The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad

Audiobook CD - 2005
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In Homer s account in The Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and - curiously - twelve of her maids. In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged Maids, asking: "What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?" In Atwood s dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality - and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery."
Publisher: Grand Haven, MI : Brilliance, p2005
Edition: Library ed
ISBN: 9781423307785
Branch Call Number: COM Unabridged Fiction
Characteristics: 3 sound discs (3 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Merlington, Laural


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Dec 07, 2016

Perfect timing, I've just finished reading The Odyssey and this book obviously pairs well with that. I really liked Atwood's interpretation of Penelope and the twelve maids, it was a nice change from the obviously malecentric Odyssey story.

Nov 17, 2015

I rate this very highly (although I'm not sure I got the "star" system right.) The reader is very good, and so is the book. I find Atwood's sense of humor to be wickedly funny, with a lot of telling asides to the main story. Her take on the running of a royal household and the role of the gods is quite interesting. She's certainly good at giving a new perspective on heroic myths!


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