Try free for 2 months

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
AUD $16.45/mo after 2 months. Renews automatically. Cancel anytime.
The Odyssey cover art

The Odyssey

By: Homer,Robert Fagles - translator
Narrated by: Ian McKellen
Try for $0.00

AUD $16.45/mo after 2 months. Renews automatically. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $26.99

Buy Now for $26.99

Pay using voucher balance (if applicable) then card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of every man's journey through life. In the myths and legends that are retold here, the energy and poetry of Homer's original is captured in a bold, contemporary idiom, giving us an edition of The Odyssey that is a joy to listen to, worth savoring and treasuring for its sheer lyrical mastery. 

This audiobook is sure to delight both the classicist and the general listener and to captivate a new generation of Homer's students. 

(P) and ©1996 Penguin Books USA Inc.

Critic Reviews

"To re-create a world where everything is living...is very nearly as difficult as to create it. Fagles does this with triumphant assurance; every arrowhead flashes lightning, every bush burns; Homer is with us." (James Dickey)
"It's a deeply satisfying experience to listen to McKellen's subtle, resonant voice weave the story. Cherish the images as the web of this great tale is woven before the eyes of the mind." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Odyssey

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Odysseus for modern ears

Robert Fagles's translation is modern and listenable without being crude. Ian McClellan's Shakespearean experience is crystal clear and precise. No mumbling or dropping intonations.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

‘You shall not pass.’

Who better to narrate Poseidon’s zeal of ‘You shall not pass’ that is the story of poor Odysseus & his trials returning home from the Battle of Troy than Ian McKellen.

The oldest & most enduring slow burn story ever told. Whilst the reader is left in no doubt as to the ending from the opening chapter, the protagonist’s thirst for justice & revenge is shared by the reader who shares Odysseus journey. Like the best slow burn stories the payoff is well worth the journey that is filled with wondrous tales.

Superbly performed by Ian McKellen.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

I live this story and I loved the performance
Just great got nothing else to say.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An Enduring Epic

Odysseus’ turbulent homecoming has survived the test of time for a reason. Homer’s epic establishes the ‘hero’s journey’, presents an enthralling adventure, and uses its complex protagonist to teach the value of trust, introspection and courage in the face of adversity.

There are issues: its second half drags and lacks the intrigue of the first, the entire tale overrelies on divine portents to move forward, and the ‘morality’ it espouses is certainly outdated. Nonetheless, the Odyssey is worth reading — if nothing else, as an intriguing insight into a foundational part of the literary cannon.

McKellan’s narration is predictably gripping, but some production issues mar this performance somewhat.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Strongly recommend

As the book has narrative roots it lends itself to an Audible book.

Wonderful translation.

Recommend it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My vote for the greatest audiobook of all time

I’ve listened to this several times. Fagles’ translation is thrilling but McKellens performance is simply astonishing. How is it even humanly possibly for him to give such intonation to a sentence is beyond me. Absolutely brilliant.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very good, but poor production

Enjoyed the classic story.
However it lost a star because of a jarring whistle/ trumpet noise that sometimes gets played.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating classic

Perfectly read, additional touches of music added a regal feel. I would have struggled to finish the book but found myself bingeing this audiobook!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Translation and Performance

Robert Fagles translation is wonderful poetic adaptation with a rhythmic drive and the performance of Sir Ian McKellen is absolutely suberb. There is, however, some annoying and distracting music (sounds like a toddler poking at 1980s synthesiser) which randomly intrudes for a few seconds every now and then; not a big issue, but it would be great if it wasn't there. I still highly recommend this book though.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic tale, the most beautifully written epic

this audio book is so well read, and honnestly; the perfect companion for long drives

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Arthurian Tapestry
  • Arthurian Tapestry
  • 06-05-2012

Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!

First of all, this is a beautiful recording and translation of the Odyssey. For those, wishing to attempt Homer's epics, I highly suggest you start with the excellent Fagles rendering of the Iliad, also available here on audible and free of the quality problems that plague this file.

