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The Odyssey

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  987,475 ratings  ·  16,144 reviews
Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.

This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrat
592 pages
Published 2018 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published -700)
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Juan Francisco Although they're not exactly sequential, I'd recommend you to read The Iliad first, then The Odyssey. The Iliad provides you huge context, involving t…moreAlthough they're not exactly sequential, I'd recommend you to read The Iliad first, then The Odyssey. The Iliad provides you huge context, involving the Trojan War, plenty of characters (including Odysseus), and the cosmovision of Ancient Greece.(less)
Zina Yes. He attacked Poseidon's Giant son, Polyphemus, and then cursed Poseidon himself as well, thus committing hubris. This is exactly why it took him 2…moreYes. He attacked Poseidon's Giant son, Polyphemus, and then cursed Poseidon himself as well, thus committing hubris. This is exactly why it took him 20 years to get back to his kingdom. Poseidon made everything very hard for him. However, he was the favourite of Athena because of his ingenious mind. That is not to say that he rebelled on purpose, he just committed hubris. He did acknowledge Gods. Athena was his Mentor (literally).(less)
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"Okay, so here's what happened. I went out after work with the guys, we went to a perfectly nice bar, this chick was hitting on me but I totally brushed her off. Anyway we ended up getting pretty wrecked, and we might have smoked something in the bathroom, I'm not totally clear on that part, and then this gigantic one-eyed bouncer kicked us out so we somehow ended up at a strip club. The guys were total pigs but not me, seriously, that's not glitter on my neck. And then we totally drove right by ...more
Charlotte May
Quite possibly one of my favourite books!
It was this novel that ignited my love for Greek and Roman mythology and antiquity - leading me to choose a degree in Classical Civilisations.
I always look back on The Odyssey with fondness - I love all the monsters he faces and the gods who involve themselves with Odysseus' trials as he makes his way home after the Trojan War.
So my first “non-school related" experience with Homer’s classic tale, and my most powerful impression, beyond the overall splendor of the story, was...HOLY SHIT SNACKS these Greeks were a violent bunch. Case in point:
...they hauled him out through the doorway into the court,
lopped his nose and ears with a ruthless knife,
tore his genitals out for the dogs to eat raw
and in manic fury hacked off hands and feet.
then once they’d washed their own hands and feet
they went inside again to join o
Ahmad Sharabiani
Οδύσσεια = The Odyssey, Homer

The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War (the subject of the Iliad), and Odysseus has still not returned home from the war because he angered the god Poseidon.

Odysseus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of 108 boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace
Vit Babenco
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It is generally understood that a modern-day book may honorably be based upon an older one, especially since, as Dr. Johnson observed, no man likes owing anything to his contemporaries. The repeated but irrelevant points of congruence between Joyce's Ulysses and Homer's Odyssey continue to attract (though I shall never understand why) the dazzled admiration of critics.” The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim by Jorge Luis Borges.
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done
Leonard Gaya
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I first read Homer in the 19th-century French translation by Leconte de Lisle — the equivalent, say, of the 18th-century translation into English by Alexander Pope: a pompous, archaic and exhausting bore of a book. I kept my chin up and, after a while, tried another inflated Frenchman: the 1955 translation by the curly-moustached Victor Bérard (in the prestigious Pléiade edition, with an odd arrangement of chapters). A bit less depraved than the Parnassian poet, but all in all (alack!) not much ...more

I have read The Odyssey three times. The first was not really a read but more of a listen in the true oral tradition. During embroidery class one of us, young girls on the verge of entering the teens, would read a passage while the rest were all busy with our eyes and fingers, our needles and threads. All learning to be future Penelopes: crafty with their crafts, cultivated, patient and loyal. And all wives.

The second read was already as an adult. That time I let myself be led by the adventures
Glenn Russell
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ever since I first read Homer’s epic describing the adventures of Odysseus back in my school days, three of those adventures fired my imagination: The Lotus Eaters, The Cyclops and the Sirens, most especially the Sirens. I just did revisit these sections of this Greek epic and my imagination was set aflame yet again. How much, you ask? Here is my microfiction as a tribute to the great poet:


This happened back in those days when I was a member of an experimental performing-arts troupe d
Kevin Ansbro
"I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman!"

