“The Lost Books of the Odyssey” by Zachary Mason

The fourth in a series of short, shallow book reviews.  I picked “The Lost Books” up while browsing, and I’m really glad I did.  It takes the form of 44 short pieces (most around 5 pages, a handful just a single page or two) that play off the themes, characters, and storylines of the Odyssey.  Of course, in any such collection the quality will be mixed; some ideas (e.g., Polyphemus as innocent victim) were obvious, and some stories seemed to miss the mark.  Over all, though, I found them engaging, clever and enjoyable; several (especially those involving Odysseus and Athena) were quite moving.

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