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A very good reading by Mr. Lee, who has a hint of Sean O'Connery in his voice at times. For these American ears, the slight British (I should say Scottish) accent does the trick in making me imagine the poetry of a hightened foreign language. The reading moves along at a fast enough clip to keep you focused on the action. And Lee doesn't overdo voices for different characters, so it is always Homer coming through. The only drawback was that I was looking for the Fitzgerald translation, as it is advertized, but it is actually the Samuel Butler prose translation. I'm not disappointed though: it took me a while to realize I was'nt even hearing poetry, Butler does such a good job with idiomatic repetitions ("child of dawn" for example) and a certain elevated style. He captures the dactylic hexameter, if I correctly recall the meter of the Greek, quite well, and, although he was writing this in the early 20th Century, again if my memory serves right, it reads very up-to-date. Butler, by the way, believed that the Odyssey was not written by Homer but by a young girl, hence the poem's focus on proper family life. This belief doesn't affect the translation.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent, strong reading of the Odyssey; but despite the blurb here, it is NOT the Robert Fitzgerald translation, but the Samuel Butler prose version (edited to replace the Roman names Butler used with their Greek originals). Five stars anyway for being well done, but you should know what you're getting.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
I first read the Odyssey thirty years ago on a bus journey from Cardiff to Sunderland via London which took over sixteen hours to complete and cost ?9.40 return (hence the via London bit). The great advantage was that I was able to read it in one sitting. Once you get over the endless strings of names and the very picaresque style, it is possible to enjoy The Odyssey as a good read in itself. However, the real beauty of this book is to marvel at the thought that Troy was destroyed in 1188 BC and that this huge work dates from around the 9th Century BC - and to consider the huge influence that it holds over all modern literature. Calypso, the Oxen of the Sun, Cyclops, Mentor, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis - are all here together with so much more that is familiar and yet strange. I first read this in order to get the inside edge on James Joyce - but on re-reading got so much more. Like all great works, it improves with age!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful