The Odyssey, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Homer's "The Odyssey" is an epic that has endured for thousands of years, and this "Penguin Classics" edition is translated by E.V.

Rieu, revised by D.C.H. Rieu, and contains an introduction by Peter Jones. The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan war forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature.

Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - from the witch Circe who turns his men into pigs, to the twin terrors of Scylla and Charybdis; from the stupefied Lotus-Eaters to the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon himself - Odysseus must test his bravery and native cunning to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely.

But the danger is no less severe in his native Ithaca, as Odysseus finds himself contending with the suitors who, in his absence, have begun to surround his wife Penelope...E.V.

Rieu's translation of "The Odyssey" was the first "Penguin Classic" to be published, and has itself achieved classic status.

For this edition, Rieu's text has been sensitively revised and a new introduction added to complement his original introduction.

Seven greek cities claim the honour of being the birthplace of Homer (c. 8th-7th century BC), the poet to whom the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey are attributed.

The "Iliad" is the oldest surviving work of Western literature, but the identity - or even the existence - of Homer himself is a complete mystery, with no reliable biographical information having survived.

If you enjoyed "The Odyssey", you might like Homer's "The Iliad", also available in "Penguin Classics". "One of the world's most vital tales..."The Odyssey" remains central to literature". (Malcolm Bradbury).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, glossary, index, map
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Poetry by individual poets
  • ISBN: 9780140449112



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Perhaps the proof of a classic is that upon reading it one says: I can see why that's a classic. Whether one man or a compilation of storytellers actually wrote this tale, it clearly does well in its role as the first epic and a fundamental tale of early Greece. The struggle is man against god and man against man. It brings out the relationships felt between the early Greeks and their gods in a way none of the shorter myths possibly can. I have always heard of strong parallels between Christian stories and the Greek myths, but have never seen the comparisons as strong as here. Odysseus plays the role first of David, condemned to wander and suffer one setback after another because of the disfavor of Poseidon. And yet upon his return to his own land, the analogy transfers to the role of Christ, with Odysseus returning at a time unknown, with his prophecying it, and clearing his house of the wooers of his bride. He also tests the nature of each man and maid, slaying those untrue to him. Other events of note: his entrapment with Calypso, his leaving and being cast to the shores of the land of Alcinous, the Cyclops, the Lotus-eaters, the men turned to swine, the visit to the edge of Hades (and speaking with relatives, friends, and foe), the Sirens, the return to his own land, his ruse as a beggar, and the slaying of the wooers.

Review by

This is a classic epic poem. Give it a chance!

Review by

if only circe had turned the men into <i>guinea pigs</i>...i might have liked this more

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