The Odyssey by Homer
The Odyssey is Homer’s epic of Odysseus’ 10-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus battles mystical creatures and faces the wrath of the gods, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus stave off suitors vying for Penelope’s hand and Ithaca’s throne long enough for Odysseus to return.
SUPER late in coming, but here is my review of the classic I read in June, The Odyssey!
This is another classic that I can’t believe it took me so long to read! I really enjoyed the storyline of The Odyssey, but I thought that Odysseus himself was a flawed character that made some questionable decisions.
My favorite part of this epic was Odysseus’ descriptions of the adventures he went on (which is also the part that I read in Latin so many years ago). While the story about how he was found and the descriptions of his endless wit were “interesting” I thought he came across as a bit of an arrogant twat in some of the scenes.
Admittedly, I read this to get a little more background on Circe before starting the new retelling of the story of the infamous witch by Madeline Miller, and I accomplished that.
Overall, this is a classic I believe everyone should read; however, I don’t think I’ll be picking this up again for a reread in the future.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey tells the story of Catherine Morland, a naive young woman whose perceptions of the world around her are greatly influenced by the romantic gothic novels to which she is addicted. When she moves to Bath she sees mystery and intrigue all around her. This is one of Austen’s early works, a broad comedy about learning to distinguish between fiction and reality.
Catherine Morland’s naïveté is certainly grating which, although slightly annoying after awhile, conveys the finer points of the satire Austen set out to tell. I often found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculous thoughts and actions experienced by Catherine that seem so natural in other more serious gothic novels.
Isabella was such a horrible, fake personal and friend to Catherine. The decisions and positions that she put herself (and Catherine) into were absolutely hilarious even as you wanted to scream at Catherine to SEE WHAT SHE IS REALLY DOING.
Henry was the sassy kind of love interest that I typically enjoy, although at some points he was a little condescending to the female characters. However, it’s important to note that the love story isn’t the focus or purpose of the book.
The cast of characters all contributed to the book feeling to me a lot like a high school soap opera/drama. Because of this, I feel like I would have appreciated this book a lot more in high school than I did now. Northanger Abbey was also more realistic with the love story than other of Austen’s books, which while refreshing I thought was kind of sad (I really do love a good love story).
Overall I did enjoy this book, but Persuasion still remains my favorite by Austen. As of right now, I’d put this in my third favorite spot behind Pride and Prejudice.
What’s your favorite Austen book?