A Funny, Faithful Modern Distillation of The Odyssey
Get Lost, Odysseus!
by Kate McMullan
Series: Myth-O-Mania (Book X) (10)
Publication Date: August 1, 2014
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
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You might think you know all about The Odyssey, but until you read Get Lost, Odysseus!, you don’t know the truth. With Kate McMullan’s trademark blend of humor and details from the original tale, Get Lost, Odysseus! tells the Greek classic in a brand-new way.
The Trojan War is over, but now Odysseus has to find his way home to Ithaca . . . and in typical fashion, he’s angered Poseidon enough that the sea-god has decided to make his journey miserable (if not impossible). But Hades has a soft spot for the long-gone warrior, so even if he’s sworn to Poseidon he won’t help Odysseus directly, he might be able to pull a few strings . . .
“Get Lost, Odysseus!” That’s what a blinded Polyphemus exclaims after having been duped by ancient mythic Trojan hero Odysseus. And that’s exactly what happens. Odysseus is blown off course and survives an eventful ten years’ journey before finally making it home. Here, our friendly narrator Hades, God of the Underworld, fills us in on all the details in this updated telling of Homer’s The Odyssey.
Get Lost, Odysseus! is the tenth book in Kate McMullan’s Myth-O-Mania series. The good news is that the book works perfectly well as a standalone, so there is no need to have read the other nine books. This isn’t a reworking. McMullan faithfully includes most of the events of Homer’s epic (gone was any mention of the Lotus Eaters or any hint of seduction by Circe or the sirens). Odysseus’ healthy ego remains squarely intact, while McMullan, through Hades, goes off-script injecting a whole lot of humor into the explanation that Zeus didn’t actually tell the whole story when he took credit for getting Odysseus safely home to Ithaca.
Fans of Rick Riordan should enjoy the chance to read more about the Greek gods. I enjoyed the goofy bits that I’m sure kids will notice. Hades puts on his helmet of darkness when he travels and POOF! disappears. So it makes sense that when he takes it off, the opposite happens – FOOP! And here, just as in Riordan’s series, Hades gets the short end of the stick. So he’s keen to set the record straight and point out how folks have got him all wrong. I laughed at every instance where the reaction to Hades’ sudden presence is a panicked shout of “We’re all going to die!” Hades, of course, explains that he’s the God of the Underworld, not the messenger of death. And You can picture him rolling his eyes. Oh maligned, misunderstood Hades!
In addition to learning the major players and events of Homer’s The Odyssey, readers will learn more about the Greek gods and myths. McMullan’s cast includes the short-tempered Poseidon (or to Hades, Po), Zeus (who is self-absorbed and more than a little vapid), Athena, Hermes, the Fates, Demeter, Persephone, and Hades’ trusty pooch Cerberus (Cerbie’s not too happy with Hades!).
In addition to tracing Odysseus’ voyage and detailing his impediments to reaching home, McMullan does a particularly fine job of showing the readers what transpires once he gets there. We also find out why Odysseus’ victory over Penelope’s many suitors isn’t such a boon for Hades. Alas, poor Hades!
— Dawn Teresa
4 of 5 Hearts. A Funny, Faithful Modern Distillation of The Odyssey.
With her Myth-O-Mania series, Kate McMullan’s Get Lost, Odysseus! makes ancient Greek myth accessible. In this tenth volume, Hades relates Odysseus’ tumultuous ten year return trip home from the Trojan War. Hand these tales to fans of Rick Riordan who want to continue to explore the myths — and the gods — that inspired the series they love.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Capstone and NetGalley for allowing me access to the title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”