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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Free, Folks
This Kindle download is difficult to figure out. It begins with a very lengthy introduction by Theodore Alois Buckley, which might cause you to think you had downloaded a critique of the Odyssey and not the actual story. That is not so.

The actual translation of the Odyssey begins at 8% on the Kindle: "O Muse! resound; Who when his arms had wrougt the...
Published on February 2, 2010 by Terri J. Rice

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258 of 266 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best adaptation for the Kindle
This is Alexander Pope's verse translation of the Odyssey, first published in 1726, glommed into a kindle edition. It is not formatted for the Kindle and is thus very difficult to read -- instead of stanzas, it's all oddly-broken chunks that vaguely resemble paragraphs, presumably an artifact of whatever software was used to scan the original text. To add to that, it's...
Published on October 31, 2009 by T. S.


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258 of 266 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best adaptation for the Kindle, October 31, 2009
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T. S. (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Kindle Edition)
This is Alexander Pope's verse translation of the Odyssey, first published in 1726, glommed into a kindle edition. It is not formatted for the Kindle and is thus very difficult to read -- instead of stanzas, it's all oddly-broken chunks that vaguely resemble paragraphs, presumably an artifact of whatever software was used to scan the original text. To add to that, it's poetry *by Alexander Pope*, and thus largely in heroic couplets, deliberately archaic even to the ear of Pope's 18th-century contemporaries, with "thou"s scattered throughout -- there's a reason that William Wordsworth thought Pope's poetry archaic and artificial.

As this is a "kindle bestseller" but there aren't any other listed reviews, I suspect a lot of people are (like myself) downloading this for their kindles because it shows up readily in a search for "Odyssey", and then getting stymied by the five-hundred-"location" introductory essay (written, as best I can tell, in the early 1800's, and thus hopelessly outdated by little things like two hundred year's worth of Homerian scholarship, Schliemann's discovery of Troy, etc.) and the near-impenetrable arrangement of the text. If anyone can find a better-formatted free-download kindle version of the Odyssey (perhaps a prose translation?) please link me to it in a comment. Thanks.
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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Free, Folks, February 2, 2010
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Kindle Edition)
This Kindle download is difficult to figure out. It begins with a very lengthy introduction by Theodore Alois Buckley, which might cause you to think you had downloaded a critique of the Odyssey and not the actual story. That is not so.

The actual translation of the Odyssey begins at 8% on the Kindle: "O Muse! resound; Who when his arms had wrougt the destined fall of sacred Troy, and razed her heaven-built wall, wandering from clime to clime, observant stray'd..."

"Now at their native realms the Greeks arrived; all who the wars of ten long years survived; and scaped the perils of the gulfy main."

It is the translation by Alexander Pope and you either like his translation or you don't; there are, I believe, easier ones to understand.

Buckley says,"It would be absurd, therefore, to test Pope's translation by our own advancing knowledge of the original text. We must content to look at it as a most delightful work in itself,-- a work which is as much a part of English literature as Homer himself is of Greek."

The Kindle edition has what I consider a major problem:

There is no Table of Contents so you can not jump to a particular book which is very unfortunate because when studying the book you want to do exactly that. The fix would be to add a Bookmark every time you come to a new book so that you can easily go back and forth. But that, obviously, would mean you have to read through the whole book bookmarking as you go which is why I gave this a four star instead of five star review for this Kindle edition.