Following James Joyce's lead, I used Homer’s heroic story as inspiration for a novel-in-progress.
But how can I, a mere mortal, do justice to the most famous epic poem ever written? An encounter with a work of this magnitude should be shared, rather than reviewed.
Homer is the great, great, great (recurring) grand-daddy of modern literature and this colossus is as immortal as the gods within it.
The first line in Emily Wilson’s new translation of the Odyssey, the first by a woman scholar, is “Tell me about a complicated man.” In an article by Wyatt Mason in the NYT late last year, Wilson tells us
“I could’ve said, ‘Tell me about a straying husband.’ And that’s a viable translation. That’s one of the things [the original language] says…[But] I want to be super responsible about my relationship to the Greek text. I want to be saying, after multiple different revisions: This is the best I
It's impossible not to smile when you start reading such a classic and, after only the first few pages, you realize and completely understand why it's regarded as one of the most important works in literature. I'm always a little anxious when I tackle such important and renowned books for being afraid of not comprehending or loving them - War and Peace and Don Quixote, for example - as they seem to deserve. Not that I'm obligated to like them, but I always feel such buzz comes for a reason and I ...more
The founding novel of literature is the one that will inspire all future narratives. We know the story of Ulysses; we have read a few episodes and seen a film but read the whole work, with these long chapters, the Homeric epithets and the lengthy descriptions of the marine world with its monsters and demons. One has the impression of attending a closed session on the sea, and yet, Ulysses only berths to better take to the sea as if the mainland was not only forbidden to him but also harmful as i ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-german
What can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? I'm sure that the influence and importance of it has been discussed to death already, so I won't even get started on that.
My reading experience was surprisingly pleasant: I didn't expect to get so invested! I found the language a bit hard at first, but once I got used to it (which didn't take all too long), I was able to fully enjoy the story. I'm glad that I finally read this classic piece of work, and it's definitely understandable
Το Άθχημο γατί του θενιόρ Γκουαναμίρου
As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.

Ithaka By C
Mar 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think the world (or the Goodreads user base) will gain much by my "reviewing" The Odyssey. Everything that needs to be said about this wonderful epic has been said throughout the ages—and that again and again—by people who were and are much more capable than me.

All there's left for me to say is that I LOVED it, and I didn't expect to. The Odyssey was a much quicker, more thrilling and fun read than I could've ever imagined. With his translation, Fagles ignited my love for Ancient texts,
Barry Pierce
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient, read-in-2018
I mean, it's no Ulysses. ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trojan War is ended and the Greeks are returning home with victory and their loot. But the homecoming is not so easy, for they have to struggle with their fate and the wrath of the Olympian gods they incurred. This is greater so for Odysseus, the greek warrior from Ithaca who played a key role in the Trojan War. His fate assures his return but his sudden incurring the wrath of Poseidon (the sea god) makes that returning almost perilous. Odysseus faces many adventures on his journey home which te ...more
Elyse Walters
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook read by Claire Danes ..

I finished this Audiobook weeks ago - but the physical book - I’m throwing in the towel. I own the physical book - but I just couldn’t get myself to stay with it.

I liked listening to Claire Danes ... I was fully engaged at the time ...(she was helpful for me staying interested )...but I’m already forgetting everything...

I need to borrow another person’s brain!
Roy Lotz
To this day, the most interesting research project that I’ve ever done was the very first. It was on the Homeric Question.

I was a sophomore in college—a student with (unfortunate) literary ambitions who had just decided to major in anthropology. By this point, I had at least tacitly decided that I wanted to be a professor. In my future lay the vast and unexplored ocean of academia. What was the safest vessel to travel into that forbidden wine-dark sea? Research.

I signed up for a reading project
J.G. Keely
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny how many people feel intimidated by this book. Sure, it's thousands of years old, and certainly Greek culture has some peculiarities, but the book is remarkably, sometimes surprisingly modern, and most translations show the straightforward simplicity of the story.

