a copy of 'the Illiad' to accompany this version of the Odyssey...a terrific story. Highly recommended.

A true classic

The Odyssey is considered the world's first novel. Of Homer's two works (the other being the Iliad) the Odyssey is the more modern one, often reading like an action/adventure movie. If hase been the source of limitless inspiration in western art/literature.The story is simple - Odysseus has a ten year journey to return home from the siege of Troy (which is the subject for the Iliad). He has many encounters (the most well-known in popular culture being the sea sirens, Charbrides and Scylla) and returns home to find his estate in disorder and his wife plagued by suitors, the general opinion being that he's dead. Revenge follows.This is a great story as it winds through so many twists and turns and changes of scene that you're left with the feeling of having travelled through the ancient Mediterranean. The translation, while probably not idea, is good at rendering this as a story - the prose form and language make this easy to read.Thoroughly recommended!

5 stars for being unique and comfortable in its own skin.

Most everybody knows about the Odyssey of Homer (the story and all that), so this review is about this particular translation by Stanley Lombardo. You have the classic English verse translations (Chapman, Pope, Cowper) and the classic prose translations (Butcher and Lang, Palmer), then you have the twentieth century crowd (Lattimore, Fitzgerald, Mandelbaum, Fagles, Rieu, Rouse, Shewring etc...) Some of these are verse and some prose, some literal and some poetic. Some are easy to read and some more difficult. Lombardo's translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey are somewhat unusual in that they are both verse and very clear and easy to read. Very much modern-day speech. Not that Fagles or Fitzgerald or Mandelbaum, for instance, (all verse translations) are difficult to read, but Lombardo's verse translation is really in a different category. His translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey sort of stand alone in their simple style and may be worth reading for that reason alone. I think also there is an unselfconsciousness in Lombardo's effort - and attitude - as well as a "very well then hang me, devils" confidence that comes through. Fresh, quick, engaging, spare, alive (typical words used by professional/academic reviewers for this translation...) An interesting touch by Lombardo is whenever Homer goes into one of his celebrated similes or metaphors Lombardo puts them into italics and sets them apart in the text. There are more of these in the Iliad than the Odyssey, but it is interesting to read them separate this way. He uses very much 'man on the street' expressions, and his verse reads very quickly, or, 'lightly' like a clear stream flowing easily over stones. I don't want to give the impression these are simplified versions of Homer's epics. They are real, unabridged translations. Serious translations, and though they are relatively new they seem to occupy a unique position in the gallery of English translations of Homer. They are worth aquiring for their uniqueness alone if you have the usual abiding interest and curiosity in new translations of Homer that most people develope who are drawn to these two epic poems.
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