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The Penelopiad

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ISBN13: 9781841957173
ISBN10: 1841957178
Condition: Student Owned
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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Telling the story of Homer's "Odyssey" from the point of view of Penelope and her 12 hanged maids, the bestselling author of "Oryx and Crake" draws on Greek mythology for Volume 2 in the Myths series.

Synopsis:

“Homers Odyssey is not the only version of the story. Mythic material was originally oral, and also local — a myth would be told one way in one place and quite differently in another. I have drawn on material other than the Odyssey, especially for the details of Penelopes parentage, her early life and marriage, and the scandalous rumors circulating about her. Ive chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesnt hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. Ive always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” — from Margaret Atwoods Foreword to The Penelopiad

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

emmejo, May 3, 2010 (view all comments by emmejo)
This book is the story of Odysseus's wife, Penelope. It goes from her childhood, through the events of The Odyssey from her point of view.

Told in a mixture of songs, poems, plays and prose with a lot of flashbacks and -forwards, this book has a tendency to get disjointed. The writing is good, but very passive. It is hard to get really drawn in and it takes work to follow the storyline. The main character felt vague and distanced, it was hard to really empathize with her. She was very timid about many things and despite the fact that it is likely more historically accurate, I wanted her to grow a backbone. On the other hand she seemed to have no problem whining at the reader as a ghost about how awful her life had been and verbally attacking the people who had wronged her in her lifetime. I felt like I was dealing with a split personality here.
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librarylapin, November 18, 2009 (view all comments by librarylapin)
I absolutely love Margaret Atwood's work and I love fictionalized recounting of women's stories so I was very happy to find this book. Unfortunately I was completely disappointed when I read it. Penelope seems almost shallow in this retelling with her simplistic perspective. I would expect a stronger, more potent, voice coming from Atwood. The character was very disappointing and I found the rivalry between her and Helen to be horribly stereotypical (beauty vs. intelligence). The story is fun and the poetry is wonderful so I would still recommend the read but don't expect Atwood's usually amazing quality of writing on this one.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Maya.Brandon, January 16, 2009 (view all comments by Maya.Brandon)
Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad is a distinctly fresh revisionist telling of a classic myth. She adeptly rights the wrongs from which Pallas Athena allowed Odysseus to escape blame. The feminist spin is both truthful and pointed as well as contemporary and comical. A wonderful pleasure read!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781841957173
Subtitle:
The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus
Author:
Atwood, Margaret Eleanor
Author:
Atwood, Margaret
Publisher:
Canongate U.S.
Subject:
Folklore
Subject:
Odysseus (Greek mythology)
Subject:
Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Penelope (Greek mythology)
Subject:
Fiction-Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Myths, The
Publication Date:
November 9, 2005
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in 11.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Penelopiad Used Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Canongate Books - English 9781841957173 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
“Homers Odyssey is not the only version of the story. Mythic material was originally oral, and also local — a myth would be told one way in one place and quite differently in another. I have drawn on material other than the Odyssey, especially for the details of Penelopes parentage, her early life and marriage, and the scandalous rumors circulating about her. Ive chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesnt hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. Ive always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” — from Margaret Atwoods Foreword to The Penelopiad
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