Наслаждайтесь миллионами электронных книг, аудиокниг, журналов и других видов контента

Только $11.99 в месяц после пробной версии. Можно отменить в любое время.

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

Написано Margaret Atwood

Озвучено Laural Merlington


The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

Написано Margaret Atwood

Озвучено Laural Merlington

оценки:
4/5 (131 оценки)
Длина:
3 часа
Издатель:
Издано:
21 окт. 2005 г.
ISBN:
9781423307815
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

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.
Издатель:
Издано:
21 окт. 2005 г.
ISBN:
9781423307815
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Об авторе

Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays and graphic novels. Dearly, her first collection of poetry in more than a decade, was published in November 2020. Her latest novel, The Testaments, is a co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize. It is the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series. Her other works of fiction include Cat’s Eye, finalist for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; the MaddAddam Trilogy; and Hag-Seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. She lives in Toronto.


Связано с The Penelopiad

Похожие Аудиокниги

Похожие статьи


Обзоры

Что люди думают о The Penelopiad

3.9
131 оценки / 81 Обзоры
Ваше мнение?
Рейтинг: 0 из 5 звезд

Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    Read beautifully, but this I'd really like to see and savor on the page.
  • (5/5)
    The Penelopiad is Margaret Atwood’s take on the story of Odysseus and his wife Penelope, but from the perspective of Penelope. It was a fabulous recreation of the Odyssey, with a slightly modern twist. I like how Penelope explains how Odysseus’s famous exploits could have been explained by myths, or could have been normal but exaggerated experiences. It kind of reminded me of The Liars’ Gospel in that way, making you think about whether or not the Greek mythology (or Jesus’s legend, if we’re talking about The Liars’ Gospel) is truth or situations that were created. I highly recommend if you enjoyed The Liars’ Gospel and/or The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller!Thanks for reading,Rebecca @ Love at First Book
  • (4/5)
    A fairly short book, but it's not without incident or interest. it's a retelling of the Odyssey, but done from Penelope's position. She's the one recorded as being faithful and wifely and doing a lot of weaving. But she's a lot more sassy than that image might suggest in this version. Told from the standpoint of having been dead for 3 millennia or so, she's rather dry and somewhat cynical about the claims of Odysseus, seeing him for what he was, rather than the epic her o that homer created. I liked the way that his exploits were reported to her in two way, one epic and the other somewhat sordid, one involving great deeds, the other tavern bills and brothels. It's not necessarily a happy ending, seems to me that, despite all her cynicism, Penelope would quite like to be able to just settle down with Odysseus, but he has a problem with the maids and a spot on wanderlust (which afflicts him even when dead). It is, however a good fun read and I enjoyed it.
  • (2/5)
    I liked this well enough as a quick, easy read, but for me it didn't go deep enough into anything to really be interesting. That might be because I've studied the Odyssey pretty exhaustively.
  • (4/5)
    A great opposite POV to the Greek myth. Possibly equally as biased as the first, but if you put the two together, you get a good "he said, she said" story to interpret for yourself.

    And this one is much easier to read than the original! It's shorter! (And feels less like BS)
  • (4/5)
    retelling of myth of Penelope & Odysseus told through penelope's voice. loved the sharp female character.
  • (4/5)
    Lent out to Marissa!
  • (3/5)
    The story of a wronged wife in first person - snide, bitchy, & sometimes grating. For all Penelope's discontent and claims that Odysseus is a liar and a cheat, she always seems to give him the benefit of the doubt. The chouruses were probably the most enjoyable part of the book and provide an interesting counterpoint to Penelope's narration.
  • (4/5)
    Everyone knows Odysseus' version of things, but what about his ever-faithful wife, Penelope? What does the good wife have to say for herself?A quick but brilliant read. Atwood creates a rich voice for Penelope as she recounts her life in a way that reframes her existence outside of that of her husband. Interspersed with Penelope's narrative are interjections from a chorus made up of the twelve maids who Odysseus had killed for colluding with the suitors. These often more poetic turns provide a different perspective again on the tale Penelope weaves. An intriguing exploration of a woman who in the original source text only matters in relation to her husband, Atwood creates a complex woman who remains an enigma even in her own tale.
  • (3/5)
    This has been my introduction to Atwood and I have to admit that I feel slightly underwhelmed. I went in with high expectations, wondering how Atwood will take the 'waiting widow' of The Odyssey and transform it into a full length novel. Turns out that she mostly indulges in recapitulating the bulk of the original with a few wild theories and speculations thrown in as supposed rumors that Penelope has gleaned in the after-life.Which brings me to how the story is constructed and this happens to be the high water mark for this novel. Atwood starts with Penelope addressing us from the other side of River Styx, reaching us through the mysterious sounds of the night and the barks and hoots of unseen animals. Penelope has grown bold since her death and is no longer the meek woman we saw in the original but a bold one who doesn't mind speaking her mind and spilling a few uncomfortable beans.Penelope subjects all the popular characters of the odyssey to scrutiny but reserves a special attention for Odysseus, Telemachus and Helen. She convinces us with case-by-case analysis that Odysseus was no hero - he was a lying and conniving manipulator of men who never uttered one truthful word in his life. She talks of rumors that told her of what his real adventures were, stripped of the trappings of myth. Telemachus becomes a petulant teenager full of rebellion against his mother and Helen becomes the ultimate shrew, seductress and a femme fatale of sorts.But the story that Atwood really wants to tell is not of Penelope, that story is hardly changed except to assert speculations on the original text whether Penelope really saw through Odysseus disguise or not. What if she did? It hardly changed the story.The real twist, and the only reason to take up this book is to see Atwood's exploration and reinvention of the twelve maids who were killed by Odysseus in punishment for betraying him by sleeping with the suitors. These twelve girls are the Chorus in this book and appear every now and then playing a baroque accompaniment to the text and giving us new perspectives on their story. This carries on until Penelope herself reveals to us that they were never betraying Odysseus, she had asked them herself to get acquainted with the suitors to get obtain information for her. They had never betrayed Odysseus or his kingdom. So their murder was just that - murder. This was Atwood's plot twist and her intended question was about the morality of this 'honor killing' as she calls the hanging of the slaves, which, she confesses in the foreword, used to haunt her when she was young - 'Why were they killed?', she used to ask herself and tries to present their case in this modernized version (which even includes a 23rd century trial of Odysseus).In the end though, the reader hardly gets anything beyond these idle speculations and supplemental myths and small factoids like how Helen was really Penelope's cousin and that they have to eat flowers in Hades. Even the main point of the book, about the dead maids, too ignores the fact that Odysseus genuinely seems to believe that they betrayed him by helping the suitors in various ways and hence it becomes as question of misinformation than morality and the blame will fall back on the shoulders of Penelope herself, rendering this whole exercise moot. Just go read the original again; the short hops of imagination that Atwood has taken in this retelling can easily be overtaken by the leaps you might make yourself in a re-reading that you might treat yourself to on a leisurely sunday afternoon - and those will surely be more impressive as well as intellectually more rewarding.
  • (4/5)
