The lost books of the Odyssey / A Novel Zachary Mason.

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  • Author(s): Mason, Zachary, 1974-
  • Language:
  • Publication Information:
    New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.
  • Publication Date:
  • Physical Description:
    p. 228
  • Publication Type:
  • Document Type:
  • Subject Terms:
  • Additional Information
    • Edition:
      1st FSG ed.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: A reimagining of the classic story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy creates alternative episodes, fragment interpretations and revisions of Homer's original tale.
    • Notes:
      "Originally published in slightly different form in 2008 by Starcherone Books."
    • ISBN:
      9780374192150 : HRD
      0374192154 : HRD
    • LCCN:
    • Accession Number:


LJ Reviews 2009 October #2

Reimagining the wanderings of Odysseus. Even before this debut was published, Mason was named a finalist for the 2008 New York Public Library Literary Lions Fiction Award. Expect a big push. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

LJ Reviews 2009 December #1

In his 70th year, not content to live out his golden years with the long-suffering Penelope, his son Telemachus, or his grandchildren, Odysseus sets sail to revisit the lands of his past triumphs—Calypso's cave, Circe's island, a now-thriving Troy—only to wonder if his memories have deceived him. Was there a point to the destruction, the deaths, and the loneliness engendered by 20 years of wandering? Like the lost Gospels of the Bible, these imaginary lost books of The Odyssey enhance Homer's epic tale with alternative scenarios and viewpoints. A finalist this year for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award, Mason employs clear, crisp prose and a clever sense of humor (at one point he has Odysseus in analysis), to propel the action briskly. VERDICT This will appeal to many types of readers: students studying the original Homer, lovers of ancient history and mythology, those interested in the depiction of the power struggle between men and gods, and readers looking for echoes of Joseph Campbell's work. In the end, however, Lost Books is not so much an engrossing story as a paean to the power of storytelling. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/09.]—Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Myers, FL

[Page 100]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

PW Reviews 2009 September #4

Mason's fantastic first novel, a deft reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, begins with the story as we know it before altering the perspective or fate of the characters in subsequent short story–like chapters. Legendary moments of myth are played differently throughout, as when Odysseus forgoes the Trojan horse, or when the Cyclops—here a gentle farmer—is blinded by Odysseus while he burgles the Cyclops's cave. Mason's other life—as a computer scientist—informs some chapters, such as "The Long Way Back" in which Daedalus's labyrinth ensnares Theseus in a much different way. Part of what makes this so enjoyable is the firm grasp Mason has on the source material; the footnotes double as humorous asides while reminding readers who aren't familiar with the original that, for instance, Eumaios is "the swineherd who sheltered Odysseus when he first returned to Ithaca and later helped him kill the suitors." This original work consistently surprises and delights. (Feb.)

[Page 41]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.