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text 2017-06-23 23:06
The Odyssey
The Iliad and the Odyssey - Homer

The Odyssey by Homer

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

The crafty hero of The Iliad is in the last leg of his long ten year journey home, but it not only his story that Homer relates to the reader in this sequel to the first war epic in literature.  The Odyssey describes the Odysseus’ return to Ithaca after twenty years along with the emergence of his son Telemachus as a new hero while his faithful wife Penelope staves off suitors who are crowding their home and eating their wealth daily.

 

Although the poem is named after his father, Telemachus’ “arc” begins first as the reader learns about the situation on Ithaca around Odysseus’ home and the search he begins for information on his father’s whereabouts.  Then we shift to Odysseus on a beach longing to return home when he is informed his long sojourn is about to end and he sets off on a raft and eventually arrives among the Phaeacians, who he relates the previous ten years of his life to before they take him back home.  On Ithaca, Odysseus and his son eventually meet and begin planning their revenge on the Penelope’s suitors that results in slaughter and a long-awaited family reunion with Penelope.

 

First and foremost The Odyssey is about coming home, in both Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ arcs there are tales of successful homecomings, unsuccessful homecomings, and homecoming that never happen of heroes from The Iliad.  Going hand-in-hand with homecomings is the wanderings of other heroes whose adventures are not as exciting or as long as Odysseus’.  Interwoven throughout the poem with homecomings and wanderings is the relationship between guests and hosts along with the difference between good and bad for both that has long reaching consequences.  And finally throughout Odysseus’ long journey there are tests everywhere of all types for him to overcome or fail, but the most important are Penelope’s both physical and intimate.

 

Even though it is a sequel, The Odyssey is in complete contrast to The Iliad as instead of epic battle this poem focuses on a hero overcoming everything even the gods to return home.  Suddenly the poet who gave readers a first-hand account of war shows his readers the importance of returning from war from the perspective of warriors and their families.   Although they are completely different, The Odyssey in fact compliments The Iliad as well as completing it which means if you read one you have to read the other.

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text 2017-06-19 00:48
The Iliad
The Iliad and the Odyssey - Homer

The Iliad by Homer

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

The wrath of Achilles not only begins the oldest piece of Western literature, but is also its premise.  The Iliad has been the basis of numerous clichés in literature, but at its root it is a story of a war that for centuries was told orally before being put down by Homer in which the great heroes of Greece fought for honor and glory that the men of Homer’s day could only imagine achieving.

 

The story of the Trojan War is well known and most people who have not read The Iliad assume they know what happens, but in fact at the end of the poem the city of Troy still stands and a wooden horse has not been mentioned.  The Iliad tells of several weeks in the last year of the war that revolve around the dishonorable actions of Agamemnon that leads to Achilles refusing to fight with the rest of the Greeks and the disaster it causes in the resulting engagements against the Trojans.  But then Achilles allows his friend Patroclus to lead his men into battle to save the Greek ships from being put to the torch only for Patroclus to advance to the walls of Troy and be slain by Hector.  The wrath of Achilles turns from Agamemnon to Hector and the Trojans, leading to the death of Troy’s greatest warrior and the poem ending with his funeral.

 

Although the actions of Achilles and Hector take prominence, there are several other notable “storylines” one doesn’t know unless you’ve read epic.  First and foremost is Diomedes, the second greatest fighter amongst the Greeks but oftentimes overlooked when it comes to adaptations especially to other important individuals like Odysseus, Menelaus, and the pivotal Patroclus.  The second is how much the Olympians and other minor deities are thought to influence the events during this stretch of the war and how both mortals and immortals had to bow to Fate in all circumstances.  The third is how ‘nationalistic’ the epic is in the Greek perspective because even though Hector is acknowledged the greatest mortal-born warrior in the war on both sides, as a Trojan he has to have moments of cowardice that none of the Greek heroes are allowed to exhibit and his most famous kill is enabled by Apollo instead of all by himself.  And yet, even though Homer writes The Iliad as a triumphant Greek narrative the sections that have Hector’s flaws almost seem hollow as if Homer and his audience both subconsciously know that his epic is not the heroic wrath of Achilles but the tragic death of Hector.

 

The Iliad is the ultimate classic literature and no matter your reading tastes one must read it to have a better appreciation for all of literature as a whole.  Although the it was first written over 2500 years ago, it shows the duality of heroic feats and complete tragedy that is war.

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photo 2017-06-16 00:34
'Salem's Lot - Stephen King
Best Halloween Book for All Ages
Source: www.amazon.com/Legend-Decimus-Croome-Halloween-Carol/dp/1520500653/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494968162&sr=8-1&keywords=a+halloween+carol
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text 2017-06-15 22:47
The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol

Decimus Croome is a dastardly, despicable and downright deplorable fellow. But worse than that, old man Croome hates Halloween. As a result, he ruins Halloween for his entire family and the rest of the town.

 

Content to live in his gloomy old house and avoid all human contact whenever possible, Decimus Croome even shuns his own daughter and grandson. But he has a rude and horrifying awakening one memorable Halloween when he is visited by four spirits who are determined to show Croome the misery he has inflicted upon his friends, neighbors and family members.

 

Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Legend of Decimus Croome is bound to become a Halloween classic for readers of all ages for generations to come. Follow old man Croome as he is visited first by the lovely but disturbing spirit of his dearly departed wife. She warns him of three spirits yet to follow. And oh what spirits they are. Each one is more disturbing than the last, and each one has an important message for Croome.

 

The first spirit is a truly horrifying yet disturbingly funny pumpkin-headed ghost who delivers Croome to his distant and not-so-distant past. Along the journey, Croome is warmed with nostalgia and terrified by the some of the most tragic events in his life.

 

The second spirit is a shape-shifting witch who breaks every stereotype about witches while nearly driving Croome insane with her wild antics and slapstick delivery.

 

And the third phantasm delivers the final glimpse of Croome's diabolically humdrum life and the future that is in store for him if he doesn't change his wicked ways.

 

Throughout this delightful Halloween novel, we meet a cast of characters from a devoted employee to a charming young leukemia patient. We are also entertained by a precocious black feline named Black Magic who witnesses each spiritual visit and the changes in her boringly predictable guardian.

 

Join Tommy Bobbich, Decimus Croome and a whole cast of ghosts, witches, ghouls and scarecrows in this modern day holiday story that is sure to provide you with chills, laughs and maybe even a tearful moment or two as you read The Legend of Decimus Croome: a Halloween Carol. You will never look at Halloween the same again.

Source: www.amazon.com/Legend-Decimus-Croome-Halloween-Carol/dp/1520500653/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494968162&sr=8-1&keywords=a+halloween+carol
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review 2017-06-13 21:20
Review of Conducting Research Literature Reviews
Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper (Volume 4) - Arlene G. Fink

This was another book required for my class where I have to write a Literature Review. This is a one star book for excitement, and a five star book for its applicable content. If you have to write a Lit Review, this is the book for you.

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