But... it is free and free is a very good price.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing--the text, nothing more!, February 5, 2003
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Paperback)
How frustrating that Wildside Press didn't include more with their complete text of Pope's translation. Not only is there no mention of Fenton and Broome, the two men who actually translated 12 of the 24 books--not only are none of Broome's notes included, but there is no annotation whatever, no bibliography of recommended further reading, no criticism, not even a decent history of the translation or of Pope himself, aside from a single reductive paragraph by Theodore Alois Buckley (who edited the text and wrote the rather flowery introduction--in fact there isn't even a date for the introduction--it's Victorian but Wildside doesn't make that clear). Even the back cover is misleading, attributing a Samuel Johnson quote to the Odyssey, when it referred explicitly to the Iliad. Finally, there is no line-numbering, so this edition would be difficult to teach or reference in a paper. Not a scholarly edition.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comment on the translation, September 30, 2005
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I own a number of translations of Homer, and the Rieu/Jones translations of The Odyssey and The Iliad are among my favourite (the others are Albert Cook's and Mandelbaum's translation of The Odyssey). I like all these better than the Fagles since they are more faithful to the original text.

If you order this book, grab yourself a Cliff Notes just so you get the necessary background info so it all makes sense.

Good luck!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Good Translation-4 in a Half Stars, November 27, 2010
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Kindle Edition)
I too like some of the reviewers was close to removing this free edition from my Kindle as I began to wonder when The Odyssey would begin. It starts at 8 % or location 413 on the third Kindle type size. The first 8% is a biography of Homer and a critique of Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's The Odyssey. I found the biography interesting and The Odyssey itself is a great Greek epic. A linked table of contents would have been nice and a page break between the foreword and the start of the actual work would have been appreciated. So I take off a star for that. With Kindle's bookmarking, highlighting, note adding feature, and search feature you can quickly find and go anywhere though from your Kindle menu so the point becomes moot. Then I add a half star back for it was free anyways.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The translation remakes the original, November 14, 2008
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Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's Odyssey ranks as a wonderful lesson in how not to translate. Successive generations have pilloried Pope's wholecloth fabrication translation, in which he forces an unrhymed epic poem into the straitjacket of heroic couplets. No remark hits as aptly as that of Bentley's famous criticism: "A fine Poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer."

Okay--let's not call it Homer. Let's call it "Pope's Epic Greek Poem Loosely Based on Homer," and then let's call it magnificent. In any language, and with any emendations, the Odyssey is an odyssey of sorts in the reading. Long, rambling, filled with a thousand references that only a footnoted text or Grecian scholar could explain, getting through this massive tale takes endurance, pluck, and courage.

Pope's version makes the rough parts easier going, and makes the great parts positively, well, English. When Ulysses returns home and smashes the jaw of the impudent slave, crushing the bone and bathing the floor in blood, it's enough to make you feel like you're watching the Raiders play at home. The goosebump sections are so powerful and speak with such majesty through the genius of Homer and the genius of Pope, that you'll fling down the Kindle in search of a Trojan War and a ten year journey home.

That was the blind poet's intent, right? Right.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Down-to-Earth Translation of a Classic, April 20, 2007
Over the years, I've encountered several different translations of Homer's 'The Odyssey' in school textbooks. These were generally excerpts, not the work in its entirety. I had become quite familiar with it's plot, as well as its ties to Greek mythology, though I'd never read the whole work. I've made attempts at reading Robert Fitzgerald's full translation of 'The Odyssey' in the past, though I found that I couldn't get into it. A couple of months before writing this review, I came across this particular translation...After leafing through the pages, it appeared to be much more accessible than others I had seen, so I thought I'd give it a try.

One of the key differences between this translation and others is that it has been rendered in the style of a novel than like the epic poetry its been translated from. Though the literal meaning of the passages has been largely retained, I find this translation's layout to be more aesthetically appealing and, thus, easier for a casual reader to become immersed in.

