The Penelopiad Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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"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."
"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.
Now that I'm dead I know everything --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Try this for a thoughtful but entertaining read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A clever retelling of the story of Penelope and Odysseus, from Penelope's perspective of course. The narrative moves between Hades, where Penelope currently resides, and the past,... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
I didn't know what to expect from this book but I'm so glad I bought it.
I love Margaret Atwood and don't think I've ever read one I didn't enjoy. Read more
Wonderful, love books based around mythology, please suggest more to me! Many thanks, MariaPublished 5 months ago by Maria Fallows
I enjoyed the idea of the Odyssey epic from Penelope's viewpoint and the language and imagery was interesting and at times arresting, but overall it was a lightweight read and had... Read morePublished 5 months ago by claudialogan
Myths develop as the stories pass through generations of telling - often getting more exaggerated. Atwood takes this truth and supposes that the tales told about Odysseus and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mr Terence E Prue
Great book ...cover received was not that which is displayed which was diappointing as the artwork by de Lempicka was what i wantedPublished 8 months ago by Sarah H