Russell's Reviews > The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Homer
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's review
Oct 15, 2007

really liked it
Read in February, 2005

The Odyssey went by much quicker for me than the Iliad. It picks up with Odysseus, hero, king, cunning, quick witted and all around favored by the gods type of guy, right after he left Troy.

Things go badly, of course, like most trips. At least the trips that you can make a good yarn out of for your audience. How boring would it be to say “Odysseus went home and everything was in order and waiting for him. The end.” Not likely to be asked after for a second telling, much less passed on to each generation and hailed as a corner stone of Western story telling and culture long after you were dead.

So Odysseus takes the long way home. Poets are cruel to their subjects. After a number of adventures, scrapes, sinking ships, gods and monsters, he comes back home 10 years later to find his house is being overrun by vermin suitors trying to woo his wife and eating the best of his foodstuff in the process. His poor faithful wife had done her best to keep the swine off her, but she was running out of ideas. Odysseus pretends to be a beggar, plots with his son, finds two loyal servants, then they all slaughter the suitors in his own hall.

It was a quicker read for me, I was done in less than half the time it took me to read the Iliad. And I liked it better.

I can see why for thousands of years this story has continued to captivate and delight audiences. Good stuff.
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