Age Group: YA
Publishing Date: Well it was originally written around 750-650 BC and it really wasn't ever officially "published"
Summary: So to sum up a classic myth into a paragraph, Odysseus has washed up onto the shore and is now telling the story of his amazing quest. It started when he had to leave Ithica to go to Troy, to help win the war with the Trojan Horse. Then, he angers the gods, which cause him to have to take this incredibly long journey home. They go to all these stops where they meet some crazy gods. Such as the Lotus Eaters, who have addicting flowers that almost mess up Odysseus crew. Or giant, cannibal cyclops, which trap them in a cave which for some weird reason is full of cheese. If you don't like human eating cyclops, Odysseus also has to stop by the goddess of Circe and the land of the dead, which gets pretty crazy, especially when after that he has to float by sirens who's songs will hurt their crew AND THEN go by six-headed monsters who will eat six of their crew or go by Charybdis, who three times a day vomits her meal into a whirlpool, which sucks up and kills any human that sails by. Oh, and did I mention at every single island Odysseus gets in an affair...with everyone. This may be an old Greek myth, but make no mistake, this book is one for the ages.
What I Liked: Ok, so this may be slightly biased because I did have to read this for school. But that's something that I liked about this. These are the type of books teachers want you to read. These stories will get you brownie points with your teacher, and who doesn't love brownie points? This story also opened me up to mythology. See, if you know me, you know that there are two main genres I don't like: fantasy and mythology. But after reading this, I realized that mythology isn't all boring and lame, it actually gets really interesting. I mean this can easily compare to today's thrillers, and it was written more than two thousand years ago! I really did like the whole plot concept, especially because it stems from the main character involved in the Trojan Horse- a myth everybody knows. This "epic poem" is such a page turner, and while a lot of you would easily pick Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar (IT'S SO CLOSE TO COMING AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!) over The Odyssey, this is definitely a story you won't regret picking up.
What I didn't like: Ok, so greek mythology, for one thing, is definitely a different concept from a realistic fiction tale about a dog from Los Angelos. It has an interesting vibe which was, well, interesting but confusing at times. There were also a lot of high-greek influenced words, which, unless you are taking have taken greek, can get confusing to comprehend. And I'm going to be honest, there's a reason these are the types of books you see in school. Because the action comes once you read and more or less take a second to comprehend. It isn't a story that's going to say "The gun fired and Joe ran for his life" where the action is so blatant. You have to understand the situation, and then interpret it, before you get a real kick from it.
Rating on 'the scale': 8.4 out of ten
Why? Fun, and exciting read, but definitely wouldn't say this is an everyday type of story. If you like mythology and somehow haven't read this, this is your book! If you are new to mythology I would definitely suggest at least trying to read it. It's worth the trouble.
(This isn't the official cover (there are multiple variations of the story witht heir own covers) so I just picked the first one I saw.)