I first read this book back in middle school and have loved it ever since.
The story (in case you don’t know), follows Odysseus fresh from the Trojan War as he tries to get home to his lovely wife and son, Penelope and Telemachus. Adventure ensues.
I personally like that the Odyssey is about cunning not necessarily strength. Odysseus relies much more on mind than muscle, a tendency that his many adventures showcase. he uses his brains to get out of the sticky situations he finds himself in and doesn’t always go to the “easy” route of just stabbing everything with his sword.
Plus it has some of the best writing ever, in my opinion of course, such as this quote when Odysseus and Penelope are re-united:
“Now from his breast into the eyes the ache
of longing mounted, and he wept at last,
his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms,
longed for as the sunwarmed earth is longed for by a swimmer
spent in rough water where his ship went down
under Poseidon’s blows, gale winds and tons of sea.
Few men can keep alive through a big serf
to crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches
in joy, in joy, knowing the abyss behind:
and so she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband,
her white arms round him pressed as though forever.”
I love this book, and I think that everyone should read it at least once.