Lively, jaunty and sympathetic to the protagonists, this is an engaging introduction to the outlines of Odysseus's experiences in a dramatised format that would lend itself well to the classroom.
Odysseus does come across as an irritating sort of leader at points - but in the final section, he provides a satisfying comeuppance for all the rapacious suitors who've been harassing his wife. The relationship between Zeus and Athena is by turns amusing and touching, and there are some unexpectedly vivid characters, such as Queen Arete who is desperate to get Odysseus away from her family and consequently helps him on his way home.
Although in terms of poetic technique, theme and voice, I prefer Armitage's stand alone poetry, this is a fine addition to the poetic interpretations of Homer's great work. It is however, an entertainment rather than a full translation - if you're looking for that, Fagles would be your man, as Armitage himself acknowledges.
15 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?