Quite An Odyssey

Works of literature worth frothing over (or avoiding like the pox).

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Quite An Odyssey

Postby An Absent Humphrey » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:21 pm

I've just finished reading The Odyssey. Having previously finished The Iliad.
I haven't read either since doing A level Classical Studies - so quite some time.
Fucking brilliant. Really were. The Odyssey was the better of the two - the Iliad is just the story of someone throwing a two-week strop.
Anyway, if you haven't read The Odyssey before, or haven't read it for a long time, then I heartily recommend you make it your Christmas reading. Really really very good, and a reminder of what inspires us to play with little soldiers and roll funny shaped dice.
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby Clayface » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:24 pm

A Chaotic Humphrey wrote:the Iliad is just the story of someone throwing a two-week strop.


Heh :D

I am a voracious reader, and my dad collects old books, But I have never enjoyed reading old books. I hate Dickens. I hate Trolloppppe. I dislike all the 19thc Russians. I don't even like Jane Austen :oops:*

I have managed to avoid reading both the Illiad and The Odyssey. Now I only feel half as emabarrassed as I did previously, thanks to your excellent and incisive review. 'The Illiad? Nah, I heard it was shit, I will wait for the movie'

* and no of course I haven't read War and Peace. I HAVE read Paradise Lost
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby --- » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:45 pm

Thanks for that Humph 8)

Another one who has never read them before so will give it a go.

I have read War & Peace, however... it isn't high on the re-read list :(
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby Clayface » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:51 pm

Dags wrote:I have read War & Peace :(


honest? cross your heart?

My dad* got into a fist-fight at a posh dinner-party after the smug twat next to him started holding forth on all the books he had read, and dad demonstrated with a series of cunning questions that he was fibbing.

*My Dad is the KING of bullshitters, nowadays we are mostly safe*, but he used to tell us things when we were kids, and in all innocence we belived him, until we repeated the stuff he said to mates and got duffed up.

He said high heeled shoes make you taller even when you are sat down, that the Otley Chevin is pronouned Kevin, that Charles Dickens invented the Christmas tree.... oh so many things. And of course all the great FoaF stories he used to repeat as having happened to HIM - the neighbour's Rabbit story was a classic example.
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby --- » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:03 pm

Yep, honest. Made myself finish it - not an easy read (mostly down to the huge cast of characters all with similar and difficult to pronounce names)
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby An Absent Humphrey » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:27 pm

I've never read War & Peace either and, fortunately, I don't have to.
I have a well-read second hand copy on my book shelf that looks like I have read it, thus saving me the bother.

I HAVE read Ulysses by James Joyce. All of it. Yup, I'm that other person who has actually read the book. It is 'clever' (I suppose) but after a while the cleverness does grate. If you do want a bit of stream of consciousness then Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf is probably a more accessible and enjoyable attempt at it (and IS a very good book as well. I have a soft spot for Virginia Woolf).

Mind you, I haven't read The Aeniad, which I really should do, to round off my Trojan war marathon.
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby Clayface » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:21 pm

Here's a list of the books people claim to have read but haven't.

I am embarrassed to admit I have not read over half of them.

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Bible
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
5. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
6. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
12. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
14. The Odyssey by Homer
15. Ulysses by James Joyce
16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
18. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
19. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
21. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
22. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky








Random House / Via pinterest.com

What you think it’s about: Law and Order SVU set in the 19th century.

Why you should actually read it: Dostoevsky addresses the concept of morality and causes readers to wonder whether the end really does justify the means.





Correction: This article original stated that Madame Bovary is set in Russia, but it actually takes place in France.
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby An Absent Humphrey » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:54 pm

I've read most of them. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye...

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Read it and really like it. I don't like Dickens' novel except this one. His short stories are great. His drama is shit. There was a lot about Pip's life and experiences (not to mention where he's from) that struck a chord with me, that's why I think I like it so much - think I saw a lot of myself in it.
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Of course I've read it. I read it at school when the Spectrum game came out.
3. The Bible
Erm, read bits. I started reading it because I was looking for name inspiration for a role playing game. But I doubt I've read it all.
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Yup, read it. And bloody good it is too.
5. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Nope, not read it.
6. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Yeah, read it. I always thought I'd dislike Hemingway but I didn't/don't - I really like his books (but don't care much for him as a person). In Our Time is my favourite. That and The Sun Also Rises. Yeah, I'm a big Hemingway fan.
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Nope.
8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Yup. Didn't really like it. I wanted to like it, but I didn't.
9. 1984 by George Orwell
Big fat YES for this. I am a MAHOOSIVE Orwell fan. Prefer his reportage, but I have all the time in the world for Orwell.
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Yes. Not much to add.
11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
No.
12. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
I'm surprised this is on the list - I would've thought most people have read this.
13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Read most of it. Got distracted by something else, but didn't get round to finishing it off.
14. The Odyssey by Homer
Certainly have!
15. Ulysses by James Joyce
Yup, and that.
16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
There are not enough hours in my life to waste on a Jane Austen novel. They are all the same book with just the character names changed. I have read Northhanger Abbey though.
17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Yeah, read this. One of the few books that made me cry.
18. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Yup.
19. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Nope.
20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Surprised this is on the list. Anyone 'into' literature will have read this. Not exactly a long book. Really liked it when I first read it but when I re-read it all I wanted to do was smack the back of Holden's legs and tell him to sodding well grow up.
21. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Yeah, read this as well. It was OK.
22. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
I went through a bit of a Dostoevsky phase and read most of his stuff.
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby --- » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:55 pm

Read 5 on that list

The Hobbit, as a kid

Catcher 22 - loved it but hated, and couldn't finish, Closing Time
1984
W&P
Catcher in the rye (as a kid)

Plus a bit of the bible when I lived in Oslo and it was the only book in English :oops:

Catcher and Catch are due for a re-read but not bothered about the others
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Re: Quite An Odyssey

Postby Hastati » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:22 pm

Sane Max wrote:Here's a list of the books people claim to have read but haven't.

I am embarrassed to admit I have not read over half of them.

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Bible
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
5. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
6. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
12. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
14. The Odyssey by Homer
15. Ulysses by James Joyce
16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
18. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
19. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
21. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
22. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky


Hmm, I've read 2 (why the fuck would anyone lie about that one, its a quick, fun, read), 4 (a real slog, worse than War and Peace in my opinion), 7, 8 (great, great book), 9 (one of my all-time favourites, I reread it every couple of years as it is a quick read), 10, 11 (hard to read, but I have always liked the Napoleonic era so finished it), 12 (school read, hated it), 14 (and the Illiad), 18 (another school read, but a damn good book), 20 (yet another school read and worth it), and 21 (and another school one, but was bored by it). I suppose the prevalence of some of the American classics was doing high school in the US. I would say most people my age were forced to read those. I tried to read Ullyses a few years ago, but gave up. I have zero interest in the others on the list.
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