The Odyssey (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

(10 customer reviews)

The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles

A Penguin Classic
 
Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, presents us with Homer’s best-loved and most accessible poem in a stunning modern-verse translation. “Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.” So begins Robert Fagles’ magnificent translation of the Odyssey, which Jasper Griffin in the New York Times Book Review hails as “a distinguished achievement.”

If the Iliad is the world’s greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature’s grandest evocation of an everyman’s journey through life. Odysseus’ reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. 

In the myths and legends  retold here, Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer’s original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox’s superb introduction and textual commentary provide insightful background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles’s translation. This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the general reader, to captivate a new generation of Homer’s students. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

SKU: B000OCXGRS Category:

Description

Product details

  • ASIN

    :

    B000OCXGRS
  • Publisher

    :

    Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (1 November 1997)
  • Language

    :

    English
  • File size

    :

    2309 KB
  • Text-to-Speech

    :

    Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting

    :

    Not Enabled
  • X-Ray

    :

    Not Enabled
  • Word Wise

    :

    Enabled
  • Print length

    :

    679 pages

Additional information

ASIN ‏ : ‎

B000OCXGRS

Publisher ‏ : ‎

Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (1 November 1997)

Language ‏ : ‎

English

File size ‏ : ‎

2309 KB

Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎

Enabled

Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎

Not Enabled

X-Ray ‏ : ‎

Not Enabled

Word Wise ‏ : ‎

Enabled

Print length ‏ : ‎

679 pages

Best Sellers Rank:

#6,349 in Poetry (Books)

Customer Reviews:

398 ratings

10 thoughts on “The Odyssey (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

  1. I thought long and hard about buying this version of the Odyssey, as opposed to accessing the free versions by other translators that are readily available online.In the end I’m glad I paid out for Fagles’ translation as it is a pleasure to read.The Odyssey itself is also a fantastic tale and well worth a read. Highly recommended.

  2. I am reading this alongside Adam Nicolson’s ‘The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters’ – an excellent combination. Highly recommended.

  3. A really good translation, very easy and enjoyable to read. A nicely produced paperback too – clear typeface and good font size.

  4. Fully recommend this book. What you are actually buying here is this particular modern translation, which is superb. Bought this as part of an online classics course and found it very readable even though unused to readibg such works.

  5. Fagles has done a brillinant job again. Just as good as his work with the Illiad. If you want a readable and tenderly modernised Odyssey, look no further.

  6. Poor Odysseus. First he spent a decade fighting in a war he didn’t want to go to in the first place. Then he spent ANOTHER decade trying to slog home.And in one of many spinoffs of “The Iliad,” the classical, archetypical trickster-hero spends the entire epic poem “The Odyssey” doing his absolute best to get home, despite the entire universe conspiring to stop him. Like the poem before it, it dances in odd chronological side-steps, with stories within stories, yet the presence of an intelligent and wily hero (just consider how he fools the Cyclops) keeps the story as fresh as ever. And Fagles’ translation is a masterful piece of work.It begins ten years after the end of the Trojan War. Odysseus has been missing ever since the war ended, and everybody assumes he’s now dead. His son Telemachus is moping, and his wife Penelope has been fending off her ambitious suitors for several years. The goddess Athena, after interceding on Odysseus’ behalf, begins guiding Telemachus to find news of his long-absent father.Turns out Odysseus is actually alive, and has been the captive of the lovestruck sea-nymph Calypso for seven years. But when he finally gets away, he ends up shipwrecked on a far-off land (due to Poseidon being angry at him), and relates his bizarre story to the people who rescue him.Among his adventures: his encounter with the Lotus-Eaters and a cruel man-eating Cyclops, the Laestrygonians, the sorceress Circe (who turns his men into pigs), the deadly Sirens, Scylla and Charibdis, and the wrath of a god when the crew eats sacred cattle. But even after all this weirdness and twenty years away, Odysseus is still determined to return home and reclaim his family and kingship.Out of all the stories spun off from “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey” is probably the most famous. Perhaps this is because it’s one of the least tragic, despite the high death count — with some divine help from Athena and Hermes, Odysseus can actually get home to Ithaca, his wife and his now-adult son (who is not king, for some reason — a puzzling detail that I never quite understood).It’s also more colorful and magical than other such stories — instead of mundane human enemies, Odysseus’ story is awash in magical, mythical creatures both fair and foul. There are gods, sorceresses, man-eating monsters and a six-headed creature over a whirlpool. In fact, the story doesn’t truly settle back to the “ordinary” life until Odysseus finally gets back home, and has to deal with more human enemies: all the men who want to bonk his wife.And Odysseus’ determination to get home is literally legendary. He’s already an endearing character, being a clever trickster-king and a formidable warrior — but his love for Penelope and his unshakeable, unswerving determination add a depth and intensity to his personality. Telemachos comes across as kind of pouty and sulky at first, but becomes a sort of secondary hero when he learns that his father is not actually dead.Robert Fagles’ translation is a pretty good one — he maintains the quality of oral poetry (“under her feet she fastened the supple sandals, ever-glowing gold, that wing her over the waves”) while being very fluid and easy to read, without getting tangled up in rhyme or line length. There are some phrases that are awkward and anachronistic, but overall the experience is quite lovely.”The Odyssey” is a timeless, enchanted epic, expanding on one of the most likable characters of the whole Trojan War — and his magical, terrifying, decade-long adventures are still fascinating literature even today. A masterful must-read.

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