Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop now
Customer Review

14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and arrogant - opportunity missed, 10 Feb. 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lost Books of the Odyssey (Hardcover)
I loved The Odyssey when I read it many years ago as an eighteen year old, but have not returned to it since. So my knowledge of the exciting adventures of Odysseus was a bit blurry round the edges but I was not in total ignorance. However, I have to say that I found this acclaimed new book by Zachery Mason to be puzzling, confusing and arrogant.

On its jacket the book claims to be a `radical and thrilling renovation' of the classic ancient Greek tale, but it seems to be more of an attempt to dazzle the reader. We get the familiar stories of Odysseus for example being bewitched by the sound of the beautiful Sirens; and battling with the dual monsters of Scylla and Charybdis. Much of the book is about his home coming, after decades of wandering, to the islands of Ithaca, and to his wife Penelope, who has long given him up for dead.

But the chapters are muddled up chronologically, they tell the same stories differently in different parts of the book; and just end up being confusing. I struggled to stay with it right to the end, despite the chapters being in a reader friendly short format. Some of the stories Mason has reinterpreted from the original book, and some he has made up. To be honest I couldn't see what he was trying to achieve. Maybe you have to be a classical scholar to get it, rather than someone who just happens to love the classics. If so that is a great shame, as making classical literature accessible in today's age of instant gratification would be a very noble thing indeed to achieve.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 2 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Mar 2011 21:19:27 GMT
The Odyssey was a very malleable work originally, he's simply going back to it's roots and highlighting various areas of the work by his own takes.
I don't think you need to be a classical scholar to get this, but you really would want to be familiar with the Odyssey itself and the Illiad, as what Mason does is to play with the poem, stretching it here, reinterpreting it there to emphasise the underlying and unifying themes.
It's also not meant to be read as new translation or even linearly at all, each story stands on its own in the context of the greater works that envelope it.
I'll be honest, I love the Odyssey, its a brilliant work, I've read several translations, and I find this book to be a wonderful addition, it's dreamily good.

Posted on 20 Nov 2012 14:36:04 GMT
Ellie says:
I think you may have missed the point spectacularly.

Posted on 17 May 2013 09:03:14 BDT
KaleHawkwood says:
Yes, I do think the reviewer has missed the point. The author could be said to be `riffing` on Homer, as so many have since, including perhaps those who originally wrote down the `Odyssey` that has come down to us from the oral tales Homer told/sang - whoever Homer was!
I too love the Odyssey, but applaud variations on its theme such as this book of literary wonders.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

JuliaC
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: Manchester, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,530