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The Penelopiad Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 3 pages
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook 3CD edition (1 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471226174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471226175
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.5 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,847,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The Penelopiad is a brilliant tour de force that takes an aspect of The Odyssey and opens up new vistas."
--"The National Post
"The Penelopiad is Atwood in top form."
--"The Montreal Gazette
"The Penelopiad is Atwood at her finest -- fierce and ambitious, clever and thoughtful by turns."
--"Ottawa Citizen

"From the Hardcover edition.

"Half-Dorothy Parker, half-Desperate Housewives." --"The Independent" (UK)

"By turns slyly funny and fiercely indignant, Ms. Atwood's imaginative, ingeniously constructed 'deconstruction' of the old tale reveals it in a new--and refreshingly different--light." --"The Washington Times"

"Here--at the outset of the twenty-first century, with everyone else looking forward with great intensity and hoping to predict what our mysterious future might bring--is Margaret Atwood, one of the most admired practi-tioners of the novel in North America, taking the measure of the old Odyssey itself with a steady gaze and asking the reader to follow forthwith, even as she coolly rewrites that oral epic from the point of view of the hero's wife." --Alan Cheuse, "Chicago Tribune"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Now that I'm dead I know everything --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Atwood is a shrewd and witty writer and this book shows her at the top of her form. She transmutes her unwieldy source material - Homer's Odyssey - into a playful, honestly felt exploration of the foundations of love and family. Here the heroic becomes human and the humdrum underpinnings of legend are exposed.

Penelope chafes against posterity and how it exemplifies her as the faithful, stay-at-home wife. She's not interested in being an archetype; she's remembering the awkward in-laws, her uncouth teenage son, Odysseus' stubby legs. Homer sings hymns to Odysseus and his wily ways; Atwood shows us what it's like to be married to a dishonest man. Helen of Troy is here too (she's Penelope's cousin) and she's just like you knew she really would be - vapid, catty, only real when reflected in a man's eyes.

Running beneath the humour is the story of everything that Penelope has lost: her home, her husband, her youth, her friends, her life, her truth. Our narrator is a weary shade, viewing the world from the dim, grey realm of Hades. But having left behind life, she's also left behind the illusions that go with it. Dead she might be but her vision is clear, her humour is bone-dry, and her story is full-blooded.

If you've read the Odyssey, this novel will mean all the more to you. If you haven't, it will inspire you to search out 3,000 year-old Greek epic poetry. Either way, treasure this book.
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Format: Paperback
A new twist to the tale of Odysseus for me, in the point of view of his clever and sly wife. About what she got up to whilst he was away and how she ran the kingdom and brought up their son. A light easy read, great for a holiday on the beach. The book is written in a subtle gossipy style and as long as you don't expect to be drawn into Odysseus epic journey you should enjoy this bok.
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Format: Paperback
The jacket blurb for this book is somewhat misleading. Whilst Penelope's intention is to set the record straight as to what really went on with the suitors whilst Odysseus is away, in fact Atwood cannot resist throwing some doubt in at the end as to whether Penelope is really telling the whole story or just trying to spin it. The notion of Penelope being as adapt a liar as Odysseus is fascinating, but is never explored in depth and in truth, whilst Atwood gives Penelope wit and intelligence, there is something about the way she speaks that is curiously anachronistic. Whilst you can explain some of this from the set up (she is in the Underworld, monitoring the world as time goes by), the fact that she is so familiar with using modern phraseology and slang does grate. I also found Penelope to be a strangely passive character and ironically, nowhere near as strong as I always saw her in The Odyssey because Atwood is careful to describe her isolation and lack of allies (apart from the twelve maids who we never really see her interact with). I found this to be frustrating because far from being someone who helps to shape her destiny (particularly by unpicking the shroud at night), she comes across as someone who's really just waiting to be rescued.

Atwood uses the maids as a chorus in the book to give their side of the story and also cast doubt on what Penelope is saying. She does this by writing in verse and whilst it's well written and amusing, it doesn't give them such a dramatic voice and whereas the effect should be to make you emphasise with their fate, I found it too superficial to do so.
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Format: Hardcover
In the Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood retells the familiar story of the Odyssey through the eyes of his long suffering wife Penelope.
Penelope is a strong voice throughout the narrative and is believable as the classical character. There is a pleasing cynicism about her attitude that is thoroughly modern but gives a timeless feel to this re-written myth.
Atwood uses poetry and song in interludes to add extra layers to the story in the form of a chorus of Penelope's slave girls - copying the style found in Greek tragedy. This works effectively for the majority of the book and is a clever take on an ancient form. I would have preferred her to stick to poems and songs rather than also adding a modern day court scene near the end and an anthropology lecture which I felt jarred with the rest of the book.
It seems that Atwood was keen to make the story 'relevant' to our times and she resorted to cliched means to do this at the end. This was a shame as the first 2/3 of the book is excellent and was already making me see resonances with the modern world.
I think it would have been a better read had she allowed it to be more subtle in its 'message' rather than spelling things out at the end as if the reader hadn't already thought 'there are lots of Odysseuses and Penelopes in our world today'.
A bit of a disappointment from one of the world's greatest writers.
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Format: Paperback
A knowledge of the classics is not essential for understanding or enjoying Atwood's adaptation of the Penelope myth. It's clear that the author thoroughly enjoyed herself, and Penelope radiates a humanity that is often missing from some of Atwood's earlier creations. This book is full of wit and humour as well as poetry. Some of the images will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

Try this for a thoughtful but entertaining read.
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