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The Wanderings of Odysseus

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,319 ratings  ·  152 reviews
A master storyteller and an award-winning illustrator evoke the golden age of mythical Greece in this spirited retelling of The Odyssey.

From the Hardcover edition.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published December 13th 2005 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Riku Sayuj

I had picked this one up as a quick refresher (after making the mistake of not reading Iliad along with the original Odyssey reading). It serves that purpose. Some of the translations are even remarkably well rendered. However, it was not too useful as an easy companion to Ulysses since Sutcliff rearranged the structure of the epic completely to make it a linear narrative, which is a huge disservice, both to the epic and to the reader.

All in all, it is a sort of Cliff’s notes with stunning illus
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
As in Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff writes a story of an epic that many adults are afraid to read for fear of the classics, in a manner that is captivating and understandable. It is by no means dumbed down and yet my children could easily understand the story.

Alan Lee's watercolor illustrations are beautiful and keep the youngest listener sitting quietly to hear the story while seeing the pictures.

The characters and the story are so easy to read that it is an easy transition to pick
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rosemary Sutcliff retelling the story of Odysseus as illustrated by Alan Lee. Absolutely nothing that could be improved (obviously)!
Rosemary Sutcliff's retelling of the Odyssey is, like her retelling of the Iliad, illustrated by Alan Lee. It's gorgeous, just like the first book -- I love the illustration of the Sirens, and Calypso comforting Odysseus, and Ino saving him from the storm... It's lovely.

The story itself is very simple, given that it's aimed at children. It's quite lovely in its simplicity, though; it works very well alongside Alan Lee's illustrations.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My girls and I loved this adaptation to The Odyssey! The illustrations are great and the story is so entertaining and a great introduction to more in depth reading when they're older.

Highly recommended!!!
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
These books are great for introducing Homer to young readers. Jonas really enjoyed them.
Amy Edwards
I love this. I just finished reading this aloud to my younger kids, something I did in tandem with rereading and studying The Odyssey with my older kids. It's nice that Sutcliff tells the tale in chronological order for this age range. The in media res beginning to The Odyssey can be confusing to first time readers. I love introducing the story this way early on, so Homer's wonderful way of weaving the tale is less confusing. ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have truly enjoyed Rosemary Sutcliff’s retelling of both The Odyssey and The Iliad. I believe she does a beautiful job of capturing the heart of Homer’s epics while making them accessible to young (and not so young) readers. I am excited to introduce my children to her works.
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob
Jacob listened to for AO Y6...krb 5/31/19

Made lots of connections while listening to these stories by Sutcliff..krb 5/31/19
Well, I've already put it aside to give away, if that tells you something. We so enjoyed Black Ships Before Troy, that this came as a great disappointment. The writing didn't captivate in the way the former did. Though, perhaps I'm holding it to an anachronistic standard by expecting the protagonist to be empathetic.

Beyond the fact that you don't really like Odysseus for the first two-thirds of the book, the narrative is unnecessarily graphic. While I acknowledge that the subject matter is grim
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I would not recommend this book to children. Because it has been simplified into plain language, the violent events are depicted in an even more gruesome manner than in the original epic poem, which I feel makes this book inappropriate for children to be reading on their own. In addition, I was not very impressed by the writing in this book. It is choppy and simplistic, written more in summary format than in a fluid narrative, which makes it rather dry and boring, especially during the parts tha ...more
Ron Bajrami
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-8-ir-books
This book is about Odysseus, the mythical king of Ithaca, who has to get home from Troy, but does not know the way. The setting is in Greece, and Odysseus's external conflict, is him dealing with the God's and monsters. Odysseus's internal conflict, is him trying to find home and thinking about his wife and kids.

When Odysseus fights the Cyclops and kills him, it reminds me of when Apollo, the god of music killed the Cyclops for killing his son.

I would give this book 5 stars, because I really lov
May 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The next time I read a classic, I will try one with a different style. The book is ok, but I don't think it would have become a classic if it had been published today - too straight forward and not enough humor. Told shortly it is a story of a man who always does the right thing, and his journey home from a battlefield, on which he meets several mythological creatures. ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My six-year-old loved this book so much that we read it in less than a week. It started slowly, but got really good about halfway through. I think we finished the whole second-half in two days. I enjoyed it a lot too. Illustrations were of course amazing, and Odysseus was an awesome hero. What was considered normal and heroic behavior in other times and places never fails to fascinate me.
Jeremy Manuel
After finishing Rosemary Sutcliff's Black Ships Before Troy I started reading our kids The Wanderings of Odysseus since we've been doing Ancient Greek history. We all enjoyed her version of the Iliad and we were looking forward to this book as well. Now admittedly these are very scaled down versions of the stories, but it makes for a nice read when reading it for younger readers.

