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Drawing on a range of sources, in addition to The Odyssey, Atwood scripts the narrative of Penelope, the faithful and devoted wife of Odysseus and her 12 maids, who were killed upon the master's return. Atwood proposes striking interpretations of her characters that challenge the patriarchal nature of Greek mythology. The chapters transition between the firsthand account of Penelope and the chorus of maids as listeners are taken from Penelope's early life to her afterlife. Laural Merlington charmingly delivers the witty and perceptive Penelope with realistic inflection and emphasis. Some of her vocal caricatures seem over the top, but most voices maintain a resemblance to our perceptions of these mythic people. The maids are presented as a saddened chorus by a cloning of Merlington's voice. These dark figures speak straightforwardly in their accusations of Penelope and Odysseus, while, at other times, they make use of rhyming. This format works well, though sometimes the cadence and rhyming scheme are off beat. This benefits the production by creating an eerie resonance and haunting demeanor that enhances this engaging tale.
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Half-Dorothy Parker, half-Desperate Housewives. Independent As potent as a curse. -- Lucy Hughes Hallett Sunday Times * Pragmatic, clever, domestic, mournful, Penelope is a perfect Atwood heroine. -- Sam Leith Spectator * Atwood takes Penelope's part with tremendous verve...she explores the very nature of mythic story-telling. -- Mary Beard Guardian * Atwood's typical wit and vim on fine display: with the late maids providing a Greek chorus, Penelope swoops across the centuries to pithily slate her cousin Helen of Troy, judge Odysseus and even provide a feminist viewpoint of which Homer could nary have dreamt. Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Was a good read, was a project for class but interesting to read a different side... this is from Odysseus's wife from the OdysseyPublished 8 hours ago by Irishsoldier
I found this to be a beautiful retelling of the saga, not as rich as the book, obviously, but in some ways more poetic because of the actors' contribution.Published 21 days ago by James H Phetterplace Sr
I really like how concise this novel is. I
Also, Atwood does a great job of giving Penelope a voice.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a good read. Book was in good condition as described.Published 2 months ago by JJ92
An excellent companion and retelling of "The Odyssey" from Penelope's perspective. The writing is quick, witty, and thought-provoking; I gobbled it up in a few hours. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MICHAEL
It's touching. Never really thought of the story in such a unique perspective. I would highly recommend this for those who have read the Odysseus.Published 3 months ago by 123sarah
Note that Amazon has linked the play version of this book as the main Kindle link for The Penelopiad, instead of the novel version. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Brian Nagorsky