So, true to my promise, I read the Odyssey.
‘That was fast!’ You say…
It was that good!
After a torturous five hours with the actual text, I decided, SparkNotes it is! So, for all you technical people, I didn’t read it. I understood it through fantastic summarizing.
Before you roll your eyes, I just want to defend myself and proclaim that I really tried.
After those five hours (when time moved glacially and I could feel my brain cells dying a little at a time), I said, OK, it’s tedious, and I’m practically where I began, but it’ll get good. This book has made it through decades! It has to get better!
Then I thought, ‘hey! I should just read a summary to charge myself up.’ It’ll prove to me that there’s better times to come.
On a side note, currently, I’m in a local Starbucks drinking a carmel latte. This cafe is so full that I’m literally elbow-to-elbow with two groups of people. The group on my left contains one energetic, one neutral and one sarcastic person brought together by Christianity. They are talking about how to convert people through more outreach, positive pop songs (namely Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are) and imbibing pop culture for the youth. I just thought I should share this.
Back to Odyssey. I guess.
So the summary itself put me to sleep. Why would I want to read a story of a guy falling into every temptation and overcoming it on repeat until he reunites with his wife? It’s ridiculous! Maybe it’s my fault. I expected drama. I expected heroes like Achilles. I expected something interesting. I can stand Odysseus (sometimes, with effort). But, I cannot tolerate his crew. All of them are unbearably idiotic. All that going back to ground zero! OMG. I would have just stayed at an island to escape them. Or, I don’t know, confined them to the ship where they couldn’t do damage after the first three times they screwed things up. Or throw them overboard and then follow. Just saying.
The characters are led (almost all), by their impediments. They are caricatures of human beings. Its like Homer decided to consider one key bad trait and then sketch out the character on that basis. Even Penelope, with her faith in Odysseus, strings the suitors along even though she could have just proclaimed some task that would take the suitors outside the palace where they couldn’t wreck havoc. Let’s not even talk about the whinny Telemachus. And oh yea, Athena, a God, takes part in everything without actually doing anything. Makes you wonder. Why can’t she just fix things already?!
I did like some of the imagination with the Giant and the flute, Calypso and when all the crew mates got turned into animals (wish they would’ve stayed that way!). My favorite part was when a tornado threatened the life of everyone on the ship. The possibility of everyone swirling in it makes me smile. 😀 😛
All in all, one ‘classic’ down. I think I’ll go to Ayn Rand Now, not exactly as old as the Odyssey but as far away from it as possible. Fountainhead! Hear I come.