The Essential Odyssey
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The Essential Odyssey

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  17 reviews
This generous abridgment of Stanley Lombardo's translation of the Odyssey offers more than half of the epic, including all of its best-known episodes and finest poetry, while providing concise summaries for omitted books and passages. Sheila Murnaghan's Introduction, a shortened version of her essay for the unabridged edition, is ideal for readers new to this remarkable ta...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 15th 2007 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published September 7th 2007)
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H
Aug 15, 2010 H added it
Shelves: poetry-long
A mediocre translation. Pentameter was a good choice but the rhythm itself is clunky and the modern idiom inane at best. I'd like to read the Greek myself one day and see if the redundant Homeric epithets "godlike" and "winged words" and "grey-eyed" are any better in the original. In any case, this was a quicker read than Robert Fagle's hexameter and overabundance of articles to fulfill syllable counts.

Magnificent re-experiencing the epic, though. In basic narratology, so little has changed sinc...more
Armand
This particular translation of the Odyssey (by Stanley Lombardo)is just wonderful because it's so accessible. This abridged version (it's still 250 pages) allows him to skip some of more extraneous chapters and stick with the meat of the story. His choice of language is also great because is able to use straightforward language that is easily accessible while maintaining the classical feel of the story. Not an easy task but he pulls it off in (in his own words)...

"In the tradition of American po...more
John
The translation gets three stars.
Kathy
I had never read the full text of The Odyssey, only excerpts, so it was time to "read" the whole thing. Thanks to the wonderful Classics and the Western Canon group on Goodreads for the learned, thought-provoking discussion throughout. I listened to the Lombardo audio version--Lombardo is not only the translator in this case, but also the reader, and an excellent one at that. This poem was, of course, meant to be heard, and I think my experience of it was much better for the listening, and for t...more
Christopher Yi
The translation was rather modern. Very interesting, almost like reading the NIV compared the King James. Easier to understand, sometimes a little less poetic. But, better translating than I could have done.

But yes, it's the classic tale of brave Odysseus who conquered the oceans and outwitted those braggart suitors! Everybody should read this tale once they are older than 18. A great lesson in manners and hospitality. Given, the exact way to carry out hospitality is ancient, we should apply muc...more
Bailey
Oct 24, 2011 Bailey rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a good education on greek mythology, told in a good story!
Recommended to Bailey by: my teacher
The Odyssey definitly had it's educational benfactors, and it also had it's funny moments. I liked it enough to finish it, and did like the all over big picture. My favorite parts would be discussing it, and argueing about it! That was a true laugh, discussing it with my english class! So I think 3 stars is justified. O I would like to add I finished it a while back, but I just havn't updated my account in a while! :)
Amanda Moore
I have taught The Odyssey many times before and tend to prefer Fitzgerald's translation. Lombardo's is clean and simple, very straightforward. I miss some of the license other translations run with to create feeling as well as meaning, but this is a great text for 9th graders.
Amy
Much to my surprise, I liked this translation. It keeps a modern English tone without devolving into anachronisms. It does sacrifice the so-called musicality of some of the older translations, but I think the trade-off is warranted.
Alice
Love this translation. It actually approaches the idea that Homer was meant for a popular audience. If you are looking to appreciate the actual story-telling abilities of Homer and are not a classics nut, try this.
Henry
Very nice edition, in modern, accessible English. The translator "field tested" it by reciting to live audiences and thus refining it as he worked on it. Good reading for old and newcomers alike.
Alexiswelch
I didn't like this book at all. If I was reading it on my own, I would've put it down after chapter one. It doesn't intrigue me at all, and I really don't like Odysseus. He is just annoying.
Katherine
I liked this book, but it moved too slow and it was too wordy. I have read better translations. I would like to read the original greek, unfortunately I don't speak greek.
Bill
It's Homer! The epic is foundational for Western Civilization as a good read in any case. I'm no expert on translations, but I found the Lombardo version colorful and readable.
Amy
This translation is sooooooooooooo good. Better by far than any other of sampled. I also got to hear Lombardo read from it live. THAT was awesome.
Robert Bickers
This translation has a few curious linguistic quirks that yank me out from time to time, but the tale remains the same.
Parker
Actually pretty good, better than I thought!
Aileen
Best modern translation I've seen. I seriously couldn't put it down.
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parts of the Odyssey where Odysseus is a "villain" 1 2 Dec 11, 2013 03:37PM  
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In the Western classical tradition, Homer (Greek: Όμηρος) is considered the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.
When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time,...more
More about Homer...
The Odyssey The Iliad The Iliad/The Odyssey The Odyssey, Book 1-12 The Iliad/The Odyssey/The Aeneid

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