“Ithaca: A Novel of Homer’s Odyssey”

Patrick Dillon

This is a retelling of “The Odyssey” from the point of view of Odysseus’s son, Telemachus. It’s original, well-written, and a solid coming-of-age story.

Parts I found especially interesting were the portrayal of the post-Trojan War world as being inhabited by physically and mentally damaged veterans and the dilemma Odysseus faces when he has to explain to the citizens of Ithaca why he — the leader — is the only one of their husbands and sons to return from the war.

As much as I enjoyed “Ithaca”, I do think the book suffers a little from the typical tiresome modern “need” to explain-away all the supernatural elements of “The Odyssey” itself. I suppose this is the price we pay for living in a disenchanted world.

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