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Description

Acclaimed actress Claire Danes burnishes an epic story of heroes, gods, and monsters in a groundbreaking translation of The Odyssey, the first great adventure story in the Western literary tradition. When the wily warrior-king Odysseus sets off for home after the Trojan War, he doesn’t realize this simple undertaking will become a perilous journey of 10 years. Beset at every turn, he encounters obstacles, detours, and temptations—both supernatural and human—while his wife Penelope fends off would-be suitors desperate to take the throne.

Emily Wilson is the first woman to take on the daunting task of translating over 100,000 lines of a three-millennium-old poem from Ancient Greek to modern-day English. Her breathtaking rendition captures the poetic immediacy of the original text, while allowing listeners to experience The Odyssey with an honesty and directness few other versions have achieved. The result is a lean, fleet-footed translation that recaptures Homer’s “nimble gallop” and brings an ancient epic to new life. A fascinating introduction provides an informative overview of the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the major themes of the poem, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Emily Wilson (translation), Adrian Kitzinger (maps copyright) (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Odyssey

Notations
Global
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Interprétation
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Histoire
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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tad Davis
  • 28/01/2019

Much better than I originally thought

I'm including my original review below; a number of people were kind enough to mark it as helpful. But honesty requires me to say that additional listening — of this and of other readings of The Odyssey — has changed my mind about the narration by Clare Danes. I believe the reservations I expressed earlier were unfair, or at least stated too strongly. It's true that she doesn't give each character a distinctive voice, and also true that the narration, as opposed to the dialogue, proceeds in a narrow emotional register. The effect is one of listening to a memorized performance rather than a spontaneous story. But this is a stylistic choice. If it's a performance, it's at least a lively one, and if the characters don't have distinctive voices, Danes does vary pitch and speed and emotional tone for each. Following Odysseus’ successful revenge, there is no mistaking the crisp orders of Odysseus for the joyful cries of Eurycleia. If her Penelope sounds similar to her Telemachus, the increased softness of tone marks off her dialogue as efficiently as if Danes were working in full “impressionist” mode. The tight control that I sense in Danes’ voice is an effect of the verse she's reading, which is a tightly controlled five-beat line. Emily Wilson did it that way on purpose. And it really is a wonderful, vigorous translation, with at least one surprising (and surprisingly perfect) word choice on nearly every page. More so than in any other translation of the Odyssey I've read, Wilson makes it clear that we are visiting a rigidly hierarchical master/slave society. While there are things I wish Clare Danes had done differently, there is no disputing that she carries the pace forward through 12 hours of densely heroic action. Contrary to the opinion I expressed in my original review, I will most definitely be listening to this one again. Emily Wilson has mentioned on the Internet that she is working on a translation of The Iliad as well. It will take a few years. She has found that she can't simply apply the same techniques she worked out for The Odyssey: the poem is too different, and she's had to reinvent her whole approach. She's published one short passage, and it made my hair stand on end, so I'm really looking forward to her completing this project. *** Original Review *** This is a wonderful translation of The Odyssey, crackling with energy. I'm less taken with Claire Danes as the narrator, though. I like her as an actress, and in moments of high tension here, her voice quavers with emotion; but at times her reading emphasizes rhythm over passion. The rhythm is important: Emily Wilson’s decision to adhere to a steady five-beat line is one of the strengths of her translation. But in performance, it can result in occasional sing-song, and to my ears Claire Danes falls into this trap more often than I would like. I'm struggling a bit to find the right way to describe what I find unsatisfying about her performance. One of my favorite Homeric audiobooks (performed by Anthony Heald) sounds like a story recited around a campfire. And maybe that’s the difference. The best performances of Homer sound like a recitation; Danes sounds like she’s reading a story written by somebody else. Of course that's what she IS doing, like all the other narrators of Homer; but not all of them sound like it. She does grasp the punch and rapidity of the language, though. This is one of the most accessible and fast-paced performances of The Odyssey available. Wilson disciplined her language to match Homer’s line count, and the 24 books of the poem race by, for the most part, in 20-25 minutes each. And this is without undue hurry on Danes's part: her reading gives room for each word in each line to be heard distinctly. The approach of the translation means that the language is more compressed than in some versions; but there are epithets and wine-dark seas enough to satisfy those who want the occasional flavor of a more literal approach. For every odd word choice made by Wilson - Odysseus is described straight off as a “complicated” man - there are a dozen choices that illuminate and clarify. Wilson makes clear that the “servants” that populate the poem are really “slaves”; and she also makes clear that while some of the slave girls willingly sleep with the suitors, what is really going on most of the time is rape. This makes the fate of the dozen slave girls hanged by Telemachus even more poignant. It's definitely worth a listen, but it's not going to become my go-to audio version of The Odyssey.

