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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2011
This book is a joy to encounter. It is an English translation of Homer's (c.750BCE) ancient Greek Classic, often referred to as the second book in Western literature - the first being Homer's Illiad. It is the story of Odysseus' 20 year return journey back to the Greek island of Ithaca, from the Trojan War - the Trojan War campaign being the subject of the Illiad. It is believed to have originally been a poem describing events dating to around 1,200BCE. Homer appears to have written this story of oral tradition onto paper for the first time. Although Homer lived in the 8th century (BCE), which was the Iron Age in Greece, the Odyssesy continuously refers to weapons and armour being made of bronze, which again suggest an earlier time. However, although the core of the story may well be hundreds of years older thanHomer's time, nevertheless, certain curious contemporary practices appear to be recorded. In around 1,200 BCE, the habit for dealing with the dead was burial, in Homer's time it was cremation. Homer cites in the Odyssesy that dead people were 'cremated'. This means that oral traditions are not static but continue to develop all the time, around a much older core story.

The paperback (1991) edition contains 394 numbered pages and contains the following sections:

1) Preface.
2) Introduction - Peter V Jones.
3) Brief Reading List - Peter V Jones.
4) The Odyssesy - Pages 1-394.

The original text of this translation was published in 1946, by EV Rieu, the co-founder of the Penguin Classics series (with Sir Allen Lane). The purpose of this series was to produce modern English version of literary classics that everyone could easily access. The Oydssey was the first published Penguin Classic, whilst the Illiad was the second. EV Rieu was an Oxford scholar. His son, DCH Rieu, also an Oxford scholar, has revised his father's text because he feels certain aspects could be improved. For instance, DCH Riev believes his father's rendition over elaborated in parts, added politenesses not present in the Greek original, and omitted the mention of the influence of Greek gods in the text - instead of 'a god put this idea in my mind,' EV Reiu says 'it occured to me'. DCH Rieu's revised text has a greater succintness, without losing the over-all appeal of his father's original. Following in his father's footsteps, DCH Rieu has assisted his father in the translation, although, of course, many decades later (the early 1990's).

Peter Jones, a Cambridge scholar, has produced what can only be described as the most 'blissful' of introductions! His understanding and knowledge of Homer's Odyssesy is a sheer joy to encounter. He expertly places Homer within a clear historical context, and then places his writing into a correct perspective. Jones interprets facts and offers guidance with a natural ease. He presents a very interesting over-view of the chronological order of events in the book, and explains key issues and makes very profound and insightful comments. It is one of those pieces of literature that the reader wishes would never end. This translation of a Greek Classic has the feel of a 'Classic' about it. A rendition that presents the beauty of Homer's Greek original, in contemporary English. A perfect book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the Penguin version of Homer's Odyssey translated by E V Rieu.
I was translated and written in 1946 but has been republished many many times.
Why?
For the simple reason it has been so well done.
A simple search on Amazon with E V Rieu will bring you to other pages where fuller details can be found.

We all know of the Odyssey and of Odysseus journeys written by Homer.
Or then again think we do.
Of Homers two The Iliad and the Odyssey this is my favourite.

The problem is selecting a book from the many that are on offer.

The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)

I have read this one and would suggest that it is a good one to select.

Firstly it is readable.
E V Rieu has translated the Odyssey in a n entertaining read that reads well- pure and simple.
It has stood the test of time and many readers agree that it is a good translation.
Readers love the detail and the humour in Rieu's rendering of the fabulous tale.

You can obtain it quite cheaply second hand and when you combine the two- readable and cheap then you really are onto a winner.

E V Rieu has done a fabulous job of bringing Odysseus' travels from the Trojan War to life and made this epic tale approachable and more importantly entertainingly to life.

No mean achievement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2011
I got this from my Dad who read it many years ago and still loves it. I've looked at many different copies of the Odyssey and this, this easily the best of them, even though it's from 1991 it is still the best!
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on 16 September 2013
For many readers, E V Rieu's prose translations of The Odyssey and The Iliad are established classics in their own right, rivalled only, in my opinion, by Richmond Lattimore's renderings into verse.

This edition of The Odyssey has a revised translation made by Rieu's son, D C H Rieu, in which the gods' crucial influence is seen more clearly, as it was in the original Greek. For example, E V Rieu has 'it occurred to me' instead of the original 'a god put this into my mind', which his son has correctly restored. Formulae once again have their place -- to reflect the poem's original oral transmission -- as do the epithets theirs. D C H R has also tidied up some of the 1940s' 'modernisms' though he has been extremely careful and judicious in altering elsewhere his father's splendid prose.

Add to this an introduction, glossary and footnotes by Homeric expert Dr Peter Jones (who could make a tax form sound fascinating), and you have a wonderfully vivid version of this second classic of Western literature.

Warmly recommended, but take a look at Lattimore too.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2014
Do not ever by anything from Momox.co.uk. They claimed to have despatched y item then sent an e-mail saying they had tried to deliver it - an absolute lie- and so had taken the item back. When I e-mailed to point out this couldn't be the cast they then e-mailed to say the item had been damaged in shipping and so couldn't be sent to me. All of this was a tissue of lies. I have had to buy the item at a much higher price and will NEVER be dealing with this company again. They have cost me a great deal of money (I could have got the item at a price not much more than theirs at the time of ordering) and I now know they had no intention of sending it.
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on 30 May 2015
Great book thanks
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