Ever since I was a child, the adventures of Odysseus have been some of my favorite stories. To me, Odysseus has been the perfect hero--brave, not always strong, but clever to a fault. And up to this point, that's all he was. But, after reading The Lost Books of the Odyssey, I discovered something else which could be added to that list: Odysseus is also profoundly human. And story after story confirms this, all while keeping his heroic status.
This is not a book you can read expecting one, long, continuous story. In fact, each chapter of this book is its own, separate, disjointed tale of Odysseus. And they have very little to do with each other. Some suggest that Achilles is the son of a god, some that he is a gollem made of clay. Either way, the story is amazing.
I wavered between a three out of five or a four of five for the final score of this piece. See, in the final quarter of the book, the stories start to really slow down. Tales which I tore through at the start start to labor and drag. No, they're not boring per se, but they are certainly not of the same caliber of the first stories. However, it was the final few tales which redeemed the collection, hence the higher score. The final story in particular, "Last Islands," while incredibly bittersweet, was a personal favorite of mine, and really tied up the collection well.
If you have an interest in Classical mythology, especially Odysseus's adventures in The Odyssey, then I recommend this book rather highly. For me, it was a magical transport back to the adventures I spent with my childhood friend. And I feel that I understood him on a deeper level this time around. It was a powerful and wonderful experience.
As I'm sure many of you know, Odysseus is perhaps my favorite literary figure. I know a few weeks ago, I had given this title to Mr. Arthur "Boo" Radley, but after reading more adventures of my dear friend Odysseus, I have finally remembered who my favorite really was. Ever since I was child, Odysseus has been a faithful companion to my adventures. I've had to read about him for three separate classes in addition to all the stories I had picked up from collections of Greco-Roman mythology...I nicknamed a previous love interest after him (I'm sure some of my older bloggers remember my "Odysseus" poetry?) I don't know what it is...I just really like Odysseus.
When I first picked up this collection, I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit concerned that it would not stand up to how I remembered things to be. But, in fact, it was much better than I thought. My hero leaped out of the pages, took me by the hand, and continued his old adventures just as I had always hoped he would. I was so happy. While it is not the best book I've ever read, I still have to say that it's a wonderful adaptation, and one which I would highly recommend :)