Second, I don't know why I approached The Odyssey with such dread, as if reading it would be a chore, as if I were a rebellious eighth grader. It took a few pages to get used to the language and syntax, but overall this translation is rather plain spoken and easy to enter. I wonder how one would find Pope's rhymed couplets. In any event, Fitzgerald's version is completely engaging, so much so that I may even race ahead of schedule.
I like knowing the outcome from the very beginning and given the way it's going, have a feeling that this will be a page-turner. Such characters! Athena the "grey-eyed goddess" who can assume so many forms. Without checking I count three: a visitor, Mentor, a sea hawk. Surely I'm leaving something out. She likes a man with good manners and loves Ullyses. And Nestor is rich, with such great lines: "never have I seen the gods help any man / as openly as Athena did your father -- / well, as I say, if she cared for you that way, / there would be those to quit this marriage game." One of my favorite passages is in Book III when Nestor stops Athena and Telemakhos from returning to their ship and says, essentially, "What am I, chopped liver? You think I'm like some pauper who can't put you up for a night?"
So much more. The Dawn spreads out "her finger tips of rose," the sea is always wine-dark (though I love "time to ride home on the sea's broad back"). There's fashion (Athena's "ambrosial, golden" sandals) and much feasting and drinking. They sure love to fire up the grill and feed each other "crisped meat" doused in wine.
On to Books IV-VI.