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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kazantzakis's "Odyssey": Literature or Baklava?
This epic poem, much longer than Homer's original, was, for me, a very long read. Not because it's difficult, per se, but because Kazantzakis's language drips with honey--like baklava. I cannot read more than ten pages at a time because the writing (even in translation) is so incredibly rich...Kazantzakis describes the crescent moon as an ivory comb drawn through night's...
Published on September 30, 1997 by Padma Thornlyre

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35 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mithras and Apollo
I read Kazantzakis absorbing and compelling verse novel over a two-month period, rich and crazy as a Christmas fruit cake, and only to be nibbled in small doses. This is a deeply flawed work of consumate art; flawed, because it expresses a weltangshaung and philosophical stance utterly at odds with the complexities and values of the human spirit which it still succeeds...
Published on January 25, 2001 by Heleanor Feltham


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kazantzakis's "Odyssey": Literature or Baklava?, September 30, 1997
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
This epic poem, much longer than Homer's original, was, for me, a very long read. Not because it's difficult, per se, but because Kazantzakis's language drips with honey--like baklava. I cannot read more than ten pages at a time because the writing (even in translation) is so incredibly rich...Kazantzakis describes the crescent moon as an ivory comb drawn through night's black hair. The reader needs time, again and again, to put the poem aside, to absorb and revel in what one has just read (and after four readings, the above remains as true as it did during the first reading). The "Odyssey" is sensual, passionate, hallucinatory and immensely/intensely spiritual, Kazantzakis's Odysseus so compelling that one is not startled when Death himself, while stalking Odysseus, falls asleep and dreams of being alive...dreams of being Odysseus. "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Zorba the Greek" notwithstanding, "The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel" is not only Kazantzakis's best work, it rivals the best of Joyce, Hemingway, Pynchon, and Cary; only Durrell's "Alexandria Quartet" is as rich in language and as lovingly written, but Durrell's masterpiece is fiction, of course, not poetry. Only Homer himself has composed a work so valid and so vivid--not only for his own time, but for all time to come.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A place to stand and breathe when all else fails..., September 26, 1998
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
I have two copies of this book, both well worn. I began reading it over twentyfive years ago. As others have noted, the text is so rich that one or two pages is enough, and twenty is too much to digest. I find I tend to pick it up when I am discouraged. It is always a sweet wind to stand in, inducing a sense of space, of freedom in the cosmos, that lifts me to a higher perspective. And yes the translation is stunning. It is hard to remember that it was not written in English first. I have not finished the book - I just finished book 16, of 24, recently - and I don't know what I will do for solace, and reminders of my true free nature, when I have finished it. I suppose I could read it again. I have seen nothing else like it, and have never met anyone else who is reading it. So my experience of solitude is extreme when I read it. I should note also that it seems to have a particularly male point of view. There is also a feminist in me that would like to see that perspective broadened. Yet it offers so much that is true, I have to forgive this.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No hope No despair, December 5, 2000
A Kid's Review
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
A long, long time ago, I read this book and it changed the way I read literature. Kazantzakis' book goes beyond writing - it is a vivid exploration of the flame that consumes man. To go back to reading the frivolous so-called literature of today almost seems pointless. I am just thankful that Kazantzakis left us with such a rich body of work to read. The libraries were full of his books twenty years ago, but today I rarely find them on any shelf. To those of us who were lucky enough to discover him early, we know that he is the best kept secret of the twentieth century.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most inspiring work of art I have ever beheld., September 3, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
This is the greatest ode to freedom ever composed. While the language is rich, the action moving, and the imagery incredible, it is the spiritual odyssey of this great book that is so compelling. For those suffering from the depression of nihilism and the suffocating coils of today's "civilization" this book is the only medicine required. I carry it everywhere I go. A few sweet words from its pages are usually enough to make the world new again. Beware to those who partake of such sweetness, for the world as seen through your eyes may not match the wonder of these pages and you will find yourself reading it again and again.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read straight through without stopping, April 25, 2006
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
I read this in a period of weeks while homeless in a city, each day I would return to the library and read another huge section,never missing a day...the incredible prolixity and repetition, far from being burdensome, were like great rolling waves of majesty and freedom upon which I floated until the last cantos, surely one of the greatest climaxes in all world literature, brought me to rest and peace as Odysseus was united with Christ, and sailed off through the ice. And then I knew that for the rest of my life I would be as free as Odysseus had showed me how to be in this work. How's that?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT TRANSLATION OF THIS WORK BY "KIMON FRIAR", January 12, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
It has been years since I read this book ,but reading your reviews Iam also reminded of how moved I was.Iwould read just one chapter per night and would have my fill,swimming with the sweetness of these words. Kimon Friar worked for (I believe) 5 years with N K on the translation.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there higher than a 10?, November 26, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
This epic poem not only describes Kazantzakis own struggle with various religions and philosophies, but becomes a key to understanding many of his other major works such as Last Temptation, Zorba, St. Francis, and Buddha. Also one of the most amazing reads in the 20th century!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Homer's Ulysses was a Manly Man, August 29, 2008
If you've recently read Homer (possibly for an anchor to Joyce) and concluded that Ulysses was a bit over the top, Kazantzakis is a joy compared to Joyce. Earthy, yes. Beautifully translated, oh yes. Best read all three at the midpoint of your life and chew on them for the second half.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Poem Since Paradise Lost!, May 3, 2013
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
There is no question that Nikos Kazantzakis was the greatest writer of the first half of the twentieth century. Here, with Kimon Friar's amazing translation, we see the core of a poet unburdened by the chaos and political mayhem that worked to stifle so much genius, rather than providing nourishment to it, throughout the period of two horrendous wars. Kazantzakis' commentary on human behavior; his insights into every facet of the human condition warrants deep analysis and meditation, and the iambic hexameter of this massive poem provides ample latitude to be swept to the heights, driven to the depths, and brought face-to-face with the creation, in every guise of expression.

To re-read Kazantzakis' masterwork - to carve out time each day with it - is one critical way to stay healthy, in mind and spirit; to remain acutely conscious of our era, and to dream the impossible dream. Kazantzakis did so and his legacy, as revealed in his great Odyssey, remains one of the most challenging, demanding and important works of literature of all time.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words explode like fireworks., June 3, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL (Paperback)
I spend at least ten minutes each day reading aloud from this book- thundering from this book would be a better way to say it, because that is what the words demand.

K touches a part of my soul that no human has ever been able to caress. God has, but no other human has been able to.

How I wish that demand for this book was such that it was still in print.
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ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL
ODYSSEY: A MODERN SEQUEL by Nikos Kazantzakis (Paperback - September 16, 1985)
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