Read The Essential Odyssey by Homer Sheila Murnaghan Stanley Lombardo Online


This generous abridgment of Stanley Lombardo's translation of the Odyssey offers more than half of the epic, including all of its best-known episodes and finest poetry, while providing concise summaries for omitted books and passages. Sheila Murnaghan's Introduction, a shortened version of her essay for the unabridged edition, is ideal for readers new to this remarkable taThis generous abridgment of Stanley Lombardo's translation of the Odyssey offers more than half of the epic, including all of its best-known episodes and finest poetry, while providing concise summaries for omitted books and passages. Sheila Murnaghan's Introduction, a shortened version of her essay for the unabridged edition, is ideal for readers new to this remarkable tale of the homecoming of Odysseus....

Title : The Essential Odyssey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780872208995
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Essential Odyssey Reviews

  • Joanie
    2019-03-25 00:51

    Obviously, I am not rating The Odyssey three stars, but I bought this copy as it was the required text for a class, and I was pretty disappointed in it. It is significantly abridged, and I almost never choose to read abridged texts. I certainly do not understand some of the choices Lombardo made in his abridgement; he left out some scenes I would really have liked to have read. This text also suffers from having absolutely no contextual or translation notes, so it is certainly below my standard of translation requirements. That said, the translation itself was engaging and very readable, if slightly too modernized for my tastes.

  • H
    2019-03-03 07:23

    A mediocre translation. Pentameter was a good choice but the rhythm itself is clunky and the modern idiom inane at best. I'd like to read the Greek myself one day and see if the redundant Homeric epithets "godlike" and "winged words" and "grey-eyed" are any better in the original. In any case, this was a quicker read than Robert Fagle's hexameter and overabundance of articles to fulfill syllable counts.Magnificent re-experiencing the epic, though. In basic narratology, so little has changed since Homer. As an anthropological document alone, so much is preserved here: the culture of hospitality; the centrifugal nature of fame as identity; oral storytelling as imperative, salubrious, and munificent to daily life (I suspect the repetition of stories is due to the epic's length aloud); gender relations; and of course the gods. That the gods are not omnipotent, only partially involved in our affairs, subject to fate's boundaries as much as us, and will often disguise themselves to test our virtue, is a compelling mode of being. What's curious to me is Athena's testiness and her human dependents' frequent lack of faith. She appears all-powerful in her involvement but is as officious as a jealous lover. But without the gods' presence, I don't think this would read nearly as much as a journey of proving redemption and justice. (cf. Milton's "to justifie the ways of God to Man")I enjoyed recognizing the passage at the end of Book Five, previously described to me as one of Frost's favorite metaphors. Odysseus, tossed on the shore of the Phaeacians, wraps olive leaves around him as a blanket, like a charred log one hides in embers to keep its flame alive. Frost called it a perfect metaphor because it carried through to the very end: Odysseus dissembling weakness in the whole latter half of the epic, banking his rage until it was time to throw off his rags and slay the suitors in a conflagration as it were.

  • Aggie
    2019-02-26 02:39

    Once you've read The Odyssey once, you probably never really need to read it again. I had to read this once before for school and this second time around, it just felt stale and repetitive. Perhaps it's my own personal bias against it, but in my opinion a really great epic should be new and exciting each time it's read. Let it be known part of my bias is reduced to the fact I rushed about 300 pages into 3 days, without much time to think about enjoying it. Regardless, wasn't very impressed.

  • Armand
    2019-02-27 04:28

    This particular translation of the Odyssey (by Stanley Lombardo)is just wonderful because it's so accessible. This abridged version (it's still 250 pages) allows him to skip some of more extraneous chapters and stick with the meat of the story. His choice of language is also great because is able to use straightforward language that is easily accessible while maintaining the classical feel of the story. Not an easy task but he pulls it off in (in his own words)..."In the tradition of American poetry; emphasizing on the physicality, rapidity and suppleness of verse"with"...rhythms and language drawn from natural speech..."I have to admit, I chose the Odyssey because I want to read more of the great classics. I half-expected to be bored and to force myself to wade through the text. In the case of this translation, I was not.