What mars this book has nothing to do with the narration or translation, but with the quality of the audio file itself. There is an earlier review here that states that the speed of the recording has been slowed down in one of the chapters. It even sounds like a different narrator. Some files sound pristine and clear, every OTHER file sounds like they recorded it through a closet wall. I found myself adjusting the treble on my speakers constantly.

I contacted Audible, and although they did respond, they wanted specifics. All they have to do is to have an actual listener sit down and listen to these files on bigger sound system than that of a laptop or e-reader. I have yet to see a resolution.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

202 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Vic
  • Vic
  • 13-06-2014

Fagles yes, McKellen yes, Production NO!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The narration is excellent, as is the translation; however, the production is terrible. The first thing I noticed is that in many places the recording skips or hiccups. This is absolutely unacceptable. As others have stated, if an actual human had checked this recording before it was offered for sale then these glitches would have been caught and hopefully corrected. As others have stated, the pitch also varies in places which is a shame because the narration is superb.

Hey Audible - ummm Amazon - I know you don't care but we pay for these recordings with real money. This is the age of options and you might find that your customers have gone elsewhere because you stopped caring. Maybe that's why, after being an Audible member since 2006, I canceled my membership.

You can do better, Amazon!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

165 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Perschon
  • Perschon
  • 15-09-2011

A masterpiece marred by technical glitches

Both Robert Fagles translation and Ian McKellen's reading are superb. However, at about five hours in, the recording began to exhibit technical glitches related to speed. I re-downloaded the audiobook, but to no avail. No matter how good McKellen is, listening to someone's voice slowed down or sped up is too annoying, especially for a work that already demands so much attention.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tommy G. Henry
  • Tommy G. Henry
  • 14-07-2015

Embarrassingly bad audio

What disappointed you about The Odyssey?

I'm only a few hours in, but the sound quality is on par with AM radio with a few skips thrown in for good measure. Some tracks sound better than others. The fact that other reviewers have noted the poor quality of this book for years and Audible has done nothing about it really tells you something about this company. You'd think with a title this popular they'd address the problem, or maybe the publisher would tell Audible to get their act together. Pretty pathetic. Save your credit and go check this one out from the library.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Amazing performance, amazing story.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

64 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Harold
  • Harold
  • 22-10-2015

Extremely poor recording

What disappointed you about The Odyssey?

Great story

What about Ian McKellen’s performance did you like?

Great voice. Very pleasant to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Great translation, Great narrator..why not hire an engineer who knows what he is doing?
It is wonderful until about chapter 13, then it goes completely off the rails.
Don't waste your time or money on this one.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alan
  • Alan
  • 06-12-2013

Some chapter starts/audio issues

Any additional comments?

The 4 star rating in this case is only for the 2005 Penguin Audio audiobook edition of Robert Fagles' 1996 translation of Homer's The Odyssey. This is not a reflection on Fagles' translation or Ian McKellen's narration which are both 5 stars. The lower rating is only due to a few chapter/verse timing issues and the occasional distraction due to the ambience of different recording sessions combined into one audiobook. The recording is from the pre-digital download era and the audio chapters are based on approximate 30 minute timings (1 side of a cassette tape?), regardless of the actual Homeric verses. So the 24 Chapter starts are only occasionally equal to the beginnings of the 24 Verses of the Odyssey. This may or may not be a distraction for some. It is probably not a major issue if you are following along with a print edition.
One segment, Chapters 9 to 12 in the audiobook, middle of Verse 10 to the end of Verse 12 in Homer, has a significant audio issue. The speed of McKellen's reading drops to a deep bass voice at a seemingly slowed down audiospeed, as if the tape slowed down or McKellen was suffering from a serious cold on the day of the recording. This is enormously distracting when compared to the sound of the voice before and after this segment. Again, this is not a deal breaker but listeners should at least be forewarned of this fault.
The audiobook also excludes Bernard Knox's introduction that is available in the Penguin print edition.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pamela
  • Pamela
  • 11-04-2014

Terrible Recording

Would you try another book from Homer (translated by Robert Fagles) and/or Ian McKellen?

I am an avid member of Audible because I want books, professional readers and professional recordings…this recording id terrible. A bad listen.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rachel
  • Rachel
  • 22-08-2009

Ian McKellen is incredible!