    “Now that I am dead, I know everything.”My first foray into Atwood (planned as part of Advent with Atwood) was the simplest of hers that I own – a retelling of The Odyssey from Penelope’s point of view. Atwood imagines Penelope in the Underworld thousands of years later (in our modern day), telling the story of her life, with interjections from a Greek tragedy-style chorus. Penelope airs her thoughts on her cousin Helen, the gods’ fickle and mischievous interventions in human life, and sets us straight on some parts of her story. It’s not a long novel, with barely 200 small pages of largish print.While there were certain aspects of the myth that I had forgotten (Odysseus’ long stay with Calypso being one of them) and others that I did not know as they were a little gruesome for the children’s book of Greek myths I read as a child (the hanging of the twelve young maids), the story was mostly familiar to me. Atwood throws in asides and remarks which reference other myths or characters from the myths, such as Clytemnestra, which make the reader quite smug with recognising them!Atwood’s characterisation of both Penelope and Odysseus is consistent with my memory of the myth – both wily, fairly quiet, greatly in love and never forgetting a grudge. Penelope’s father is set up as a buffoon and Eurycleia as a meddling but loving old crony. A suspenseful ending was always going to be prohibited by the widespread knowledge of the story, but the dread and fear as the suitors eat up more and more of Penelope’s resources is real.Somehow there’s not much to say about this. It’s faithful to the original although clever and witty in its own capacity; the characters started by Homer are consistently and congruously transferred, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I read the first hundred pages without interruption; it is perhaps the fact that I was returning to it rather than already being engrossed that made me feel the second half was weaker. In any case, the whole thing is a very quick read as it is both short and captivating.
  • (3/5)
    The Canongate Myths series is a series of books written by some of the most amazing authors of our time, with each writer doing their own take on a classic myth. I've been planning to read some of the books in the series for a while and snagged a copy of The Penelopiad at one of the Borders going-out-of-business sales. The Penelopiad is Margaret Atwood's take on the story of Penelope, Odysseus's long-suffering and faithful wife from Homer's epic. Penelope is the constant wife who waits for Odysseus's return from the Trojan War. In the original story, she fends off over a hundred suitors, who move into her palace as unwelcome guests, until his return. Odysseus returns to his home years after fighting in the Trojan War, kills the suitors, and hangs 12 of Penelope's maids. Margaret Atwood's take on the story is told through the eyes of Penelope and the 12 slain maids. The chapters alternate between Penelope's story and the chorus of maids providing backdrop to her actions. In this retelling, the reason for the deaths of the maids is revealed, and we see the story through Penelope's flashbacks to her own version of what happened in Odysseus's absence -- when the story starts, she is already in the Underworld, dodging what is left of the suitors and her rival, Helen of Troy. I thought that Margaret Atwood's take on Penelope's story was pretty well-done; it was an entertaining and quick read. Penelope's voice was witty and, while not as strong as I had hoped she would be, Penelope herself was an entertaining character. I actually enjoyed the chapters from the chorus line of maids even better than Penelope's chapters. This is the first of Atwood's novels that I've read and I'm guessing it's nowhere near her best; I probably wouldn't re-read this one, but I'll definitely be reading her others, as the writing was very good.
  • (3/5)
    A clever retelling of the Penelope and Odysseus/Ulysses myth, told in retrospect from the perspective of the faithful wife and her twelve maids. I wanted to read the story without turning to Homer's Odyssey, and Margaret Atwood's fresh insight into the character relayed the basic details - Helen of Troy, the suitors, weaving - quickly, simply and of course pointedly (with a feminist take on the original myth). I might eventually get around to reading The Odyssey, though, just to compare!
  • (3/5)
    Ingenious, and nicely put-together, but a bit less substantial than I expected. Would probably make a good radio play.
  • (4/5)
    A retelling of the myth of Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, from Penelope’s own point of view. All I can really say about this is that it’s exactly what you would expect a Margaret Atwood retelling of the myth of Penelope to be. *Exactly.*
  • (3/5)
    I thought that this book was actually pretty good. I first started with Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale" and I hated that book. I literally couldn't finishe the last 1/3 of the book I hated it so much. I still question why she's considered such a great writer, even in this novel I wouldn't count her as that good of a novelist.I liked the concept of this book. Greek and Roman Mythology is much better then her previous concept of extreme feminism. I know people want me to read Blind Assassin, but I really can't stand to read another one of her books.
  • (3/5)
    I like Margaret Atwood, but this was over before it really began, and needed probably half its length again to really get into the meat of the Odysseus myth. Was there a word limit?
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this alternative version of the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, Penelope is almost invisible, but she is a very real woman in this book. Her voice is a pleasant one, and the intermezzo's with her maids are entertaining. This book is a quick and easy read and I recommend it to all Atwood fans.
  • (5/5)
    Enjoyed this feminist version of the Illiad. Nice to hear Penelope's version for a change. Need/want to reread to understand more fully.
  • (1/5)
    This is the first book I read by Margaret Atwood and, frankly, I was perplexed. Is this really written by a best selling, well known 21st century novelist? Is this really the best she can do? What on Earth do people see in this stuff!Those are the kinds of questions I asked myself. In answer to those questions: Yes, she is a best selling, well known 21st century novelist. No, this is probably not the best she can do. And I don't expect people see very much in this particular novel.In short, the book was very simple. Main character Penelope was very...singly faceted. She had no depth, and the whole book felt like she was trying to justify herself when, according to the story, she didn't actually do anything wrong. She justifies that she's clever, she justifies that she was faithful, she justifies that she isn't jealous of her cousin Helen of Troy. But did we ever doubt these things? No. Much more could be done with the character, with symbols, with anything!The only original or interesting idea I found raised by this novel was the question of the maids' deaths, but Atwood milked that cow until urine came out, and then kept milking. She continually emphasized the theme without offering any new substance to it; the theme didn't evolve, it just repeated. By the fifth chapter, you are yelling at the book, "I know you're perplexed by the maids' deaths, but don't you have anything else to say about it!?" By the end, you're about ready to kill the maids yourself.All in all, not a good introduction to Margaret Atwood. Try something she decided to write for herself, rather than this one, which she was asked to write for a "myths series" or something of the like. Personal passion is important for a writer, and I don't believe she had enough for Penelopiad.
  • (5/5)
    This book was a very easy read and quite interesting, too. I have never read The Odyssey, (though that would be an ideal goal to keep in mind) but I am familiar enough with the plot to keep up with the many subtle references throughout The Penelopiad. This book was told from the point-of-view of Penelope, Odysseus's eternally-loyal wife, with the Chorus of maids chiming in with their opinions every other chapter.Margaret Atwood does an excellent job of portraying the character of Penelope in a unique way without disrupting what we know of her from the original text. In this book, Penelope tells her story from beyond the grave, interspersed with her interactions with other known characters of that time, such as her self-involved cousin, Helen of Troy. Penelope balances many opposing traits into one body - from the bitter housewife, to the scheming seductress, to the self-sacrificing devotee - and still comes out as an admirable woman and wife that few could emulate so convincingly.The chorus of maids served as both a comedic interlude in a rather tragic story and as further commentary of Penelope's story and their shared fate. Irony played a large part in the maids' story and final demise. Margaret Atwood's explanation for their cumulative death following the deaths of the numerous suitors made perfect sense according to the arrogance and bravado attributed to Odysseus from Penelope's account.In many ways, this book bears strong themes of feminism, despite Penelope's loyalty to Odysseus. Though I imagine that The Odyssey portrays Odysseus as a grand hero worthy of respect, Penelope's narrative of him both in life and in death makes him out to be at times a philandering womanizer with immeasurable luck and other times a melodramatic little boy with an overactive imagination and an insatiable appetite for adventure. The ones who seemed to endure the most suffering in this plot were the ones that were shown the least respect and recognition - the women.
  • (3/5)
    I can't help but remain surprised every time a friend of mine recommends Margaret Atwood's writing. I find it derivative, agenda-driven, and most of all, profoundly irritating; this book is no exception. Instead of attempting to show us Penelope's viewpoint on "The Odyssey" with Odysseus retained as a heroic figure, Atwood (typically) tears down the man to build the woman up. Based on her writing, it becomes impossible for me to ever believe Penelope would have waited twenty years for her husband's return. The classic, mythological Odysseus was crafty and, at times, vicious, but he retains core qualities that never leave you in any doubt that this man is a hero. Atwood's Odysseus is a distinctly unsavory character, and by bringing in all the hand-wringing over the hanged servants, Atwood really implies that Penelope shares none of her husband's values. The overall "feminist" message just rips the story apart, and worse, Atwood's numerous digressions with the servants sometimes make the book feel like a parody of her own work. As ever, though, I'm sure Atwood's intentions are humorless and earnest in the extreme.
  • (5/5)
    If you remove elements of divine intervention and the supernatural from "The Iliad" or "The Odyssey", you're left with men behaving badly. Atwood applies this treatment to the tale of Penelope. We are left with a woman's life, a woman who dedicated her time on earth to being an ideal daughter, wife, and mother. She speaks to us now from her timeless existence in the underworld, and her voice is bitter and lonely. I thought this was brilliantly done, the social commentary as sharp as that of "The Handmaid's Tale" when it was published 25 years ago.