  • Ainsley Dobson
    2019-03-21 01:29

    4.5 out of 5 starsI really love the Odyssey in its original epic poem form, and it's one of my favorite books of all time, so I knew that I was going to like this one at the very least. And I did, the story was as entertaining and interesting as ever, but I can't give it a five star rating because, unfortunately, I hated the way that the author translated this. It felt like a really awkward mix between Old English and New English, and those two just don't mix well. The awkward wording just didn't really sit with me well while reading this, but I can't give it a three stars because I do really love this story, just not all of the wording.

  • Christopher Yi
    2019-03-09 02:43

    The translation was rather modern. Very interesting, almost like reading the NIV compared the King James. Easier to understand, sometimes a little less poetic. But, better translating than I could have done.But yes, it's the classic tale of brave Odysseus who conquered the oceans and outwitted those braggart suitors! Everybody should read this tale once they are older than 18. A great lesson in manners and hospitality. Given, the exact way to carry out hospitality is ancient, we should apply much from them.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-03 02:48

    I had never read the full text of The Odyssey, only excerpts, so it was time to "read" the whole thing. Thanks to the wonderful Classics and the Western Canon group on Goodreads for the learned, thought-provoking discussion throughout. I listened to the Lombardo audio version--Lombardo is not only the translator in this case, but also the reader, and an excellent one at that. This poem was, of course, meant to be heard, and I think my experience of it was much better for the listening, and for the group read.

  • Bailey
    2019-03-15 05:46

    The Odyssey definitly had it's educational benfactors, and it also had it's funny moments. I liked it enough to finish it, and did like the all over big picture. My favorite parts would be discussing it, and argueing about it! That was a true laugh, discussing it with my english class! So I think 3 stars is justified. O I would like to add I finished it a while back, but I just havn't updated my account in a while! :)

  • Rena
    2019-03-22 00:35

    I liked the Odyssey much more than the Illiad. I guess the adventure of the story was much more appealing than the rage and war of the Illiad. And I very much like Penelope and her character in all of this. I just found this more enjoyable.

  • Neocortext
    2019-03-09 01:27

    Much to my surprise, I liked this translation. It keeps a modern English tone without devolving into anachronisms. It does sacrifice the so-called musicality of some of the older translations, but I think the trade-off is warranted.

  • Alice
    2019-03-25 05:46

    Love this translation. It actually approaches the idea that Homer was meant for a popular audience. If you are looking to appreciate the actual story-telling abilities of Homer and are not a classics nut, try this.

  • Amanda Moore
    2019-03-20 04:46

    I have taught The Odyssey many times before and tend to prefer Fitzgerald's translation. Lombardo's is clean and simple, very straightforward. I miss some of the license other translations run with to create feeling as well as meaning, but this is a great text for 9th graders.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-01 04:45

    Read this along with my son for his 9th grade English class. Had only read parts of it before. This translation was very readable (although the exact book is not in the database - the one we read was not abridged).

  • Bill
    2019-03-02 23:45

    It's Homer! The epic is foundational for Western Civilization as a good read in any case. I'm no expert on translations, but I found the Lombardo version colorful and readable.

  • Alexiswelch
    2019-03-16 01:28

    I didn't like this book at all. If I was reading it on my own, I would've put it down after chapter one. It doesn't intrigue me at all, and I really don't like Odysseus. He is just annoying.

  • Christine Bettis
    2019-02-24 04:52

    This translation is a must.

  • Amy
    2019-03-08 02:51

    This translation is sooooooooooooo good. Better by far than any other of sampled. I also got to hear Lombardo read from it live. THAT was awesome.

  • Rebecca Ashkenazy
    2019-02-28 06:30


  • Andrea Lakly
    2019-03-10 03:25

    I'm so glad I've found these new translations of old favorites. They breathe new life into the stories. I plan on finding a way to teach them soon!

  • Robert Bickers
    2019-03-14 03:40

    This translation has a few curious linguistic quirks that yank me out from time to time, but the tale remains the same.

  • Autumn Cook
    2019-03-15 02:37

    This is book was much better than The Iliad, but it was a little hard to comprehend

  • Katherine
    2019-03-19 00:30

    I liked this book, but it moved too slow and it was too wordy. I have read better translations. I would like to read the original greek, unfortunately I don't speak greek.

  • Parker
    2019-03-20 06:35

    Actually pretty good, better than I thought!