- Publisher: Puffin Classics
- Format: Paperback | 144 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 10mm | 91g
- Publication date: 1 December 1997
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0140383093
- ISBN 13: 9780140383096
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Illustrations note: map
- Sales rank: 27,476
This is the epic journey of Odysseus, the hero of Ancient Greece...After ten years of war, Odysseus turns his back on Troy and sets sail for home. But his voyage takes another ten years and he must face many dangers - Polyphemus the greedy one-eyed giant, Scylla the six-headed sea monster and even the wrath of the gods themselves - before he is reunited with his wife and son. It is brilliantly retold by award-winning author, Geraldine McCaughrean.
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Born and educated in Enfield, North London, Geraldine McCaughrean is the youngest of three children. She worked at a London publishing house for ten years, and now works from home, in Berkshire. She has written around a hundred and sixty books, mostly for children. She has won numerous awards, including the Whitbread Book of the Year Children's Novel Award, The Guardian Prize, and the Carnegie Medal.
[Robert Fitzgerald s translation is] a masterpiece . . . An "Odyssey" worthy of the original. "The Nation" [Fitzgerald s" Odyssey" and "Iliad"] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase. "The Yale Review " [In] Robert Fitzgerald s translation . . . there is no anxious straining after mighty effects, but rather a constant readiness for what the occasion demands, a kind of Odyssean adequacy to the task in hand, and this line-by-line vigilance builds up into a completely credible imagined world. from the Introduction by Seamus Heaney"
A classic expertly retold, issued in a handsome, slightly oversize format with Ambrus's robust illustrations. The siege of Troy ends "in a flash of fire, a splash of blood and a trampling of horses," and Odysseus sets out on the journey home, little knowing how long and hazardous it will be. McCaughrean tells the tale in clear, semiformal prose, ornamented with poetic passages (". . .all those men who had answered the call to war and mustered from every island and shore of the O-round ocean. . .") and flashes of (often grisly) humor: " 'Mmm. Two eyes. Almost repulsive. But I won't let it put me off. Me, Polyphemus, I'll try anything once.' Reaching out, he picked up the fattest member of the crew and crammed him into that cavernous mouth." In Ambrus's full-page ink and watercolor illustrations (alternating with b&w), Odysseus stands boldly aboard his ship, encounters a series of lissome women (bare-breasted, in the case of the Sirens), and comes home at last to his stubbornly faithful wife, Penelope. The long passages in tiny type may intimidate some readers outwardly, but the adventure's timeless spell will soon draw them in. A fitting companion to Rosemary Sutcliff's Black Ships Before Troy (1993). (Kirkus Reviews)