  • (3/5)
    I thought it was a very clever idea, but the book itself was just ok
  • (5/5)
    I've always liked the Odyssey, the original travel story. Now I like The Penelopiad better. This is Atwood at her best, using story to explain and clarify life. The book is of course about today as much as the mythic past. It flows on like water, swimming like the half-Naiad woman telling us her story, moving around and through her life. The Greek chorus of the twelve maids is inspired too. They show the emotions Penelope is not allowed to show. They are the victim-voices, every-woman voices, allowed in death to explain their fates. Every girl, and every boy, should read Penelopaid before reading Odyssey. If Margaret Atwood ever does a graphic novel, this is the one to start on.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent, humourous account. Nice love story, too. Odysseus is such a wicked trickster, but you can see why he won and keeps Penelope's heart. So good to read a feminist novel about Ancient Greece. Loved it.
  • (3/5)
    I read this book when it was published in 2005 -- because I was intrigued by this mythology series, and because it's Margaret Atwood. I like both of those things, after all. But I wasn't particularly crazy about it.I came back to it recently thanks to a literature class that introduced me to "The Odyssey." I discovered that I actually knew very little about "The Odyssey" after all (I thought I'd read it as a teenager, but it turns out I'd actually read "The Iliad" -- for shame.) I soon found myself obsessing over Odysseus -- I was obsesseused! Like totally!So, I came back to "The Penelopiad" five years later, and this time around, I got so much more out of this reading. I actually understood what the heck was going on, and I loved the voice that Atwood gave Penelope. I love how that Penelope herself fully acknowledges that she is quite boring and nothing special; and honestly, there's nothing in Homer that gives Penelope anything else to work with. She's an average-looking princess (with a cousin -- Helen of Troy -- that would have outshone her anyhow) that happens to luck out and marry what the Greeks depict as their "ideal man." She loses him for two decades, she sits, she waits, she weaves, she allows hundreds of men to walk all over her - including her son - and she weaves some more.But Atwood took all that and ran with it.Luckily, she didn't run too far, as this book is about as long as it needs to be -- which is pretty short. Penelope is still Penelope -- steadfast, heartsick, and dull dull dull. Odysseus is the one who had all the fun, and Atwood doesn't try to change that.
  • (2/5)
    I remember reading the Odyssey and thinking of Penelope being the smart, beautiful, industrious, long suffering wife of Odysseus. I was expecting that The Penelopiad would have been Penelope’s story, but I guess maybe it wasn’t her story in the way that I wanted to hear it. In this story she constantly keeps her opinions to herself in order to keep the peace and allows herself to be manipulated by her mother-in-law and a faithful old servant of Odysseus. Atwood portrays Penelope as an uncertain teenager who has ideas and thoughts in her head that she can’t articulate to others, and because of this can’t take control of her destiny. She wanders friendless around the palace and lets the servant have dominion over her son Telemachus. As I think about it now, Penelope has the voice of a teenager (and she is only 15 when she and Odysseus marry), which might explain a lot of her choices but for the fact that she writes it as a dead woman who has had thousands of years to reflect on her life.Told in flashback, we begin with Penelope living in the Underworld where she has run-ins with her rival, Helen of Troy, the suitors who plagued her in Odysseus’s absence, and her twelve maids whom were hanged by her son Telemachus at Odysseus’s request. Throughout her tale she offers commentary on the changes that have taken place in the world since her death, like what surprises her and how the living won’t leave the dead alone (she gets conjured up through séances). These tangents I think, are meant to be cute and to provide Penelope with a hip and modern voice, but I found all the asides to be extraneous and distracting and they take up too much of the book.Penelope’s voice as a character is in places witty, interesting and humorous; she’s a pretty smart cookie but I would have liked to see that displayed more in the narrative. More focus seem to be devoted to her insecurities around Helen, and how lost she is without Odysseus. But, I laughed out loud when she talks about her misgivings on spending time with her father after he has tried to drown her in the river as a baby when a seer said that she would have something to do with the making of his shroud.