Book Review – The Odyssey (Graphic Novel Adaptation) by Gareth Hinds

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This is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic work by Homer. The Odyssey follows the suffering of Odysseus after he left Troy. Suitors reside in his home, waiting to see which one Penelope will choose as Odysseus is presumed dead. Meanwhile, Odysseus is stranded with Calypso after having offended Poseidon, although Athena is championing him and urges the other gods to release him and allow him to return home and wreak vengeance upon the suitors.

Now, The Odyssey is my favourite book of all time. I studied it and read it many times during college and university, and it holds a special place in my heart. I was excited when I found out there was a graphic novel adaptation and was only surprised when I learned that it came out five years ago! Why hadn’t I heard of this sooner?

I actually think that this is a good adaptation. Obviously it loses a lot of the nuance, but it captures the general feel of the story. Being a graphic novel pacing is an issue, because that is up to the reader. I don’t think it quite gave the extent of Odysseus’ suffering so I didn’t feel as attached to the characters as I am in the book. I do think the graphical representations are good though. I liked how the gods all had a different glow about them, and Odysseus is pretty much how I pictured. Hinds uses shade well to depict different lands, and there are some nice touches in the Underworld. I liked how all the grey shades showed a splash of red as they touched blood. I do think, however, that he could have been a bit more adventurous in some of his depictions.

I guess the praise I can give is that it captures the general tone of the book. But it doesn’t have the same epic quality as the book. So it’s a difficult one, and I’d love to get the opinion of someone who reads this without reading The Odyssey. I’m not sure that if you read this you’d realize what is so special about the story as a whole. It uses the framework of the story but parts feel rushed, and it misses out on so much of the depth. I wish Hinds had used the format of the graphic novel to give a greater sense of grandeur and epicness.

That being said, it was nice to revisit the story without having to take the time to read the book, but reading the graphic novel made me hungry to experience the book again. I suppose that’s a good thing, but I’m just not sure that this version is going to be satisfying on its own. It’s also probably more expensive than the book, so if you haven’t read it before I’d suggest just getting the book.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review – The Odyssey (Graphic Novel Adaptation) by Gareth Hinds

  1. I remember you telling me about this a while ago, though I haven’t yet made my way round to it yet. However, if as you say, the sense of epic is missing, I might just pass. I suppose I’ll have to see how discounted I can find it!

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