- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 Nov. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571229360
- ISBN-13: 978-0571229369
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Homer's Odyssey Paperback – 1 Nov 2007
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More About the Author
In Homer's Odyssey by Simon Armitage, one of the nation's most treasured poets breathes new life into a classic.
About the Author
Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire in 1963. In 1992 he was winner of one of the first Forward Prizes, and a year later was the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. He works as a freelance writer, broadcaster and playwright, and has written extensively for radio and television. Previous titles include Kid, Book of Matches, The Dead Sea Poems, CloudCuckooLand, Killing Time, The Universal Home Doctor and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a lovely brevity and succinctness about the style as one would expect from a leading poet. I read it in the space of a couple of days, including one long journey, and it had me captivated.
I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting an approachable but not dumbed down version of these stories. I am now motivated to read a full translation of the original - which I would never have been before.
Odysseus does come across as an irritating sort of leader at points - but in the final section, he provides a satisfying comeuppance for all the rapacious suitors who've been harassing his wife. The relationship between Zeus and Athena is by turns amusing and touching, and there are some unexpectedly vivid characters, such as Queen Arete who is desperate to get Odysseus away from her family and consequently helps him on his way home.
Although in terms of poetic technique, theme and voice, I prefer Armitage's stand alone poetry, this is a fine addition to the poetic interpretations of Homer's great work. It is however, an entertainment rather than a full translation - if you're looking for that, Fagles would be your man, as Armitage himself acknowledges.
In Armitage's version, the timeless themes of the story come in to sharp focus. The story exposes man's weakness when faced with the devastating power of temptation. But we also see the value of courage and loyalty in the face of insurmountable odds - not only from Odysseus, but also from Penelope, forced to wait to for him alone for twenty years. The Odyssey is in many ways a strikingly modern and human story, and that really comes through here. Armitage has put humanity into The Odyssey, allowing us to share Odysseus's pain and longing, as well as his famed cunning.
There's humour here, as well as intense drama, and the whole thing is beautifully readable, compulsive, concise and easy to follow. All the romance and excitement of the adventure and the tension of the decisive moments is captured here. It could nearly be a children's classic, but for a few cases of strong language and sexual references (it's a 12A rating, really). There's plenty for grownups to enjoy here though, regardless of whether or not you've read The Odyssey.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed Simon Armitage's interpretation of Homer's Odyssey which followed the original closely.Published 2 months ago by J. Wethered
The most beautiful translations of Homer's Odyssey. I wish he would do Iliad too.Published 12 months ago by Amir Marashi
Not bad for a former Probation Officer. I can't wait to read his version of the Iliad - The Last Days of Troy.!Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer