Anyway, Ness happened to have The Odyssey in her bag, so when I came back from grabbing some lunch and she was taking a nap, I figured I may as well do some reading. And somehow, "some reading" turned into 250 pages. And obviously, I ended up pilfering it from her so that I could finish it.
It wasn't what I was expecting. For some reason, I'd always thought that The Iliad was the story of the Trojan War and The Odyssey was the story of Odysseus getting home from Troy. But it was more like equal parts what happened in Ithaca while he was away, what happened on his journey home, and what happened when he REACHED home. I had to translate small, basic chunks of it when I did Ancient Greek in first year uni and it always struck me as enormously dull. But I ended up really enjoying it.
I struggled a little at first because the edition I was reading used direct translations of the Greek names, rather than the Anglicised spellings I expected, so it took me a little while to get used to seeing Circe written as Kirke, or Klytemnaistra instead of Clytemnestra, or Akhilleus instead of Achilles. But once I got used to that, it flowed nicely and was pretty easy reading.
The biggest problem for me is that Odysseus is kind of a douchebag a lot of the time. I mean, the guy comes home after 20 years away, and then spends a bunch of time lurking around in disguise to ascertain whether his wife has been faithful to him. Which, gross. And it's not just his wife. He lurks around in disguise to establish how his son feels, how his father feels, how his servants feel. And then he's all "SURPRISE, IT'S ME!!!". Dick move, Odysseus. Dick move.
BUT. Despite Odysseus' asshattery and some "Wait, is this person who I think they are?" issues over spellings and a few repetitive phrases (I swear, if I read about Dawn's rosy fingers stretching over the horizon one more time, I was going to scream), I found myself really enjoying it. There are stories in there that everyone knows in some form or another - the Cyclops, the Sirens, Circe turning Odysseus' men into pigs. Stories that remain compelling and fascinating thousands of years after they were first told. There's a reason these stories are classics, there really is.
Have you read The Odyssey? What did you think?