The Odyssey (Dramatised)

  • by Homer, Simon Armitage - dramatisation
  • Narrated by Tim McInnerny, Amanda Redman, full cast
  • 3 hrs and 49 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Audio Drama category at the Audies, 2009."My fame is written in the heavens, and my fate too..." So speaks Odysseus as he starts to recount his struggles to sail home to Ithaca, in one of the greatest pieces of storytelling in Western literature. The Odyssey is his incredible traveller's tale, and also the story of his faithful wife Penelope who waits for him, besieged by suitors, and their son Telemachus who has a quest of his own. In a 20-year journey, fabulous fantasy mixes with extraordinary reality as Odysseus encounters enchantresses, nymphs, monsters, prophets, and ghosts. From the temptations of the lotus flowers and the Sirens' song to the horrors of the Cyclops' cave and the Land of the Dead, the story of his encounters is riveting. We hear of Circe, who turned his men into swine; Calypso, who held Odysseus prisoner for seven years; and the dreadful six-headed monster Scylla who devoured some of his crew. And we hear of the Gods, who have a vital role to play... Dramatised by major contemporary poet Simon Armitage to celebrate the return of the Olympics to Athens, this full-cast production brings Odysseus's adventures to vivid life, conveying all the excitement, suspense, and poetry of the original. A stunning aural rollercoaster ride, The Odyssey will have your heart in your mouth and stir your soul.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good fun

I picked up this book rather randomly, more from a historical interest (the clues to what it was like to live in a time without news, electricity, the foggiest idea about evolution etc.) than for the story. And yet there were times when the story carried me away. Being of a similar age to Penelope and having a son not so unlike Telemachus, I could identify with the emotions of hubby and wife and son after 20 years of separation.
Narration. This is a performance, a dramatisation, not a book, and it is exactly what you would expect from the BBC. Professional, articulate, quality production.
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- Judy Corstjens

Between 'The Archers' & 'Hitchhiker's Guide...'!

BBC Dramatisations are funny things - they are often well produced, but the subject matter is either modern controversy-for-controversy's sake or an overwrought historical piece. Rarely do you get something that is skillfully acted, with a good story and that is a notable classic.

Happily, this Audiobook is all three, with the excellent Tim McInnerny (Captain Darling in 'Blackadder') as Odysseus, Amanda Redman as his long-suffering wife and many other well portrayed characters aside. The narrative flows well and creates convincing audio-landscapes which only go to prove that scenery is always better in your head!

My one criticism (to echo the 4 star reviewer 'Reeves') is the accuracy of the narrative. To make for an interesting story, the characters have been altered from what they should be, and the text itself (being a dramatisation) is not the same as the book. However, the story is fairly close to Homer's original intention, even if some of the narrative and personalities of the actors are a little different.

To conclude, this dramatisation is fantastic if you want to get a good impression of a classic story of the ancients. It is clearly no substitute for reading the real thing but, sometimes, things such as these can make subjects accessible to study, when previously they felt like swimming in treacle! I certainly have found this audiobook helped me appreciate a story that I would not have fathomed in other ways.
So, if you want some good listening for the car, then look no further than this book...
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- Tim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 15-04-2005
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited