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The Odyssey (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; Unabridged edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260254
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Craig Nelson on 29 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I first read the Odyssey in a prose translation and found it dull and dreary and difficult to wade through.

This translation (George Chapman's)is a rendering of the Odyssey into Elizebethan verse. This might well put you off and it is most likely far from the most accurate or upto date of translations. There are plenty of more accurate renderings (e.g. Lattimore) or more readable modern ones (Fagles, Fitzgerald, Lombardo).

But in this translation you see some of the rare beauty of what English can do at the time when some of the greatest works of English were produced. The verse is truly flowing and enjoyable; the edition is with the modernised spelling which helps but of course the odd word is a bit obscure. Nevertheless a complete joy to read provided you know in advance what you're getting into and I can only be grateful to Wordsworth Editions for producing this so cheaply for many to enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By theone00 on 7 May 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a classic mid-Elizabethian translation of Homer's classic text. As a translation, Chapman's has become a critical version of itself, offering a wonderful example of Elizabethan verse (and an interesting contrast to the more widely known texts of the period). If you are looking for textual accuracy, you are looking in the wrong place, but it is a beautiful, lyrical translation that sets the timeless Journey firmly in Elizabethan Britain.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Alex Magpie on 27 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
I started reading this book already knowing the outline of Odessus's voyge back home after the battle of Troy through film, articles and reading a condensed version of the tale. I'm very glad I do have some fore-knowledge of the story as some parts of the book are quite ambiguous and confusing. The rich narrative of the text sometimes bogs the action down and it is quite easy to forget what exactly is happening.
The action though, when it comes, is exciting and often quite blood thirsty. The plot devices are also ingenious and completly ruthless in some cases- Odyssus is the only one of his party to arrive home after all his soldiers meet grusome deaths at the hands of his mortal enemies.
Possibly one of the most interesting things about the story is the way modern litrature and culture have frequently mirrored or refered to Homer's plot ideas (if you can say there's a plot, The Odyssey is written as a true story). The classic story of someone trying to return home against enormous odds has been used over and over often with subtle or not so subtle usage of Homer's myth. The images within the book of the sirens and the cyclopes are famous in their own right and it's amusing to see how they all fit into place in the larger scheme.
The split narrative of the story is very interesting as the tale of the journey home is sometimes told in hindsight or fore warning making the structure of the story jump. This seems very unusual in a book pre-twentieth century let alone cica 700BC!
Some parts of the book are repetative, steeped in unecessary narrative and are confusing.
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I'm not too well-read in the classics, but I can say for sure that Homer's 'Odyssey' will be a favourite, no matter how many of the timeless novels I read! At first, I was thinking that the novel was a little heavy (not literally!) for casual reading, but after familiarising myself with the characters (there aren't too many to learn), I found that it read as smoothly as many 20th century books.
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I was impressed by the fast delivery and the product, but the language was much more difficult than I expected. Of course, this is nothing to do with the seller but I would not recommend this version to first time readers.
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This is a wonderful edition with clear notes and an excellent introduction. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone feeling jaded with modern writing. Excellent.
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By MC on 25 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great product and super fast delivery. The books arrived safely and were very cheap considering their quality. This is definitely a 5 star purchase.
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This book is very difficult to read, owing to the poem format, but a great story nonetheless. You can't really complain at this price.
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