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4.3 out of 5 stars101
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 December 2009
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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on 7 May 2011
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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on 27 January 2003
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. The regular descriptions of food and sacrifices to the gods can become dull and will not appeal to those who read for leisure, however, the antiquity of the writing means that The Odyssey is not only a story but also a piece of historic evidence showing how the ancient Greeks lived and what they believed.
As one of the earliest tales written it deserves a high place in anybody's to-read list. In a top 100 of the most important books ever written it would score very highly (top ten) and this is due to the historical rarity of writings of the time and also because it is an interesting, and in many places, exciting story. It is just a pity that the pace of the narrative often plods slowly along and is therefore quite difficult to get through at times.
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on 30 November 2015
I've got a very eclectic taste in reading e.get. I have just read all the Harry Potter books and I love Jilly Cooper, and many more, but I also love all the Classics. The Odyssey is fantastic. The first time is a bit heavy going but read it again and you pick up things you may have missed. A great read.
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on 29 September 2015
This edition is spoilt by quite a few typos - it may have been scanned and the OCR has not guessed correctly. A good proof reading is needed!

However, not having read any Pope for about 40 years, I found it much more readable than I remembered.
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on 25 January 2013
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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on 5 October 2015
I loved this book and followed it happily but felt there was something missing. I am studying the book at school and have the REAL copy which I find is much better as I can take notes and write in the margin so when I read again I have my notes which helps more thn it sounds. Apart from that all is good.
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on 21 April 2013
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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on 28 July 2014
It has been a long time since i read the Odyssey so i decided to download this version to recapture the magic.
It is a fairly good presentation of the work and i had no problem with the format for kindle fire.
The story is just as urgent as it must have been to the ancients when they first heard it, all the famous adventures and images not diminished by familiarity.
Overall i would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading and adventures. One of the first true Epics.
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on 30 June 2015
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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