146 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Terry
  • 21/12/2018

Narrator's Readings of Dialogue Overdone

Emily Wilson's superb translation presents The Odyssey in natural language. Claire Danes, the narrator, almost always presented dialogues in an exaggerated, unnatural way -- her characters often sound a bit manic when they speak. Her presentation of dialogue undermines the naturalness of the language in Wilson's translation.

48 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KSK5
  • 12/01/2019

excellent translation and performance

a translation with its greater use of vernacular Modern English worked very well. And her reading was done with considerable Feeling. a wonderful listening experience.

9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Beth In Brooklyn
  • 12/01/2019

Thrilling! (a page turner, if these were pages)

Claire Danes expertly modulates her voice and tone as she reads each character and situation. The new translation is so accessible as to be (at times) almost too casual and contemporary. Nonetheless, the story is told directly, understandably, and with humor and drama. I had to ration myself so that I didn't lie in bed listening to it for hours and hours.

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina H.
  • 14/02/2019

Don’t love the narration or the translation

I liked the clip, but once I started listening to the whole thing, I found the translation to be very repetitive. I also found the reading to be too stiff. I know it’s a “classic,” but it was a very dry reading. And such an exciting, action-packed story!

49 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reviewer in Stoneham
  • 27/01/2019

Wow, I love it.

I’ve wanted to re-read this since high school 30 years ago. Wow — am I glad I chose this. I bought the Audible AND the book to follow along. It’s amazing. The narrator’s voice is interesting and compelling; she clearly enjoyed this project. She is easy to listen to and very talented. Listen to the sample and watch the video then decide.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shofi
  • 09/01/2019

Perfect! Just perfect!

This is the best translation of The Odyssey IMHO because of its style. The story itself is a classic, everyone who have struggled or is struggling to achieve a goal knows or should know about the story of Odysseus. And this translation by Emily Wilson, this performance by Claire Danes, is the best way to know about him.

6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Boyle
  • 07/01/2019

Don't get swept up in the fancy revision.

Fagle's "Odyssey" was great, not my favorite...Butler's was fantastic. Came upon this and was pretty excited to give it a try as well. Undoubtedly not my cup of tea. Others may like it (which is fine) but please be warned that the narration is just so robotic and dry. Nothing against Claire Danes, but...it just doesn't work. Not only was the tone off-putting, but the translation was a bit too modern (which may sound strange to some). I've never found the Odyssey read so...inaccurately. It just felt really off. I'm a sucker for fancy book covers and art designs - so I enthusiastically (and foolishly) jumped headfirst into this as well. Also - is it necessary for 3 hours of "forewords and authors notes and translators notes, etc" before the actual story itself?

67 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Dixon
  • 12/12/2019

Lisping ragged reading

This is a feminist reinterpretation of the classic story. Ms Dane's reading is lisping, gravel-voiced and flat. It sounds like the first time she has read the material. It has been returned for credit.

5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • thriftyVAshopper
  • 04/02/2019

Interesting translation

translation at times was comical to imagine ancient Greeks using modern slang, it did however tell the story.

19 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Simon Bucher
  • Simon Bucher
  • 22/11/2020

A fantastic take on a timeless classic

Wonderful retelling of the age-old epic by the first female translator Emily Wilson. Claire Danes is a pleasure to listen to and makes the thirteen hours pass in no time.