This audiobook is absolutely fantastic, and Ian McKellen's narration is first rate (for those of you who don't know who is is, he played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies). It is by far the best audio adaption of a classical text that I have ever heard. Buy it. Seriously

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Huda
  • Huda
  • 13-02-2010

Audible made my reading assignment easy

I am a college student and not used to this type of literature. when our teacher assigned this reading, I was overwhelmed because the reading seemed hard to understand and lots of work, but when I read the book with audible, it was fun experience and made my reading easy to read and understand; in fact, I ended up enjoying my book and looking forward for more.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen Cunliffe
  • Stephen Cunliffe
  • 13-11-2009

Just about perfect!

The translation is wonderful, and the narration absolutely superb. I cannot imagine a better way to approach this 'classic' of classical literature.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

22 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for D
  • D
  • 26-07-2016

Beautifully translated & read; poor sound quality

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a recent, wonderful and acclaimed translation and it is beautifully read to boot. These outstanding qualities count for little as the sound quality is so poor that at times one gives up listening out of sheer frustration. The narrative is so muffled that at times it is indistinct and the narrative flow is lost. A real disappointment, not because of a poor text or bad reader, but because of a careless or indifferent presentation. I have tried listening to both the normal and the enhanced downloads and both suffer equally. Someone at Audible needs to look at this as I cannot believe the original would have been released with these obvious faults.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Guilherme Malzoni Rabello
  • Guilherme Malzoni Rabello
  • 14-09-2017

Great translation, great narrator, disappointing recording

Homer, Fagles, and McKellen get all the laurels.

Penguin should burn in Hades for almost spoiling them: the great introduction was not included; the tracks don't match the original chapters (books), which makes navigating back and forward almost impossible; and the sound mixing makes McKellen sound as if he was now recording in the kitchen, then in the bathroom, later with a cold.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beth Morgan
  • Beth Morgan
  • 06-10-2016

Strange Chapters

This book is an excellent reading of the Odyssey. The only qualm I have with it is that the chapters do not correlate to the book numbers; as an example, book 5 starts in the middle of chapter 4, which can be somewhat confusing when trying to gauge where in the story you are. Other than that it was great!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin Smith
  • Kevin Smith
  • 21-03-2020

A world class performance with terrible production

Sir Ian McKellen's performance of this classic translation is gripping, which is why it is a real shame that it has been so shoddily recorded/produced. Persistent pre-echos, chattering in the background, and a really baffling couple of chapters towards the middle that are pitched down so much you could mistake McKellen for Barry White, severely hamper what otherwise would be an incredible audio book.
There are parts that are unlistenable and parts where you won't be able to stop listening. All that said, I couldn't recommend this reading even for all it's obvious merits when I'm sure there are other great readings of this story not marred by a lazy or incompetent production team.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for dave
  • dave
  • 12-04-2019

chapter 5 sound levels 👎 and....

Ian McKellen is the perfect voice for telling stories, and the book itself is incredible, nearly 3000 years old and written so beautifully..... but chapter 5 sound levels are not good, quiet and muffled..... also even worse I've just noticed in chapter 6 in between Ian reading you can hear the faint voice of somebody else talking, come on Audible this is not acceptable!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for scott
  • scott
  • 15-03-2018

The greatest story ever written!

A timeless masterpiece superbly written and brilliantly narrated. Some issues with the sound quality but didn't diminish the enjoyment.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-2021

There is no sound

Something is wrong with this audiobook there's no sound caming out when I play it

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-09-2017

an interesting but long and hard listen

I did enjoy it but felt it had become a chore by the end as it is very drawn out and repetitive (in a poetic way) as time went on. can be hard to listen to and required concentration but you Will learn about Greek mythology.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 14-02-2024

Absolutely loved it

It is one of the most magnificent poems ever written for a reason. It was a joy to listen to.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert Knight
  • Robert Knight
  • 09-12-2022

a great reading

I enjoyed the listening to this, would deffo agree to listening to a podcast giving a brief outline first.
Best part is when the cyclops gets dealt with.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.