The Odyssey

The OdysseyThe Odyssey. Gr 7 Up–Taking a world-famous epic poem and adapting it into a graphic-novel format for modern readers is certainly an enormous endeavor. But since Hinds already performed the same feat quite admirably with Beowulf (Candlewick, 2007) he has proven himself more than capable of the task. To sum up the classic story: Odysseus tries to get home after the Trojan War, but many obstacles are thrown in his way, and many people, creatures, and gods try to stop him. His men are loyal on the one hand, yet bad at following critical orders on the other, which results in even more delays. Meanwhile, his faithful wife Penelope waits for him while fending off scores of impatient suitors. Luckily for Odysseus, he does have a few supporters, including the goddess Athena. Hinds's beautiful watercolors skillfully capture the rosy-fingered dawn, the wine-dark sea, the land of the dead, and many other settings and characters that will inspire readers. This adaptation goes far above and beyond the “highlights” coverage that other versions such as Tim Mucci's The Odyssey (Sterling, 2010) provide.

Author: Gareth Hinds

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The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon. Indeed it is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature. It was probably composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek-speaking coastal region of what is now Turkey. The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his long journey home following the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres (Greek: Μνηστῆρες) or Proci, competing for Penelope's hand in marriage. It continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. The original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional performer), and was more likely intended to be sung than read. The details of the ancient oral performance, and the story's conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars. The Odyssey was written in a regionless poetic dialect of Greek and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter.
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