Despite being scaled back a bit, the main parts of the story are here. Odysseus is heading back home after the Trojan
This story tells of the route the famous Odysseus took on his way back from the newly conquered city of Troy. He sailed away from the "Greek" land with a crew filling around ten other ships, and to headed for his homeland and kingdom of Ithaca, which he reigned.

But the journey was much more than an enjoyable sea trip back to his wife, Penelope, and only son, Telemachus. On the way Odysseus and his unfortunate crew bumped into cyclopes, an evil sorceress called Circe, and many a bad-tempered nymp
Hannah Mead
Again, this was a conflicting read... I loved the illustrations and the beautifully rich language. But gosh, Greek mythology is so weird, and it took such a long time for Odysseus to get anywhere - I got a bit tired of all his wanderings! But I know that's the point of the story, and I appreciated the literary history behind this book. So yup, again a 3.5 read, because it just didn't quite make it up to the level of a 4* read personally. But if you want to get a good look into Greek mythology an ...more
I remember reading this a long time ago. I remember my dad making me read this book as a punishment? Lol I don't really know how reading a book can be a punishment (he probably wanted to keep me upstairs and told me "read this and if you want to come back downstairs you have to answer some questions about the book"). While I don't remember a thing about this book, I do remember having a good time reading it in my older sister's room on her bed. :b I'm gonna reread this in the near future. Findin ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction to the story of Odysseus. We read this while studying ancient Greece in our homeschool. The illustrations are wonderful. The story is violent, but the wordy language masked some of that for my young kids. I explained many of the crucial plot points in my own words to help my 6 year old understand, but she really enjoyed listening even when it was difficult to understand the prose.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was used as a read aloud for my middle and youngest child ages 13 and 11. Having read all the Percy Jackson books this was great fun to hear the real story of the original hero Odysseus. Our 15-year-old was coincidentally reading the Odyssey at school at the same time.
This simplified version clarified some points he missed in his high school English class. There is something here for children and students of all ages.
Brielle Berberick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never read the Odyssey by Homer. I followed along with my daughter, as they read this interpretation of the tale. I found it easy to follow and was a super shorter version, if you wanted the story, but don't have the inclination to read the original. I think anyone reading the original could also read this as you go, to make sure you understand the tale. ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rosemary Sutcliff's The Wanderings of Odysseus is a retelling of Homer's epic tale. Although it rearranges the story's narrative, it lays a foundation for young readers that may help them better the epic later. For me, it was a quicker read than Ms. Sutton's Black Ships Before Troy due to its adventurousness nature. ...more
Rosemary Sutcliff has given us another excellent introduction to an ancient classic. The chapters are of excellent size for reading aloud. The material is expressed appropriately for children around 10 and older. The illustrations are beautiful, though there are a couple of bare breasts. It is elementary Homer at its finest.
Seamus Ronan
"No pretending," his father said. "Believe this, and do not look for the coming of any other man, for I am Odysseus, and there is no other, nor ever has been!"

Pretty good adaption of the epic. A real joy to teach, and full circle from O'Connor's CSEM class sophomore year on The Odyssey. It's all just one story, man, told over and over again.
Kelli Bonin
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boys-books
Read this with my 6 year old son as a supplement for our Story of the World readings. We read the chapter book version by Rosemary Sutcliff with no pictures, which I couldn't find here on Goodreads. We both absolutely loved it! It kept us both captivated and the writing was lovely. It is the perfect introduction to the Odyssey for children. ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this one. The ending when Odysseus returns home and slays the men in his hall is similar to the parable in Mark 13:34... how we need to stay awake for we do not know the time or hour in which our Master will return.
Gregory D.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grew up reading Rosemary Sutcliffe and loved her, but I had never read her rewrites of Homer. They feature her elegant, concise prose, but perhaps hove TOO CLOSE to Homer, adding little to understanding the characters. OTOH, they'd make a fine way to introduce a YA to the Odyssey or Illiad. ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was very interesting and I liked how it was separated into different sections. There were some parts of the book that didn't really have that much excitement, but for the mot part the book is filled with mystery, suspense, and excitement. ...more
Zach Glickson
An easy to read accessible version of the Odyssey. I tried reading the epic poem while I was in college and I just couldn't get into it. THIS was fantastic and now I know the real story of Odysseus... Fascinating.

Highly recommend this version for average readers.
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Rosemary Sutcliff, CBE was a British novelist, best known as a writer of highly acclaimed historical fiction. Although primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults. She once commented that she wrote "for children of all ages from nine to ninety."

Born in West Clandon, Surrey, Sutcliff spent her early youth in Malta and other naval bases where her father

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