Right now I’m chin deep in doing a bit of re-branding, getting a contemporary fantasy trilogy whipped into shape, and have just started drafting a new book, but that doesn’t mean I’ve completely forgotten about my back list. A backlist that includes my latest release, The Return of Odysseus, the final installment of my historical fantasy series The Osteria Chronicles.
In case you’ve completely forgotten (or never knew about it in the first place), one of the many plots lines in this book was inspired by that Greek classic many of us were forced to read in high school, The Odyssey. But I’m not the first person to
steal borrow from Homer’s epic tale of adventure.
Because it was so much fun when I did this with The Battle of Ares and The Illiad, I decided to once again take a quick look at books and movies whose story lines were pulled straight form the pages of The Odyssey.
Oh, and if you missed the list for The Illiad, you can find it my post “13 ways to get your Trojan on”.
But for now, let’s jump into this list with….
Four Odyssey-Based Movies
Oh Brother Where Art Thou (2000) – This is one of my absolute favorite movies (and an amazing soundtrack to boot!). I even named one of my cats Dapper because of this film (“I don’t want Fop, I’m a Dapper Dan man!”). I never liked George Clooney much until I saw this film. But in this one, he was funny, he was silly, and he had me hooked on seeing more from him. If you haven’t seen this, what is wrong with you!!!???
The Odyssey (1997) – I haven’t seen this, but it sounds like it’s fairly true to the original tale…so if anyone needs to cheat on their literature homework, this might be just what you need.
Ulysses (1954) – Well the cover of this just screams 1950s kitsch, doesn’t it? It’s got Kirk Douglas before his days as Spartacus, but it looks like he might have been prepping for the part with this movie.
Penelope (2009) – Finally, we get to see Penelope’s side of the tale. I mean, the woman did wait 20 years for her husband to come home. She was either very patient, or she was enjoying having the house to herself. Kidding, this is a serious movie that portrays her struggles and sounds pretty poignant.
Four Books Based on the Odyssey
The Return of Odysseus by Tammie Painter – Oh, wait, you already knew that.
Circe by Madeline Miller – Now, while I loved LOVED The Song of Achilles, I hated this book, the Circe character felt wooden and the overall story bored me. Still, others really like it, so maybe I’m just being picky.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood – Why have I not read this? As with the movie above, this tells the tale of Penelope’s time waiting for Odysseus to get home, and asks “What was Penelope getting up to?” I’m definitely adding this to my to-read list!
No Man’s Lands by Scott Huler – Again, why have I not read this? From the description it says the author “realized that it wasn’t enough to simply read the words on the page—he needed to live Odysseus’s odyssey, to visit the exotic destinations that make Homer’s story so timeless. And so an ambitious pilgrimage was born . . . traveling the entire length of Odysseus’s two-decade journey. In six months.Huler doggedly retraced Odysseus’s every step.”
Okay, my to-read list can’t handle any more additions, so I’m going to stop there.
What about you? Know of any other books or movies that were inspired by The Odyssey? Be sure to share them in a comment below!!