'The Odyssey' is the story of the main character, Odysseus, and his return to his home in Ithaca after the Trojan War. Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, had to leave both his wife Penelope and his newly born son Telemachus behind because he has to leave for Troy. 'The Odyssey' begins, chronologically, in the 'middle' of the actual sequence of events in Odysseus' story. While Odysseus has been away from Ithaca for an unusually long length of time, his patron goddess, Athena, is discussing his fate with her father, Zeus. In the meantime, Odysseus' wife, Penelope, is constantly being harassed by a large group of men collectively referred to as the 'Suitors', who wish to marry her, since it appears that there is no chance of Odysseus returning. Athena visits Telemachus, who is now around 20 years old, and is able to help him get news of his father's whereabouts. Odysseus has been held captive by the nymph Calypso for many years, though the messenger-god Hermes persuades her to free him. Odysseus builds himself a raft, though it ends up being wrecked by the enraged sea-god Poseidon. Odysseus swims to an island, where he is rescued by a young girl, Nausicaa. He is welcomed by her father, Alcinous, and mother, Arete. At this point, Odysseus tells of the trials he has had to endure since his participation in the Trojan War so long ago.

Many of these events will be familiar to anyone interested in Greek mythology; for instance, his crew's ships being wrecked on the island of the Lotus-Eaters, his encounter with a Cyclops (Poseidon's son, who Odysseus blinds by thrusting a stake through his eye; this is the reason why Poseidon is angry with Odysseus), and passing through the land of the singing Sirens. After he is finishing telling of his adventures, a group of skilled sea-men, the Phaecians, help him reach Ithaca. Odysseus is able to introduce himself to his son Telemachus, who he hasn't seen since he was a baby. In disguise, Odysseus is able to walk amongst the Suitors and Penelope, and tells them that Odysseus is going to be returning soon. Penelope tests all of the Suitors, saying that anyone able to string Odysseus' bow in an archery competition may have her hand in marriage. Odysseus, still disguised as a beggar, is the only one able to do so. Then, he reveals his identity to the Suitors, then kills them after turning his bow upon all of them. His wife, Penelope, tests Odysseus to see if he is really who he says he is by telling the maid Eurycleia to move their bed from the bedroom. Odysseus then tells of how he built that bed himself from an olive-tree and how it would be incredibly hard for anyone to move it. Thus, Penelope was convinced of his identity, and they talk of all of the events that have occurred in each of their lives during the long span of time that they haven't been able to communicate.

'The Odyssey' is one of the central works of Western literature, which is understandable based on the story's scope: mythology, adventure, an intelligent and cunning hero, and an unpredictable plot. The fairly flat, and sometimes archetypal dispositions of the characters are made up for by the complex and enjoyable nature of the tale.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks nice on a bookshelf, but worth taking down to read, April 24, 2010
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover Classics) (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of this new series from Penguin Classics. The hardcover bindings (each featuring a stylized pattern that relates--sometimes subtly, sometimes obviously--with the subject of the book), the high-quality pages, and the ribbon bookmark all make these books attractive collectibles. But I also really enjoyed the content of this book. The prose translation was accurate but not slavish. I felt like I was reading a novel. The introduction was also highly readable and informative--I actually wanted to read it, which is unusual.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sticker Warning, December 8, 2011
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover Classics) (Hardcover)
I bought nearly twenty of these Penguin classics with covers designed by the exceptional Coralie Bickford-Smith from Amazon. When I got them I discovered that an adhesive price sticker, apparently applied by Penguin, was on the back cover of each volume. Despite my efforts to carefully remove the sticker, some of the heat-stamped design lifted up with it in every case, some worse than others, but in all cases ruining the design. I contacted Penguin and I hope they have since rectified this problem, but please be forewarned. I ended up returning every volume to Amazon.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cute Presentation, but prose? Really?, September 5, 2011
This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover Classics) (Hardcover)
If you're going for appearance, you might enjoy this version of Homer's Odyssey. However, if you're looking for a verse translation or value fidelity to the original work at all, this is probably not your first choice. Like many classics, the modern variation has been altered for easier consumption. This isn't always a good thing.

I personally would suggest Lattimore's translation. There's a copy out which is equally pretty, but remarkably true to its source. It was first recommended to me by a Classics Professor at UC Berkeley.
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The Odyssey (Hardcover Classics)
The Odyssey (Hardcover Classics) by Homer (Hardcover - March 10, 2010)
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