The Land of the Dead Hardcover – Sep 16 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
For graduates of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, these installments of the Tales from the Odyssey series deftly distill episodes from Homer's epic. Osborne (the Magic Tree House series) opens the first volume as Odysseus receives King Agamemnon's orders to join the fight against Troy, and bring home the Greek queen, Helen, kidnapped by a Trojan prince. In succinct chapters, the author then traces the labyrinthine journey of Odysseus and his men as they attempt to sail home to Ithaca. She touches on their encounters with the island of the lotus-eaters, Polyphemus the Cyclops and Aeolus, god of the winds. The second book brings the hero and his band to the island of the cannibal giants who devour a number of Odysseus's men, the palace of Circe the enchantress, who transforms some of the Greeks into swine, and the Land of the Dead, where Odysseus encounters his mother's ghost. Plot takes precedence over character development, but the hero's bravery and fidelity come through in his actions. In brief chapters and concise sentences, Osborne pares down each of these adventures into easily absorbed, swiftly paced episodes that will keep readers anxiously anticipating book three, Mermaids and Monsters, scheduled for spring 2003. Each volume includes a glossary of gods and goddesses and a pronunciation guide to the characters' names, which also help recommend this series as a tidy introduction to Homer and to Greek mythology. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 8-11. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Reviewed with Mary Pope Osborne's The One-Eyed Giant .
Gr. 4-8. Osborne turns her considerable skill in retelling myths to Homer's Odyssey in these slim, charming opening volumes in her Tales from the Odyssey series. In the first volume, One-Eyed Giant, Odysseus and his men commence their perilous homeward journey at the conclusion of the Trojan War, first encountering the lotus-eaters and then pitching desperate battle with the fearsome Cyclops. In Land of the Dead, the travelers escape from the wily Circe, only to brave the Land of the Dead in search of the wisdom of the blind prophet Tiresias. Osborne's simple, engaging narrative will surely capture interest as it presents a great hero in bold, yet human, dimensions--protecting his men, longing for home, wondering what the next catastrophe will be. The idea of delivering the classic story in small, beautifully written, accessible bites will appeal to both teachers and young readers, who will eagerly await subsequent volumes. Each book includes a short pantheon of major gods and goddesses, a pronunciation guide, and information about Homer and mythology. Anne O'Malley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What I am trying to do is save others from spending two weeks trying to find out how they can purchase this set without having to pay $125 for a new paperback copy of one book (The Land of the Dead). There are other books in this series that are also way too expensive. I didn't think I needed to break the bank for books that originally sold for $5.99.
So here's the scoop:
The Osborne rendition of the Odyssey was originally sold in separate books as follows:
Book One: One Eyed Giant
Book Two: Land of the Dead
Book Three: Sirens and Sea Monsters
Book Four: Gray Eyed Goddess
Book Five: Return to Ithica
Book Six: Final Battle
I was going crazy trying to find Book Two (Land of the Dead), Book Three (Sirens and Sea Monsters), and Book Six (Final Battle) for reasonable prices.
So, after much research, I discovered the following:
In 2010 the publisher, Hyperion, combined books 1-3 (now called "Tales from the Odyssey, Part One") and 4-6 (now called "Tales from the Odyssey, Part Two").
"Tales from the Odyssey, Part One": ISBN 978-1423128649 $5.99
"Tales from the Odyssey, Part Two": ISBN 978-1423126102 $5.99
I had no problem finding "Part One" on Amazon, but "Part Two" was another story. If you type in the isbn it will take you to their listing but it does not have a picture. It says "Part Two" is in stock but will take up to 2 weeks to get to you. Due to past experience, I didn't want to order "Part Two", wait the two weeks and end up with nothing or another "Part One". If you want to experiment & find out if Amazon can actually get the correct book, please do so and let us know how it works for you.
Here is how I got my hand on both books at the reasonable price of $5.99 each. I ordered "Part One" from Amazon and then went to their competitor for "Part Two". The competitor does not have "Part Two" available online either, but you can type in the ISBN to see if any of their physical bookstores have copies available on the shelves. A few bookstores in our area had the book. I called and asked them to physically get the book while I was on the phone & please hold it for me. They happily did this for me and told me they were willing to hold it for up to three days.
The publisher (Hyperion) is a division of Disney Book Group. Disney is well know for having strange practices with regard to making their old classic movies available. I didn't know this practice applied to recently published and "in demand" book series. Maybe that's not the case. The copies I purchased are "trade copies". Maybe they're testing the market & the mass market publication will soon be released. I really don't know how the book publishing process works so this is just surmising. Maybe someone versed in the book publishing process can enlighten us. I would love that!
Anyway, if you really want a copy of Osborne's "Odyssey", I hope this helps you find it without your having to spend hours on the computer or running from bookstore to bookstore.
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