An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic

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The author is well versed in the expurgation of Greek literature. This book is an excuse to show off that honed knowledge. Come to this classroom and hear the Odyssey explained. The plot serves as a device to instruct us. The author’s eighty-one-year-old father enrolls in his class and then voyages with him to retrace the steps of Ulysses. The fact that the author is a classically-trained scholar does not intimidate the autodidactic father, who argues with his son, most embarrassingly, in the classroom in front of other students. The father at his advanced age makes the trek to sit in his son’s classroom and bunks with him on the author’s childhood bed, which the father had built for him. This plot has great promise, but I felt no emotional connection with the story or the relationship forged by the common quest for knowledge. The author does equate his “father figures” in literature with his little understanding of his own father. The lack of emotion in his relationship with his father was replaced by an immersion in classical heroes. For those who want to delve into the story of the Odyssey, this book would be a good choice.

Reviewed By:

Author Daniel Mendelsohn
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 206 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2017-Sep-12
ISBN 9780385350594 Buy this Book
Issue February 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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