Wally's Reviews > The Lost Books of The Odyssey

The Lost Books of The Odyssey by Zachary Mason
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's review
Aug 15, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: adventure, classic, myths-and-gods, postmodern, novel-of-ideas, classic-riff

Not so much a novel as a number of short stories that purport to be alternative texts of the Odyssey, this book held my attention from beginning to end with its brilliant playing of the original stories that make up Homer's Odyssey.

This won't be everyone's cup of tea - characters are not deeply developed (with a few exceptions, but they only last for the story's length), and some of the stories may come off as exercises in algorithmic computation. But it's clear the author knows the Odyssey and other classics inside and out and has read and studied modern masters of combinatorial fiction (Borges, Calvino, Eco), and he knows how to hone an image to its finest edge. It helps to have some familiarity with The Iliad and The Odyssey and a few of the Greek gods and goddesses; these stories play on that familiarity in new and surprising ways.

All in all, an excellent short work.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by David (new) - added it

David This killed me, because I bought this in its original paperback edition from a small press a couple years ago. About a month or so ago, I got rid of it - half price books. Then saw the news of the major release of this title, and the first edition is now selling for over $100. rrrr.

Wally Dang! A collector's edition! Did you see the NYT review last week? I thought they hit it right on.

What did you think of the book? I'm guessing it was a little abstract for your gritty tastes.

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