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The Odyssey (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2007


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The Odyssey (Signet Classics) + Poetics (Dover Thrift Editions) + Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451530683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451530684
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.

In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.

We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.


W.H.D. Rouse was one of the great 20th century experts on Ancient Greece, and headmaster of the Perse School, Cambridge, England, for 26 years. Under his leadership the school became widely known for the successful teaching of Greek and Latin as spoken languages. He derived his knowledge of the Greeks not only from his wide studies of classical literature, but also by travelling extensively in Greece. He died in 1950.

More About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems.

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Customer Reviews

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Great book and a classic epic.
Tj Nguyen
A great translation of Odysseus's fantastic adventures returning from the Trojan War and detoured by Poseidon--and his own unquenchable curiosity.
Chrisreads
My son had to read this book for 8th grade English class and he LOVED it!!
DSR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Zeau on November 8, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This prose translation of The Odyssey is a great introduction to Homeric literature for readers who have difficulty with traditional verse translations. Reading more like an action novel than Great Literature, it retains the literary savor of Homer's original work (including all the familiar epithets and honorifics like "grey-eyed Athena") while moving the story along at a good pace. And a terrific story it is -- en route back from the Trojan War, Odysseus finds himself taking the (very) long way home, encountering gods, monsters, sirens, love, adventure and more along the way; while in the meantime, his ever-patient wife Penelope waits for him, even as fortune-hunting suitors try to break down her resolve and force her to re-marry -- and if that's not enough, their son Telemachus sets out on his own quest to find the father he's never met. Humor, terror, suspense, awe, revenge, romance and more ... it's easy to see why Homer has stood the test of time for millenia. Pair this with Rouse's translation of "The Iliad," open a bottle of retsina and imagine yourself on the deck of a galley plying the wine-dark sea...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William J Higgins III on October 15, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...a visit to Hades, romance, murder and so much more with heroic achievement.

The epic adventure tale which is now nearly three thousand years old...probably had to read it in high school or whatnot, is still a unique page turning suspense drama.

Under the guidance of Athena, daughter of Zeus, Odysseus battles many trials and evils to finally complete his voyage home to his ardent wife Penelopeia, son Telemachos and father...then wipe out the riff-raff that had been going on at his house during his absence.

Literary scholars have probed, critiqued and analyzed The Odyssey time and again, but if read simply as a fantasy or adventure saga, it is a classic thriller to please all.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
(Review by Alec)

The Odyssey was a fantastic classical work and one of the greatest pieces of Homeric literature still around today. This epic follows Greek hero and ruler of Ithaca, Odysseus. Odysseus is a very renowned, powerful man, who seems to represent the ideal Greek warrior king. However, while Odysseus is a paragon and may have it easy with his wealth and family after the Trojan War, he still has to suffer twenty years of hardship before arriving at that point. The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’s extremely laborious journey back to Ithaca, where his property has been violated by fellow countrymen. While reading The Odyssey, one can easily compare it to The Count of Monte Cristo, in the sense that both stories involve a man who suffers over a decade of hardship and ends up seeking vengeance after overcoming it. The story itself is a mass-compilation of Greek folklore, so it may not always adhere to logic, and in some cases it may be a bit self-contradictory as many takes on the same story were blended together in the Odyssey’s creation. Because he is an epic hero, not really a tragic one like The Iliad’s Hector, Odysseus may seem to have super abilities at times. This is made up for by Homer’s master storytelling, which is interestingly told a lot by his characters themselves. The Odyssey is full of scenes that will make you grimace, appeal to your sympathy, and even some that will make your mouth water as you read them. I highly recommend getting a copy of this book if you want to follow the travels of one of the greatest heroes in fictional literature or simply want to learn more about the ancient Greek civilization.
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By Joe Thomas Tunstall on March 20, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Good quality and good read. Do not regret this purchase, these books are must for lovers of history, literature or Greek stories
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chrisreads on May 15, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A great translation of Odysseus's fantastic adventures returning from the Trojan War and detoured by Poseidon--and his own unquenchable curiosity.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tj Nguyen on September 19, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book and a classic epic. I bought this along with the Iliad translation and I love how the book covers fit together.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DSR on March 19, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
My son had to read this book for 8th grade English class and he LOVED it!! He says it was well written.
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