The Odyssey

The Odyssey

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
30
4
3
 …
A brilliant new version of the Odyssey from one of the most accomplished translators of our time.

"Sing to me, Muse . . ."

It has been said that a myth is a story about the way things never were but always are. The Odyssey is the original hero's journey, an epic voyage into the unknown, and has inspired other creative work for millennia--from ancient poetry to contemporary fiction and films. With its consummately modern hero, full of guile and wit, always prepared to reinvent himself in order to realize his heart's desire--to return to home and family after ten years of war--the Odyssey now speaks to us again across 2,600 years.

In words of great poetic power, Stephen Mitchell's translation brings Odysseus and his adventures vividly to life as never before. Full of imagination and light, beauty and humor, this Odyssey carries you along in a fast stream of action and imagery. One-eyed maneating giants; irresistibly seductive sirens; shipwrecks and narrow escapes; princesses and monsters; ghosts sipping blood at the Underworld's portal, desperate for a chance to speak to the living; and the final destruction of all Odysseus's enemies in the banquet hall--these stories are still spellbinding today. So, too, are the intimate moments of storytelling by the fire, of homecoming and reunion, fidelity and love--all of greater value to Odysseus, and to us, than the promise of immortality.

Just as Mitchell "re-energised the Iliad for a new generation" ( The Sunday Telegraph ), his Odyssey is the noblest, clearest, and most captivating rendition of one of the defining masterpieces of Western literature. Mitchell's muscular language keeps the diction close to spoken English, yet its rhythms re-create the oceanic surge of the ancient Greek.

The first translation to benefit from modern advances in textual scholarship, Mitchell's Odyssey also includes an illuminating introductory essay that opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation and textual notes that will benefit all readers. Beautiful, musical, accurate, and alive, this new Odyssey is a story for our time as well as for the ages.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2013
ISBN: 9781451674170
1451674171
Characteristics: xlv, 375 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Mitchell, Stephen 1943-

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

x
xiaojunbpl12
May 29, 2018

The translation I picked maybe the latest. Simple concise but not plain, gave me space to roam the imaginary, in vocal enchantment.
Such experience was eclipsed by my concurrent read of American Ulysses (Grant’s biography). Mighty mythical saga indulged me with fantasy, in Odysseus heroic journey blessed by capricious Athena, I envision full display of mortal weaknesses, till the final vengeful slaughter with little wonder to exhilarate, left me numb to repulsion.
I may read Fagles’ translation in the future.

k
krsbozo
Apr 13, 2018

I had read The Odyssey in college, but that was longer ago than it took Odysseus to make his way home after the Trojan war. Loved this version of the book. Liked the fact that it was translated by a woman. Loved the translator's summaries and notes. Loved the introduction. I couldn't finish the book before I had to return it to the library, so I went and bought my own copy of it. I plan to pass it on as a gift to my son.

w
wyenotgo
Apr 01, 2018

Reading this spectacular saga reminded me once again why I love long-winded outrageous yarns. Surely this has to be the tall tale to top them all! No wonder parts of it have become the basis for countless films, operas, essays, poems over the centuries. Completely engrossing; and this translation is wonderful.
Living in the western world it's impossible not to be exposed to some or many of the elements of this story in one form or another and I had paid several less than heroic visits in the past, stopping off at various ports along the way, led by a succession of troubadours beginning with Chapman taking up Homer's tale; but I had never finished the entire journey. None of those interpreters struck me as having captured the true spirit of the age or fleshed out Odysseus' persona as I had hoped. This time, I was happily swept along with Mr. Eagles all the way back to Ithaca. He captured the spirit and rhythm of the tale so well that I was at times tempted to rise out of my silent chair to declaim passages aloud; surely a great achievement when translating from ancient Greek to modern vernacular English.
One is reminded at times that this began as an oral tale, more or less formally set in regular hexameter; accordingly, there are passages that repeat, almost like a refrain punctuating episodes in a long ballad. Far from holding up the progression as one might expect, these interludes serve to raise the tale off the printed page into the immediacy of a verbal performance. All it needed for full effect was the strumming of a lyre and the smell of the wine-dark sea.

Nicr Mar 12, 2018

Eminently readable new translation of the ultimate adventure tale.

EvaELPL Feb 01, 2018

I love everything about this translation, and Wilson's introduction and author's note to the text are some of the most fascinating and thoughtful pieces of literary analysis I've read in ages.

h
harrissusanc
Jan 24, 2018

The deviousness and frailty of gods and humans abound. I loved the first three books, the final books, and Athena and Telemachus, but it’s great to have the whole adventure on the seas in ready English syntax.

m
msummers57
Jan 07, 2018

This is a nice contemporary translation of Homer. Homer translated as verse is almost always better than not and this doesn't disappoint.

The contemporary word use will hopefully get Homer a wider audience, however I suspect the shelf-life of this translation will be relatively short.

k
Kris_Kringle
Oct 05, 2017

This classic poem will not disappoint! I encourage readers to read it for pleasure and not for school. It is more enjoyable then the Iliad. Fully deserves 4.5 stars!!!

t
TheeAvebury
Sep 06, 2017

This book is awesome! For everyone from age 7 to 85. A great family read.

c
Calvacade
May 30, 2017

A classic- the original " road story ".

View All Comments

Notices

Add Notices

r
readingfairy1
May 30, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Lots of scary stuff happens in The Odyssey -- it's a Greek epic poem after all...

r
readingfairy1
May 30, 2017

Sexual Content: The Odyssey has sexual content!

r
readingfairy1
May 30, 2017

Violence: The Odyssey has violence! (Especially chapter 22, when the suiters are killed, is very gruesome!)

r
readingfairy1
May 30, 2017

Coarse Language: The suiters call mean insults to other people etc.

Summary

Add a Summary

Kadie2 Aug 17, 2012

great adventure.

1
12sonas
Aug 16, 2012

Leaving the war in Troy, Odysseus travels through many adventures on the sea as he tries to get home against Poseidon's will.

wooknight Apr 27, 2011

Starts with Odysseus in the clutches of Calypso and interestingly half the story is told in a flashback mode . Probably the first time that the flashback concept was ever used . This is the story of a man who is try to return home from the Trojan war and is unable to get home to his loyal wife and son because the gods constantly set obstacles in his path. One has to wonder if Homer intended to depict his gods as separate entities who were controlling human destinies or were they intended to be metaphorical i.e when Athena makes Odysseus look larger , is that hinting at the fact that Odysseus felt courage surging through his heart and hence looked larger than life or was Athena doing that . It seems that these issues crop up all over the Iliad as well as the Odyssey .

Age

Add Age Suitability

r
readingfairy1
May 30, 2017

readingfairy1 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

o
obsidianlily
Jun 29, 2014

obsidianlily thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MARINet

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top