Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lively and intelligent translation, 9 May 2009
This review is from: The Odyssey (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Let's assume that you already know the basics of the adventures of Odysseus, but want to get to grips with this great work of Greek literature in more depth. There are numerous translations available, so what are the benefits of this particular version? (Incidentally, don't forget that what this review is directed at is the translation - to review the epic in its original Greek would be somewhat presumptuous!)

Originally published in 1980, Walter Shewring's prose translation offers the educated reader a faithful but relatively easily readable journey through the many adventures of Odysseus, including his encounters with the enchantress Circe, the lure of the Sirens and his bloodthirsty escape from the cave of the Cyclops.

Some translations of the great classics are lumbering and cumbersome, but Shewring's work successfully retells Homer's ancient tale in tight but nevertheless thoughtful and inspiring language. A quick read it isn't, but it does pay the reader dividends for perseverance.

For a quick introduction to the major events in the life of Odysseus, you may wish to start off with Simon Armitage's verse adaptation of the Odyssey and then, having got your bearings, explore this landscape in greater depth.
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