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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic achievement
Since you ask me, you word-hungry Amazonians,
How I came solate in life to the end of a tale
That schoolchildren read in comic books,
A tale that is one of the sturdy legs
Of the table on which our culture rests
Since you ask, I will tell you, and gladly, too.
My journey started, though you grin in disbelief,
In ninth-grade Latin class,...
Published on 7 Oct 1997

versus
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Odyssey
This performance does justice neither to Ian McKellen, nor to the text; the reason? because it has been speeded up to reduce the time. Hence the notes made by other reviewers to the loss of the end of final consonants on some words. If you like speed reading, then this is for you - Penguin Audio squeeze Fagles unabridged translation into 11 hours. If on the other hand you...
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by The Jackal


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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic achievement, 7 Oct 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover)
Since you ask me, you word-hungry Amazonians,
How I came solate in life to the end of a tale
That schoolchildren read in comic books,
A tale that is one of the sturdy legs
Of the table on which our culture rests
Since you ask, I will tell you, and gladly, too.
My journey started, though you grin in disbelief,
In ninth-grade Latin class, where "Ulysses"
Duped the cyclops by calling himself "Nemo."
Then a deep sleep fell over me,
And I knew no more Homer, not in Greek or Latin
Or English or even the strange tongue
Of the network miniseries, while Sun
Drove his blazing chariot round Earth
One hundred hundred times.
In this sleep I wandered the world of letters,
Homerless but unable to avoid the homeric:
Achilles' heel, the Sirens' song,
Calypso, the Trojan Horse, and swinemaking Circe--
Crouched like Scylla, aswirl like Charybdis,
Threatening cultural death to epic ignorance.
At last I found my literary Tiresias,
The New York Times Book Review.
I shook from this seer the name Fagles,
And so guided, I made my way home at last,
Through a translation that rings of a heroic time,
A time when men were stronger and grander than we,
When women were more beautiful,
And when, granted, sexual equality wanted
A few millennia's labor;
But even so, a rendering as modern
As anything DeLillo, new god of the underworld,
Or the infinitely jesting Wallace
Can lay before us.
The best, in fine, of both worlds, an epic worthy
Of the blind bard and of his heroes, his heroines,
And the deathless denizens of Olympus.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Odyssey, 8 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Odyssey (Audio CD)
This performance does justice neither to Ian McKellen, nor to the text; the reason? because it has been speeded up to reduce the time. Hence the notes made by other reviewers to the loss of the end of final consonants on some words. If you like speed reading, then this is for you - Penguin Audio squeeze Fagles unabridged translation into 11 hours. If on the other hand you want to enjoy listening to this great masterpiece at a more leisurely or regular reading pace then you might want to try the unabridged Naxos version read by Anton Lessor in 12 hours 45 mins - bear in mind also that Fagles' translation uses more words and lines than do rival translations, so if Anton Lessor were to be reading Fagles' translation then it would probably take in excess of 13 hours. Another alternative is Derek Jacobi's reading of an abridged version of the Odyssey.

However the most authoritative translations of Homer are by Richmond Lattimore - sadly not as far as I know available in audio format. These are still the preferred translation in universities on both sides of the Atlantic, still unrivalled after 50+ years!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight niggle, 20 July 2010
By 
F. Merritt (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Audio CD)
This is a real delight; the text is clear without sounding trivial, and Sir Ian reads with great energy and conviction.

My only concern - and I hesitate to say this about one of our greatest actors - is that he tends to let his voice fade away before the end of the last word in a phrase or sentence: so 'He was astonished' becomes 'He was astoni'. Only once or twice has this actually stopped me from understanding the text - you usually get enough of the word to guess - but I find it distracting, as if you can never quite relax into the experience, because you are always listening out for the next vanishing syllable.

I would still heartily recommend the CDs, but I would be interested to know if anyone else finds this a problem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Odyssey never fails to excite, 31 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover)
Once again The Odyssey comes to life, in an athletic and supple new translation. While one might feel that a new translation could hardly change the book much, one should compare Fagles' translation to, say, William Bryant's. It is cleaner and fleeter of foot. One could also compare it to Alexander Pope's translation. Pope's meter and rhyming quatrains make it a slightly absurd and comic story.

But it is the story that truly carries through in each version. Odysseus' long trials at the hands of Poseidon are a cautionary tale of the dangers of hubris, as well as a testament to the power of perseverance. Odysseus' refusal to surrender, despite temptations and obstacles, is a powerful evocation of the power home and family have over a person. Even after twenty years apart, he yearns for Persephone, Ithaca, and his son. In this age of temporary marriages, constant relocations, and diminishing rootedness in community, such a tale comes as a shock, a glimpse of another way of living. Yet the shock awakens rather than pains, energizes rather than drains.

Also recommended: Omeros by Derek Walcott, The Iliad (trans. by Fagles), The Aeneid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant classic, 26 Feb 2014
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This is by far the best translation and lay-out of Homer's classic story. Brilliant working of the original meter and rhythms..
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Odyssey beats soap operas by a mile., 27 April 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover)
Anyone who is intrigued by stories of action and adventure will love The Odyssey. Robert Fagles translation keeps the poetry of the original Greek while rendering the story of Odysseus wandering journey home from the Trojan war and his son Telemachus' desperate search for his father into modern English. The wholesale slaughter that reunited father and son do to the suitors who have attempted to steal Odysseus' wife in his absence is far more exciting than any video or made for TV movie. The language is beautiful and brutal at the same time. The plot is vivid and exciting. The moral judgement rendered by Homer on men acting in selfish exploitation of others is the reward for taking the journey home with Odysseus.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Odd I Say!, 6 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover)
Is there someone to blame Homer's Odyssey? Without doubts, The Odyssey isn't a infantile poem, it is ideological, political and historical. We have nothing to regret the poet 'bout the art; but about his thinking (obviously a defender of men's power over women and the kings over common people), our critical judgment must overcome. We might always criticize the translator, that's natural, translations always hurt the original piece-of-art, even more when changes the song of the poet. it's excusable, knowing that many more people may witness the greatness of The poet Homer, because THIS IS THE STORY OF A MAN, A MAN WHO WAS NEVER AT A LOSS...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good modern translation, but mediocre sound quality impairs the reading., 1 Jun 2014
By 
>>> (Berlin, Rio, but mostly in Cloud Cuckoo Land (according to Grandad)..) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Audio CD)
A well read rendering of Homer (translator: Fagles), only the quality of the recording leaves a great deal to be desired. At times the sound becomes faint and almost inaudible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid new translation makes a classic story come alive., 29 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Odyssey (Hardcover)
Thanks to this translation of the Odyssey, I'm able to experience the story in an entirely new way. I particularly like the fresh manner in which Prof. Fagles uses active verbs, instead of passive constructions (such as previous translations that I read in college). The text is also more vivid: I find it to be evocative of Old English verse construction, but with a very clean modernist inflection. Reads with an immediacy that makes the narrative jump off the page, and heightens the lyricism of the poetry at the same time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Purchased to accompany a course of study, but still ..., 15 Aug 2014
By 
Cicero "johop" (Fort William, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Purchased to accompany a course of study, but still a "must" for students of mythology or Greek history, In it the reader follows the adventures of Odysseus on his way to the Trojan War and how he eventually found his way home after many trials and tribulations, it is also a "coming of age" story of his son, Telemachus, who over the course of the poem transitions from ineffectual youth to newly fledged adult mythical hero.
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The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
The Odyssey (Penguin Classics) by Homer (Paperback - 30 Nov 2006)
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