The Lost Books of the Odyssey
A brilliant and beguiling reimagining of one of our greatest myths by a gifted young writer, Zachary Mason’s brilliant and beguiling debut novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey, reimagines Homer’s classic story of the hero Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. With brilliant prose, terrific imagination, and dazzling literary skill, Mason creates alterna...more
Well, if it isn't the geekiest take on Odysseus's adventures… I seriously enjoyed Odysseus and Athena in this one.
He called together his wisest men, Nestor, Palamedes and wily Odysseus, and commissioned them to write for him a book that clearly and explicitly explained everything under the sun, even unto all ...more
how he wrings from the original more and more and more... and yet the w ...more
What if Odysseus was a coward, whose actions ultimately resulted in the defeat of both sides, and he spent the next ten years disguised as a bard, telling the tale that became the Odyssey that we know to ...more
It is hard not to compare this to Borges, particularly in the more meta-fictional tales (which I, of course, loved). To give you an example, ...more
Great epics such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey do not spring to life fully formed. Rather, they are brought together out of myths that may have been floating around for centuries, but now given a new focus, new continuity, new language. Zachary Mason's book (I can't really call it a novel) takes many of the familiar episodes from both Homeric works, strips them down to essentials, retells them in language that is both lean and evocative, and seeks for new meanings behind the old. ...more
It is difficult at first to accept the shift of direction as Mason's voice sometimes slips into modern-day phrasing and expression, making trust a bit of an ...more
The book doesn't disappoint, as long as you go in with an open mind. It's a long series of imaginative snapshots of the Odyssey, most from wildly unorthodox perspectives. What makes Odysseus so different from his other heroic peers is that he g ...more
First, the book is well written. The author's intelligence and knowledge of the original material shows in his work. To undertake creating a work such as this is no doubt an immense, intimidating tas...more
it's not really written as a novel, though, despite the subtitle. it's written as a series of short stories, or meditations, or just beautifully-drawn word pictures. my impression of the book overall is that it's like a year of dreams, all based on the Iliad or the Odyssey; each night, something a little different, remembered in greater or lesser detail.
you get the story of the cyclops; how things might look if Penelope ...more
I don't know why I expected to be annoyed by the writing. Perhaps it's because the description and introduction made it sound like a McSweeney's article-turned-book, which...frankly, is not at all an appealing prospect for me. I'm only no ...more
Anyway, this seemed fun, an ostensible collection of myths that got om ...more
I approached the novel expecting a re-telling of The Odyssey, so I got slightly irritated every time Mason deviated substantially from the original. But to be fair to the author, his ...more