Perhaps like The Seventh Seal, The Odyssey has gotten a reputation for being difficult because it has been embraced by intellectuals and worse, wanna-be intellectuals. But like Bergman's classic film, The Odyssey is focused o
Riku Sayuj

I started this as I was told it is essential reading if I ever want to give a shot at reading Ulysses. I was a bit apprehensive and spent a long time deciding on which translation to choose. Finally it was Stephen's review that convinced me to go for the Robert Fagles' version. I have no way of judging how good a decision that was.

This translation, by Robert Fagles, is of the Greek text edited by David Monro and Thomas Allen, first published in 1908 by the Oxford University Press. This two-​volu
Jonathan O'Neill
Aug 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5 ⭐

“… I would walk sail 500 [nautical] miles
and I would walk sail 500 more,
just to be the man who walked sailed a thousand [nautical] miles
to fall down slay the suitors at your door.”

- Odysseus the Proclaimer

I’ve been under the weather the last week or so, feeling about as upbeat as Uranus’ following his castration at the hands of his own Son Cronus; or as joyous as Pasiphae recovering her senses and grasping the full extent of her dalliance with the snow-white bull. Alas, I’m better now and am
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to The Odyssey, published around 800 BC and written by Homer. I was tasked with reading this epic work as part of an Advanced Placement English course in between my junior and senior years of high school. I loved literature back then as much as I do now, and my reading habits probably grew from everything my teachers encouraged us to read during the summer hiatus and mid-year breaks. We sampled literature from all over the world, and this Greek tome was on
Mar 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Homer Therapy 102
“By hook or by crook, this peril too shall be something we remember.”

During covid lockdown, my husband and I decided to study Ancient Greece. Each night after dinner, we listened to a half an hour lecture or read from a classic text. It’s become a habit or rather a household ritual in which even our dog partakes. (She has a chair she sits in while we listen.) We studied history, philosophy, mythology, and when omicron threatened, we decided to re-read Homer. It has been magical,
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bitchin
My parents split when I was very young. The arrangement they made between them was that my brother and I would spend the weekends with our father, but would live, during the week, with my mother. One winter, when I was ten years old, it started to snow heavily and gave no indication of stopping any time soon. It was a Sunday morning and my brother and I were due to leave dad’s and return to what, for us, was home. The snow, however, had other ideas.

To go home we had to catch two buses. The first
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, translations
I’m not a scholar, so I can only offer my personal experience.

First, I want to say that I thought this would be a daunting task - an epic poem!? From Ancient Greece!? But, it was such an enjoyable and accessible read, I’m grateful to my goodreads friend who encouraged me to move forward.

Second, I highly recommend this version, published by Penguin, written in prose, and covered in a pretty design, by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Not only is it gorgeous on your shelf, it’s physically comfortable to
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where do you start with a book such as this? An epic tale that has been around for almost three thousand years. I have no idea. What I do know is that I read it and loved it. I had little foreknowledge of the story and I haven't looked into the meanings or history too deeply. Instead I've tried to appreciate the story on it's own merits, getting swept away like Odysseus on the sea. There were quiet contemplative events and dramatic battles, personal struggles and wider societal issues. Gods and ...more
See article in The New York Times Magazine Section,

The Paris Review has excerpts:
Settare (on hiatus)
I immensely enjoyed reading The Iliad, and since everyone said that The Odyssey is even better, I was expecting to love it. That didn't happen. I liked The Odyssey, but I found it to be a lot less compelling than The Iliad, both narratively and thematically. This is strange, I usually prefer adventure tales to war stories, but The Odyssey didn't have the grandeur, the atmosphere of despair, the philosophical undertones, or even the literary beauty of The Iliad.

The Odyssey reads almost like a lo
Michael Finocchiaro
I first read extracts of the Odyssey in junior high and high school and some years later purchased the highly acclaimed Fitzgerald translation. It is a masterpiece that brings out the strengths of this iconic story of the voyage of Ulysses from the fall of Troy back to his native Ithaca and his beloved and besieged Penelope. The story is highly readable and full of adventure and misadventure, monsters and heroes and ultimately a triumphant voyage home. Yes, it is very masculine in perspective so ...more
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In the Western classical tradition, Homer (Greek: Ὅμηρος) 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,

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