Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Pretty much classic Atwood, her dry, mildly sarcastic tone throughout the retelling of the Odyssey. She puts a feminist perspective on a tradionally chauvinisitic tale, almost undermining the famed Greek heros. It's a good, quick read, but by the time you start feeling engrossed in Penelope's...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Intrigued by greek mythology. Light read. Found songs/poems somewhat disjointed from book. Loved how she casually referred to the Gods as if they exist without questions and how your soul lives on forever in many afterlives.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Rubbish!.. Find a GOOD Book by Marge Atwood?! Seemed to be some, sort of, "Promiscuity-Test" aimed at Honest Men?! Like, who are THEY?! To, do, THAT?! Ask, any honest Man?!.. I, Do Hope The Author's written far, better?!.. 'Cos if this is about the Best of it; then that's, about the LAST of It!.. ”Timothy N wrote this review Thursday, August 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I had previously read The Penelopiad, knowing next-to-nothing about The Odyssey or Penelope as a legend. After having taught large chunks of The Odyssey to students, however, I felt it time to revisit Atwood's version of the story. Not surprisingly, I got a great deal more out of the novel this second time through. I don't know how I read it the first time with so little prior knowledge of the myth on which it was based.
The novel flips back and forth between two narrations: Penelope, down in Hades, telling the story of how she married Odysseus and how her side of The Odyssey went down; and a Greek chorus of the twelve maids who were hanged by Odysseus when he came home. The two of course intertwine, but the chorus is done in verse, song, and other different narrative styles, whereas Penelope's is all done in past tense narration.
It was really fascinating to "hear" what the ladies of the story had to say to and about Odysseus, Telemachus, and the Suitors. I felt the content was very original and lyrically stated. Both Penelope and the Maids told excellent stories in a compelling manner.
The novel was a really quick read, too; I read it in less than one day, and I was engaged throughout. Overall, I'd highly recommend The Penelopiad to anyone familiar with The Odyssey. Even a minor working knowledge is sufficient to ensure that you gain all of the nuances available to you in Atwood's storytelling.”
“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”
“A difficult knitting project reminded me about the character in Greek mythology, Penelope, wife of Odyssus - who kept weaving by day and ripping out her work by night. I wanted to recall the whole story and found this account by Margaret Atwood at Amazon. It retells Penelope's story from the woman's point of view. The book is short and delightful. I read it in a few hours and enjoyed it completely. My knitting project -- if and when I am ever able to finish it - will forever be known as the Penelope lace shawl.”Gale St. John wrote this review Monday, April 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“In anticipation of seeing the play, http://tinyurl.com/ankt4w5 I'm trying to quickly read the book!”Tommye wrote this review Sunday, March 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My Rating: 2.8/5
A small short book but nothing that I would look at twice if it wasn't for a reading list.”
“Weird, in typical Atwood fashion, but not as good as her others. Not as much content, harder to get into. ”Heather C wrote this review Thursday, January 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was very...light. I definitely expected it to be less fluffy because of the author. And I'm not quite sure how I feel about the chorus of maids, although I understand its use. I did learn a lot, and it refreshed my memory a bit on the Odyssey. Perhaps would make a good introductory version to the myth for younger audiences.”keran wing wrote this review Wednesday, October 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Honestly, I liked this the least out of all the Margaret Atwood books I've read. I love Greek mythology, and I tend to love Atwood's writing, but this book really fell short of my expectations. Atwood is attempting to explain Penelope's thoughts and motivations, and why her maids were hanged, but all the book really accomplishes is to ask more questions. I understand that this does make a statement about the ambiguity of stories and histories, but as a reader, it was very unsatisfying.”JaleenaJo wrote this review Wednesday, August 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Oh, Margaret Atwood, I love your work, but this was just...disappointing. I was eagerly anticipating a feminist, or at least Atwood-esque revisionist, retelling of the Odyssey. There were brief glimpses of that in "The Penelopiad," but the promise was unfulfilled.
My hope was for a retelling of The Odyssey that would give a richer, more intriguing and unique viewpoint of Penelope and her maids over the twenty-year span of Odysseus' absence. What it instead ends up being is a boring recounting of Penelope crying, filling up the time doing nothing, or being sarcastic about life now that she inhabits the Underworld. Penelope simply tells, in a not-very-engaging voice, the same story we all know.
I highly recommend Robert Graves.. The Greek Myths.. over this novel. It is a much richer tale.