Tag: Oxford

Homer – The Odyssey | Review

Title: The Odyssey

Author: Homer

Type: Fiction/Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 354

Rating: 4*/5

 

Homer - The Odyssey

Homer – The Odyssey

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes.

Well, I finally did it. It took me three or four months reading a few pages each evening before I fell asleep, but I managed it. And it was actually a super enjoyable read.

The edition that I read was a translation in verse by Anthony Verity that was published by Oxford University Press, and it’s a beautiful edition. I accepted it for review a good few years ago, but I’ve only just actually finished it.

What I liked most about reading this was the fact that  I started to understand the different myths and legends that make up the Odyssey and I could see the way that they’ve influenced popular society and been retold in other media. Of course, I struggled to actually understand what was going on half the time, but that’s okay because the language alone was beautiful and there was a useful appendix that basically gave you an outline of the story that you could refer to.

 

Homer

Homer

 

It’s hard to rate something like the Odyssey because it’s a classic for a reason, but I can honestly give it a four out of five for sheer enjoyment alone. Sure, it was slow going and there were times where I thought I wasn’t going to finish it, but I still enjoyed the experience and I’m glad that I took the time to read it. I’m also glad that I happened to read this edition of it, because the book itself was so aesthetically pleasing that it didn’t  bother me too much to spend prolonged periods of time in front of it.

It’s funny because in a way, reading the Odyssey reminded me of reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. That’s because something was always happening at every point, and while it rarely feels as though you’re actually making any progress, the reader walks with Odysseus as he inches slowly closer and closer to his destination.

 

Odysseus

Odysseus

 

Click here to buy The Odyssey.

 


Stephen King – Finders Keepers | Review

Title: Finders Keepers

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 375

Rating: 3.5*/5

 

Stephen King - Finders Keepers

Stephen King – Finders Keepers

 

This book was just okay, and that’s a shame. It definitely feels like one of King’s duds for me, but it’s the second book in his Bill Hodges trilogy and the first book, Mr. Mercedes, got five stars from me. That said, I was chatting to someone on YouTube the other day about it and they said that the third is good again and that they thought it might have worked better as a duology.

Part of the reason for that is that this one could function as a standalone. Sure, there are a few bits here and there that do reference the first book (and presumably the third), but they could easily have been added to books one and three because there’s not much there. Most of it follows a completely different story which somehow felt familiar to me, as though I’d read it before. I even checked my Goodreads account to make sure that I wasn’t accidentally re-reading something.

Basically, a dude kills a writer and steals a bunch of money and some notebooks with his unpublished work in. Then he buries it and gets jailed for a different crime. Then some kid finds them all and he gets let out of jail. That takes us to about two thirds of the way through the book, a hell of a lot of setup for an unsatisfying ending.

 

Stephen King

Stephen King

 

One strange thing about my experience of this book is that it felt like the name was following me everywhere. I read it while spending some time in Oxford as part of a short break away and there was an estate agents there called “Finders Keepers” with their signs outside the front of all of the different houses that they were representing.

Sometimes I read Stephen King books and struggle to comprehend how it was written. That wasn’t the case with this one because it just felt like a bog standard mass market release. Sure, you could tell it was King from his writing style, but it also felt a bit like someone trying to imitate him. It just didn’t have any of that classic King magic.

 

Stephen King Quote

Stephen King Quote

 

Click here to buy Finders Keepers.