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Odysseus: The Oath: Book One (Odysseus 1) Paperback – 3 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447231708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447231707
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is professor of classical archaeology at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan. Further to numerous academic publications, he has published thirteen works of fiction, including the Alexander trilogy which has been translated into thirty-four languages in fifty-five countries. His novel The Last Legion was released as a major motion picture. He has written and hosted documentaries on the ancient world and has penned screenplays for cinema and television.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

The extraordinary story of a legendary hero . . .

As a young boy in Ithaca, Odysseus listens in wonder to his grandfather Autolykos - a ruthless fighter and a man feared by many across the land. He learns of his heritage and a lifelong passion is sparked: to become an adventurer and warrior.

In Mycenae, he meets King Eurystheus and learns the terrible story of Hercules - the man with god-like strength who slaughtered his family and as punishment was forced by the King to undertake impossible tasks to earn absolution. But is Eurystheus the man he says he is? When a child comes to Odysseus in the middle of the night, with another, very disturbing, version of events, Odysseus embarks on the first of his extraordinary quests . . .

So begins the epic story of Odysseus, in the first of two volumes: an adventure of love, war, courage and heroism, that weaves from a small Greek island to the mighty fall of Troy.

[thumbnail of Odysseus The Return]

About the Author

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an archaeologist and scholar of the ancient Greek and Roman world. He is the author of sixteen novels, which have won him literary awards and have sold 12 million copies. His Alexander trilogy has been translated into 38 languages and published in 62 countries and the film rights have been acquired by Universal Pictures. His novel The Last Legion was made into a film starring Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley and directed by Doug Lefler. Valerio Massimo Manfredi has taught at a number of prestigious universities in Italy and abroad and has published numerous articles and essays in academic journals. He has also written screenplays for film and television, contributed to journalistic articles and conducted cultural programmes and television documentaries.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read a few of this author's books before, and I'm not sure if it's his style of writing, or the translations, but they always read as being in quite `simple' language, if I can put it like that - uncomplicated, easy narratives of historical or mythical times, places and people. They're jolly good reads without being demanding.

This story is the first part (of I think, two) which tells the story of Odysseus - most people would know of Odysseus from the history of the Trojan War - the Wooden horse, the trickery of Odysseus, his long journey home after the War. This book starts from the childhood of Odysseus and gives us a taste of his early life as son of Laertes of Ithaca. It's not until quite a way into the book that Troy finds its way into the story, when Menelaus of Sparta arrives with news of Helen.

All the familiar names are here - Hercules, Jason, Antenor, Priam, Aeneas, Diomedes, Nestor, Antilochus, Ajax, Agamemnon, Achilles, Menelaus, Hector, Odysseus and of course Helen. This is an epic tale told many times before, but the author has offered a very fresh way of viewing these familiar stories. I really enjoyed the way the author has entwined myths and legends of Greek history into the story of Odysseus, and it's all done in a way that offers a very united and flowing narrative. The language of this book is, as the author acknowledges himself in an Author's note at the end, a deliberate attempt to offer a taste of the simple syntax and rhythmic writing offered by Homer and it takes the tales of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and the Aenead of Virgil, and puts the story into a flowing, flawless narrative for a modern audience. The Heroes, the Gods, the brutality of ancient warfare; it's all brought to vivid life here.

This is a really good novel; a great epic tale brought to new life by an accomplished author. Definitely recommended, and I look forward to the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
I've read a few of this author's books before, and I'm not sure if it's his style of writing, or the translations, but they always read as being in quite `simple' language, if I can put it like that - uncomplicated, easy narratives of historical or mythical times, places and people. They're jolly good reads without being demanding.

This story is the first part (of I think, two) which tells the story of Odysseus - most people would know of Odysseus from the history of the Trojan War - the Wooden horse, the trickery of Odysseus, his long journey home after the War. This book starts from the childhood of Odysseus and gives us a taste of his early life as son of Laertes of Ithaca. It's not until quite a way into the book that Troy finds its way into the story, when Menelaus of Sparta arrives with news of Helen.

All the familiar names are here - Hercules, Jason, Antenor, Priam, Aeneas, Diomedes, Nestor, Antilochus, Ajax, Agamemnon, Achilles, Menelaus, Hector, Odysseus and of course Helen. This is an epic tale told many times before, but the author has offered a very fresh way of viewing these familiar stories. I really enjoyed the way the author has entwined myths and legends of Greek history into the story of Odysseus, and it's all done in a way that offers a very united and flowing narrative. The language of this book is, as the author acknowledges himself in an Author's note at the end, a deliberate attempt to offer a taste of the simple syntax and rhythmic writing offered by Homer and it takes the tales of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and the Aenead of Virgil, and puts the story into a flowing, flawless narrative for a modern audience. The Heroes, the Gods, the brutality of ancient warfare; it's all brought to vivid life here.

This is a really good novel; a great epic tale brought to new life by an accomplished author. Definitely recommended, and I look forward to the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the first of a two volume series by Valerio Massimo Manfredi based on the famous works attributed to Homer. This one is derived from the Illiad and stops as Odysseus/Ulysses and the Achaean army (or what is left of it) leaves the destroyed city of Troy and starts heading home.

As the author mentions in his note, he has paid homage to the blind poet and kept quite close to the text of the Illiad, including the role of the Gods in the conflict. In a way, you could almost see this as a modern (but nevertheless skilful) paraphrase of Homer where Odysseus tells the story and takes centre stage, just as he will in the second volume by both authors. There is however more to it than that, with the author adding his own take to what may be an entirely mythical story with little historical truth to it, but doing so in a mostly plausible way.
One significant addition is the King of Ithaka's youth and the author's story-telling about the events that happened before the siege of Troy. So the Trojan War only makes up more or less the second half of the book with the first half painting a picture of a number of the Achaean Kingdoms and their society, and of the Kingdom of Ithaka in particular. One interesting feature is the way he weaves in the heroic adventures of those heroes that he presents as being of the previous generation: the Argonauts, including Jason, Hercules, Theseus, and makes Laërtes, Odysseus' father, into one of them. So the tragic and mythical story of Hercules is part of the prequel of Troy, although the alleged raid that he conducted against Priam's city is totally omitted from this book.
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