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The Odyssey (Puffin Classics) Paperback – December 1, 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Robert Fitzgerald’s translation is] a masterpiece . . . An Odyssey worthy of the original.” –The Nation

“[Fitzgerald’s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer’s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase.” –The Yale Review

“[In] Robert Fitzgerald’s translation . . . there is no anxious straining after mighty effects, but rather a constant readiness for what the occasion demands, a kind of Odyssean adequacy to the task in hand, and this line-by-line vigilance builds up into a completely credible imagined world.”
–from the Introduction by Seamus Heaney

About the Author

Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 160 other books, including A Little Lower Than Angels, which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Children's Novel Award in 1987, A Pack of Lies, which won the Guardian Prize and Carnegie Medal in 1989 and Gold Dust, which won the Beefeater Children's Novel Award in 1994. She has written retellings of notoriously tricky classics including El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Moby Dick and The Pilgrim's Progress. In 2004, she won a competition to write the sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan. And in 2006, Peter Pan in Scarlet was published to great acclaim.
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Product Details

  • Series: Puffin Classics
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Puffin Classics edition (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140383093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140383096
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael S. Mahoney on December 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
For young readers not yet ready to tackle Homer in translation this prose version is a superb introduction to the epic's most stirring episodes. McCaughrean writes in an alliterative prose which honors the poetry of the original. She pumps new life into the tangle with the Cyclops, the lure of the Sirens, and the final smackdown on Ithaca when a weathered Odysseus teaches the loutish suitors a thing or two. Seventh graders here have really warmed to this commendable retelling. Our ancient history curriuculum has certainly benefitted from its inclusion.
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This adaptation remained true to it's original and yet was told in a way that my boys, ages 7 & 9, could not get enough. I've been reading the Percy Jackson series to them and then started reading this one. They loved to hear where Percy's adventures had originated and compare tales. I wish I had read this to them first. Excellent!
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For something we all had to read in high school, this wasn't that bad. Without the Odyssey there would be no epic genre... and then where would we be? The adventure of Odysseus after the Trojan War as he tries to make his way home to his beloved Penelope. Along the way there are Sirens and Cyclops, suitors and Gods...It's heavy, but you'll be glad you tried it out. They don't write them like this anymore.
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A fantastic version for young children. Our six year old daughter loves hearing a chapter of this each night. It's also amazing how much of it our two year old understands. Great language and vocabulary in this version, with complex sentence structure that we appreciate for our little learners' ears.
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Format: Paperback
Many versions and translations exist of Homer's Odyssey, and this one stands out as a very accessible "adaptation." It is absolutely NOT a literal translation, and it does not attempt to retain Homer's meter or any type of word-for-word translation. This seems to be where it actually stands out as a success. Translation is a tricky business, at best, and it's easy to see pluses and minuses of each translation-- some get the poetry but miss the narrative flow, and others err on the other side; some become cumbersome in trying to be "classic."

This version maintains all of the basic "key" elements to the Homeric epic, but omits the "Book" markers, lines, etc., in order to create accessibility for an audience not primed for a classic epic. I read this with my daughter, and the format made it much more natural for us to get through as a true story rather than as a historical or cultural study.

McCaughrean, while pulling out the most important stories (the cyclops, Scylla and Charybdis, etc), creates her own poetic language in the prose form. We often stopped to appreciate the vivid verbs and descriptions that she weaves into the narrative.

Reading an epic with a second-grader comes with its own perils-- Homer absolutely includes things that might be unfamiliar to a young audience. There were absolutely places where I had to provide simple explanations or skirt subjects I didn't yet want to discuss, but they were not in-your-face or graphic in any way... Considering the nature of the story (war, monsters, love, loss, etc.)

While this is certainly not Homer, it deserves merit on its own as a recreation of the story that is accessible to a much wider audience... Many of whom may not sit down with a VERY SERIOUS TRANSLATION.
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Format: Paperback
The disclosure of the publisher "Puffin" rightly gives the fact that this is a child's version away. Yet, the prose of this text is not condescending. I love the use of imagery, similes, metaphor and hyperbole; this read is a treat for all ages, as it inspires the imagination in ways the original text may not for lack of so much detail. I enjoy reading the different versions of they Odyssey- analyzing the differences and appreciating the variety of interpretations is an exercise in and of itself.
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My boys are 5 and 6 and they really enjoyed this book. I had to read it to them but it was great to talk about new vocabulary and have them re-tell the stories after we heard them. They requested this every night as their bedtime book, lots of fun!
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Format: Paperback
this book was for a 11year old girl who was doing a school summer project. She loved the book, the simplicity of the story and had her project completed in two days
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