The Odyssey: A Dramatic Retelling of Homer’s Epic, by Simon Armitage


Another bargain-table find, this book was developed as a radio script and read on the BBC (where else??) in the summer of 2004.  (Note: the link takes you to the BBC page, but the play doesn’t seem to be available.)  I doubt that anyone who really loves the Odyssey will find much to love in this script, other than a few isolated passages of poetry.  As many of you know, I have my own interpretation, which would never come through in this adaptation.  Although Armitage acknowledges “taking a few liberties,” I’d say what he leaves out is more telling: the prophecy of Tireseas about planting the oar, the reunion with Laertes, the whole reconciliation at the end.  No doubt made for exciting radio drama–ironically, since the Odyssey was originally meant to be heard–but I’ll stick with the written version.

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