Odysseus by Charles Rowan Beye
A Life

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From an acclaimed classicist comes a witty, unusual, and fascinating 'biography' of Homer's fictional Bronze Age hero, Odysseus veryone knows something about Odysseus: how he defeated the Trojans in a surprise attack with a massive wooden horse, wandered the Mediterranean seas for years trying to get home, confronted the Cyclops, and killed the suitors of his faithful wife Penelope back at his Ithaca palace. Odysseus turns up everywhere: Homer's epics The Iliad and The Odyssey, Tennyson's poem 'Ulysses' (the Roman name for Odysseus), Constantine Cavafy's Ithaca, and more. Even the Coen brothers based a film, O Brother Where Art Thou, on his voyage. But no one has chronicled Odysseus' life from start to finish-until now. In this entertaining 'biography,' Charles Beye fills out the story of this extraordinary figure, at the same time portraying Odysseus' evolution through the course of a strange and adventuresome life, at times so remote, at times so immediate in the contemporary perspective.

About Charles Rowan Beye

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Charles Rowan Beye is Professor of Clas­sics at Boston University.  John Gardner is a medieval scholar and major contemporary novelist.
Published February 11, 2004 by Hyperion. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Business & Economics, War. Non-fiction

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Early chapters covering less well-known events in Odysseus’ youth are particularly fascinating, but Beye’s accounts of the Trojan War, the hero’s ten years of wandering, and his return to Ithaca also benefit from the author’s formidable, yet lightly worn, erudition.

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Publishers Weekly

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Homer's Odyssey provides little in the way of a psychological portrait of its hero. Beye, a professor emeritus of classics at CUNY, takes up where Homer left

Dec 15 2003 | Read Full Review of Odysseus: A Life

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