“I found this affection difficult to reciprocate. You can imagine. There I would be, strolling hand in hand with my apparently fond male parent along a cliff edge or a river bank or a parapet, and the thought would occur to me that he might suddenly decide to shove me or bash me to death with a rock. Preserving a calm façade under these circumstances was a challenge. After such excursions I would retire to my room and dissolve in flood of tears.”That was good stuff!Unfortunately Penelope got lost in the retellings of other people’s stories. Her story is everyone else’s story but her own, and I considered given this is Atwood the commentary that she is making on women’s lives and how they make their choices. I can see that, but I am a disappointed because Penelope’s mythology seems so different than the weepy woman who is often times telling this story. Dead and buried, Penelope is still jealous of Helen of Troy. Even Atwood didn’t think Penelope had all that much to say. With a title like The Penelopiad I was expecting something a bit more substantial than 196 pages, and the print was huge! So this was very short; easily read in an afternoon. If I had it to do over, this is one by Atwood I’d probably skip.
  • (4/5)
    The Penelopiad is part of the first set of books in the Canongate Myth Series where contemporary authors rewrite ancient myths (other authors who wrote as part of this series include A.S. Byatt, Chinua Achebe, and Donna Tartt along with several others). In Atwood’s novella, Homer’s Odyssey gets retold from the point of view of Penelope (Odysseus’s wife). Atwood also gives a voice to the twelve murdered maids by allowing them to interrupt Penelope’s narrative with songs and even a play. I have never read The Odyssey, although I am familiar with this popular myth. Atwood’s interest in the story centers around Penelope – Who was she? What were her feelings towards the maids who died upon the return of Odysseus? Was she really faithful all those years? Atwood also tells the reader in a forward to the novella: ‘I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids: and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.‘Penelope narrates the story from the grave (Hades to be more exact), and uses humor and sarcasm effectively to make her points. Other characters make their appearance as Penelope strolls around the afterlife – including Helen of Troy (Penelope’s beautiful and spoiled cousin), Eurycleia (the nanny when Odysseus was a boy), and one of the murdered suitors.The Penelopiad takes a hard look at women’s rights (not a surprise for those who have read and enjoyed other Atwood novels). Atwood uses her sardonic sense of humor to explore how Penelope might have felt before and during her marriage.And so I was handed over to Odysseus, like a package of meat. A package of meat in a wrapping of gold, mind you. A sort of gilded blood pudding. – from The Penelopiad, page 39 -She also reveals the servitude and abuse of the maids who had no rights to their bodies or minds, and who were used by not only Penelope, but the suitors who pursued her.We were dirty. Dirt was our concern, dirt our fault. we were the dirty girls. If our owners of the sons of our owners or a visiting nobleman or the sons of a visiting nobleman wanted to sleep with us, we could not refuse. It did us no good to weep, it did us no good to say we were in pain. All this happened to us when we were children. If we were pretty children our lives were worse. - from The Penelopiad, page 13-14 -Atwood stands the myth on its head – pulling apart the story and rewriting it with a more modern twist.You’ve probably heard that my father ran after our departing chariot, begging me to stay with him, and that Odysseus asked me if I was going to Ithaca with him of my own free will or did I prefer to remain with my father? It’s said that in answer I pulled down my veil, being too modest to proclaim in words my desire for my husband, and that a statue was later erected of me in tribute to the virtue of Modesty.There’s some truth to this story. But I pulled down my veil to hide the fact that I was laughing. You have to admit there was something humorous about a father who’d once tossed his own child into the sea capering down the road after that very child and calling, ‘Stay with me!’ – from The Penelopiad, page 49 -Atwood allows the maids to explain why they were murdered and they conclude their murder and rape symbolize the overthrow of the matriarchal society in favor of patriarchy.You don’t have to think of us as real girls, real flesh and blood, real pain, real injustice. That might be too upsetting. Just discard the sordid part. Consider us pure symbol. We’re no more than real money. – from The Penelopiad, page 168 -As with all Atwood novels, I put this one down feeling that once again Atwood has proven why she is one of the most brilliant writers out there. She is funny. She is incredibly thoughtful. She can string together words like no one else. Despite this, I can’t say this is a favorite Atwood book for me – which is no fault of the author. I am not a lover of mythology, although I enjoy the lessons about humanity which rise from it. So this was just an okay read for me.Readers who love reading the myths and want a different perspective on The Odyssey will most likely enjoy this slim book.
  • (2/5)
    Slightly bizarre book about what Penelope was doing while waiting for Odysseus to return. Despite the different circumstances, the problems of mothers-in-law haven't changed much and the depiction of suitors crowding around our heroine reminds the reader of vultures hovering, not even waiting for the body to be dead.The story is interspersed with verses from the chorus and others, as any good Greek play should be, reminding us of the drama and performance that goes into this epic.