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Monday, October 5, 2009

The Odyssey

With Kiddo's surgery last week, and the prep I did for my panel at the Baltimore Book Festival, plus a weekend getaway to the beach, I have let a few of my reviews get really, REALLY far behind. In order to catch up I'm going to do a few very brief reviews over the two days. They won't be nearly as detailed as usual but they will serve their main purpose, which is to help me remember what I read and what I thought about it.



The Odyssey
by Homer
audiobook: 12.5 hours
originally written in Greek, circa 800-600 BC
Translator: Samuel Butler, Narrator: Norman Deitz

This is the story of what happens to Odysseus when he tries to go home after the fall of Troy. We first meet Odysseus in The Iliad (reviewed here) so I knew a bit about him before the story began. About half of the story details the problems he ran into while trying to get home. The other half tells how he rids his home of the hundreds of suitors who were hoping to marry his wife when he didn't return from the war (he left 20 years ago).

I really enjoyed listening to this book. This is a story that was MEANT to be listened to, so it works well as an audio book. I loved the way certain phrases were repeated - it lent a rhythmic feel to the story.

Rebecca liked The Iliad better than The Odyssey but I have to disagree with her on that. I did enjoy both books, but there was more story in the 2nd book and I liked that.

So there you have it - short and sweet. If you'd like more info on The Odyssey be sure to check out this link: http://www.shmoop.com/odyssey/

(For how this relates to the tv show LOST check out my post here.)

21 comments:

Anna said...

Hope Kiddo is doing well!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Nicole said...

At some point I would like to get back and read the Iliad and the Odyssey. I might listen and read along to keep me doubly focused! I first read these stories in junior high and high school and I really doubt that I was able to full appreciate them at the time.

Heather J. said...

Anna - He's doing pretty well. I'll be updating everyone soon, I promise!

Nicole - Can you believe I'd never read them before? But I'm glad I did now. And I think your idea of reading and listening would work very well.

Lezlie said...

I'm with Rebecca. While The Odyssey is a masterpiece, I much preferred both The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneid. But that's just me. :-)

Lezlie

Rebecca Reid said...

I think that's the point: Odyssey is all about the story! I found Iliad to be all about the characters and emotions, and I much preferred that. I am glad you enjoyed this though!

I haven't yet read The Aeneid, I'm glad to hear Lezlie say she liked that better too!

Joanne said...

Did you listen to the version read by Ian McKellen? I LOVED it. Listening to Gandalf read Homer is my idea of a fine afternoon well spent.

Heather J. said...

Lezlie - The Aenaid is the next "really old classic" on my list but I'm waiting for the Really Old Classics Challenge to read/listen to it. :)

Rebecca - It's not that I didn't like The Iliad, it's just that I liked this one better. But then I'm a fan of plot driven books more than character driven books, so this should be no surprise.

Joanne - NO, but I wish I had - that must be a great version! Unfortunately I returned my copy to the library before I wrote down who the narrator was, and now I can't find it in the library system search to look it up. :( My narrator was good though, but not as good as Gandalf would have been. ~LOL~

Trisha said...

I'm with you; I enjoyed the Odyssey more than the Iliad. It's such a complex story with intriguing characters.

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Heather J. said...

Trisha - Glad to know I'm not alone! And thanks for coming by to comment. :)

Anonymous said...

I can't say this enough but listening to an audio book is NOT the same as reading it. It doesn't count. You didn't read that book. Reading involves at least minimal effort and to make a list of books you've listened to on tape/CD and claim you've read them is just lying.

Heather J. said...

Anonymous - First, I'd appreciate it if you'd leave contact info ... negative comments from anonymous users simply shows bad manners; you're welcome to disagree with me, but doing it transparently is much nicer. And second, I personally enjoy audio books and plan to continue listening to them. My reviews clearly state if I have read or listened to a book, so in no way am I lying to anyone. If you were a regular reader of my blog you would know this already ... but alas, I doubt you'll even read my reply. Ah well, so it goes.

Lezlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lezlie said...

I am reposting my previous comment because my proofing skills were sadly lacking:

Heather ~ Don't pay any attention. I find it ironic that Anonymous left this particular comment on a "book" that started life hundreds and hundreds of years ago as a story passed on orally from generation to generation. Apparently none of those people knew or understood the story, because they didn't "read" it. Good thing someone finally wrote it down so we could finally "get" it after a few thousand years! :-)

Whether or not audiobooks "count" depend on each individual's goals regarding that particular book. There is not a "one size fits all" answer.

Lezlie

Amanda said...

The whole audiobook convo is making me laugh because my husband and I have been having the same discussion. He doesn't think audio books count and I do. Then he asked "do movies count" and I just glared at him. I think it's obvious he's never listened to an audio book before. :)

Lezlie said...

Amanda ~ Your husband has an interesting point, however if you want a counterpoint try this one: Movies are technically "adaptations" and consequently not the same thing however closely they may or may not resemble the original work. Here again, it depends on what each person is looking to get out of the *original* story. To me, the movie would be similar to an abridged audiobook and in my personal world those don't count.

Lezlie

Heather J. said...

Lezlie - "rather ironic" is right. My first thought was "HELLO! This story was THE ORIGINAL audio book!" :) As for what it "counts" for, to me (and to you I'm sure) that all depends on the person doing the counting.

Amanda - Like I said to Lezlie, it depends on who is counting and what they're counting FOR. This whole situation is rather hilarious, don't you think?!

Rebecca Reid said...

Heather and Lezlie, you've said what I would have if I'd gotten here first!

I do think that most of the people who don't think audiobooks count as reading have never listened to an audiobook. It's certainly a different experience than reading a hardcopy or a kindle version for example, but just as valid for commenting on writing and plot and overall feel of a book -- and what it does for you.

Anonymous said...

Lezlie, The Odyssey began as an epic poem, not a book. I would also argue that no one who heard the Odyssey from Homer's own lips had read it. To say you heard the Odyssey from him would be bragging rights of its own but it doesn't count for much on a book list in 2009.

I agree with the comparison of audio books to movies. Listening to it does not equal reading it any more than watching a movie adaptation with subtitles does.

I commented on the posting anonymously in the other post but I'll restate it here. A screen name is just as anonymous as no name at all and it doesn't change the validity of my arguments. Aside from that which really is the only point that matters, I don't have a blogspot account to post with and I don't use personal accounts like email or AIM except for those specific uses.

Heather J. said...

I'll repeat here what I wrote on the other post that received all the anonymous comments recently:

This is getting a bit ridiculous, so let's all just agree to disagree and move on, mmkay?

Thanks all! :)

Lezlie said...

Heather ~ You're right. We all have our own views and are not going to change them. I have no idea what just happened to the response I just posted, but if you get it, will you just delete it. It's not worth the argument. :-)

Have a great weekend!
Lezlie

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