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Download The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Margaret Atwood
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,969 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Atwood Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN:
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In Homer's account in The Odyssey, Penelope - wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy - is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages.

Left alone for 20 years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously.

When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters, and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and - curiously - 12 of her maids.

In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her 12 hanged maids, asking, What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?

In Atwood's dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality - and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margot | 2/19/2014

    " I adore Margaret Atwood, but this book has a special place in my heart. I was actually require to read this for a class in college (oral literature...god bless emerson for their weird classes). Anyways, I got to perform a scene from this book with the choruses, so naturally I read the whole thing. This book was amazing. It tells the story of The Odyssey but from the perspective of Penelope, Oddyseus's wife. It's humorous, heartbreaking and overall pretty amazing! I loved every second of it...and it'd make an awesome movie or play someday! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheryl | 2/7/2014

    " I liked how Atwood wove historical fiction with current topics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rooks | 1/28/2014

    " I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did, frankly. Superquick read though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zena V. | 1/18/2014

    " Atwood is probably one of my favourite writers, just because her style is so easy to sink into. This is a retelling of the myth of Odysseus and the Odyssey from the perspective of Penelope. It's pretty good, and now I want to read the rest of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lily | 1/14/2014

    " A very witty and contemporary twist to Homer's Odyssey. Quite liked it - was intriguing to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrian | 1/12/2014

    " Bizarre but creative and gripping take on "The Odyssey." "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joanne H | 12/28/2013

    " After the wondrous Oryx and Crake, and The Handmaid's Tale, I expected so much more than the disappointing and short Penelopiad. It feels like Atwood was given the brief and then half-heartedly scribbled this down just to get it over with. It didn't get my interest at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela Smith | 12/8/2013

    " Started reading this yesterday, and will likely finish it tomorrow. It's an easy read, very funny and charming. It's a retelling of the Odysseus myth from the point of view of his wife and her 12 maids. Margaret Atwood can do no wrong in my opinion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faith Bradham | 11/28/2013

    " I had lots of fun reading The Penelopiad, but I felt like it didn't contain very much. As in, there wasn't much substance to the novel. I did, however, like seeing the Odyssey from Penelope's point of view. Also, I like Margaret Atwood's writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruby | 11/15/2013

    " I don't understand why this book didn't get more acclaim than it did - it was an amazing book that actually brought tears to my eyes. Big thumbs up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chana | 11/13/2013

    " I understood this book about as well as I've understood any Greek mythology I've read; not at all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 10/13/2013

    " So great. Very clever, really well done, & and easy, quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 5/10/2013

    " I like it so far! I haven't read Atwood for a while. It is good to be back in her world of sad stark prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwyneth Stewart | 3/8/2013

    " An interesting retelling of the Odyssey and Iliad, from the point of view of the left-behind wife, Penelope. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 9/8/2012

    " Kind of a letdown. I thought there was a lot more potential to the retelling of this classic story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Kathleen | 1/15/2012

    " Kind of weird. Interesting take on the Greek myths we all know (even if we don't know we know them, but for those of us who had to read the Illiad and the Odyssey 3 times before they were 15, it's nice to see an interpretation so very different from every other). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 DeniseMichelle | 12/8/2011

    " Not my favorite Atwood- I was really expecting more, given the concept. The unfortunate cover I have has a review that says "Half Dorothy Parker, half Desperate Housewives"... I hardly think so. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel McHugh | 6/16/2011

    " This is a slim, easy read, and really not up to Atwood's usual parr. It's readable enough, and I liked the inclusion of the maids' chorus line. But a lot of the modernization seemed forced. Other reviewers are right: there's not a whole lot going on. Penelope never really does anything. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexia | 5/15/2011

    " Nice, quick in-betweener for me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 5/13/2011

    " very imaginative re-telling of a classic, male-dominated story. This should be mandatory reading for feminist literature/women's studies.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/2/2011

    " Excellent and thoroughly enjoyable as with most of her work. Thorough research and skilled writing make this a must read for any classicist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shana | 4/17/2011

    " I would have liked more detail on what Penelope was up to while Odysseus was away, but this was a novella, after all. Atwood's an accomplished poet, and I enjoyed the maids' choruses throughout the book providing commentary on the storyline as well as on their own sad fate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nurshafiqa | 4/14/2011

    " i'm not in the mood to write a lengthy review about this book, nor have i the time, so this would super short.

    i liked it. humorous at times, dark and sinister at others. i love twists to original stories, like fairy tales and myths. would love to read other books by atwood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 4/13/2011

    " I like it so far! I haven't read Atwood for a while. It is good to be back in her world of sad stark prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghan | 4/10/2011

    " This is such a cleverly written book in the format of a Greek epic poem. It manages to throw the story of Penelope and Odysseus on it's head. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/6/2011

    " Lyrical, hypnotic take on The Odyssey from the perspective of Penelope. Quite enjoyable if you're in the right mood for it. "

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About the Author
Author Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s books have been published in more than thirty-five countries. Her novels The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Blind Assassin was awarded the Booker Prize, Alias Grace won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy. In 2005 Atwood received the Edinburgh International Book Festival Enlightenment Award. She lives in Toronto.

About the Narrator

Laural Merlington is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator with over two hundred titles to her credit. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks. She teaches college in her home state of Michigan.