WHO WAS HOMER?

Some say Homer was a sightless genius like John Milton. Milton dictated his three massive poems—The Divine Comedy—to an amanuensis who wrote them down. Homer, however, performed his poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, aloud and before live audiences. Scholars guess that Homer used character voices and lyre music during his shows to bring his tales to life. He lived in Ancient Greece circa 700 B.C.

While The Iliad is filled with horrifyingly vivid descriptions of battlefield carnage and details about what swords and spears can do to a human body, The Odyssey is more of a fantastical adventure. It features monsters, cannibals, enchantresses, drugged out Lotus Eaters and many-headed dragons. Much of it takes place out on the open sea as Odysseus wanders from island to island across the Mediterranean. Here, as his fleet is slowly destroyed and all his friends are killed, he becomes the last man standing after ten years of woe. Only he returns to his island of Ithaca alive.

Even then, things aren’t easy. He’s been gone twenty years and the sons of Ithaca have grown into rowdy, fatherless men.

It must have taken Homer many nights to recite his monumental works in their entirety. At some point scribes set down his famous words and what was until that point oral literature held in one man’s mind became written literature for the ages. The two epics have been translated into English, and I used Robert Fitzgerald’s version to map out the best of Odysseus’s adventures for modern listeners.

I’ll be performing my intro to the tale, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST in about a month, on ZOOM. The 70-minute show is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. Tickets are $15. The date is Sunday, Sept. 20th at 7 pm EST.

Years ago, when I performed it at Dartmouth College, a professor wrote that my version is the closest thing we have to a Homeric performance.

This is the second in my three-part Greek myths for adults series on ZOOM. If you want to see what a Greek myth like this looks and sounds like, you’re welcome to listen to FALL OF THE TITANS, here on YouTube. I told this tale a couple of weeks ago.

Journey to the Ends of the Earth: 4 hours of The Odyssey

A hero’s journey like no other.

Narrated with live music on Celtic harp and 12-string guitar featuring 37 character voices.

Odds Bodkin’s 4-hour epic audio story, The Odyssey: An Epic Telling.

Odysseus. The Cyclops. Circe. The Sirens. Troy. Ithaca. The Underworld. The Isle of Cannibals. The Whirlpool. The Hall of Suitors. 42 episodes in all. 4 hours 8 minutes.

“a tour de force“–Dartmouth Department of Classics

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

Download it here for $49.95

 

A REVIEW FROM NORMAN CHIANG: Odds Bodkin Audios

All Collections + Bundle reviewed by norman.chiang

Odds’ storytelling – including sound effects, voice, music, pacing, wit and style – is both versatile and relevant. It is a talent that needs witnessing and preservation. All the stories I’ve so far listened to have been precise and polished, a cut above anything else I’ve seen from others at live shows and readings. Odds is a true artist, who understands the weight of virtue and fiction. A true role model for the ages. This is one of the best (if not the best purchases/investments) I’ve made all year. I’m excited to share it with my family. At $99, this is really quite a steal … given The Odyssey alone is worth as much. (Not to mention, other such amazing series in this collection – Hercules, The Hidden Grail, etc…)

NOW ON SALE FOR $74.95! GET YOURS TODAY!

No Man Did It! No Man Killed Me!

So howls Polyphemus the Cyclops to the other cyclopses outside his stone door. He’s been blinded by a giant spear in his one eye as he slept, a spear carved from a tree by Odysseus and his men. Now thrashing in agony in the darkness, the monster has attracted the other monsters with his howls.

“I’m blinded! I am killed!” he screams.

“Who did this to you, Polyphemus?” calls one outside.

“No Man did it! No Man killed me!”

“Well, if it is no man, then it is the work of the gods. Good bye!”

Polyphemus has been cruelly fooled, doubly so. For as Odysseus has poured brandy into the monster’s bowl and fooled him into drunkenness, and the monster has asked him his name, Odysseus has replied, “My name is No Man,” fooling him again.


Come hear this and other adventures from Odds Bodkin’s adult storytelling, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST, this coming Sunday in Cambridge, MA.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a modern-day Orpheus” —  Billboard

 

Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square

Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner.

Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door

STELLAR REVIEWS for ODDS BODKIN’S EPIC DRIVE STORY COLLECTION

Norman Chiang writes: “This is one of the best (if not the best purchases/investments) I’ve made all year. I’m excited to share it with my family. At $99, this is really quite a steal … given The Odyssey alone is worth as much. (Not to mention, other such amazing series in this collection – Hercules, The Hidden Grail, etc…)

Odds’ storytelling – including sound effects, voice, music, pacing, wit and style – is both versatile and relevant. It is a talent that needs witnessing and preservation.

All the stories I’ve so far listened to have been precise and polished, a cut above anything else I’ve seen from others at live shows and readings. Odds is a true artist, who understands the weight of virtue and fiction. A true role model for the ages.”

Amilolomy writes: “This is the version that made me absolutely fall in love with the Beowulf story, and really understand why it has become such a classic piece of literature. There is such life and emotion in the way Bodkin tells it, that you just can’t get from reading it alone. He takes it from being a dry, unsentimental piece of curriculum and spins it into a deeply moving journey, I always find myself crying by the end of it.”

 

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THE ODYSSEY this Saturday Night/Odds Bodkin

THE ODYSSEY: A Storytelling Evening with Odds Bodkin. Show starts at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. Older kids and teens welcome. Enjoy an immersion into Greek mythology you’ll never forget!

TICKETS are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.

A WEEK FROM TODAY: Odds Bodkin performs The Odyssey in NH

Grab your tickets today to see Odds Bodkin perform his epic version of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY next Saturday night, July 27th, in Nashua, NH. The show starts at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.

TICKETS

ON DEVOURING PEOPLE AND OTHER IMAGINARY ACTS

Polyphemus is a Cyclops, a one-eyed giant, and as with many giants, he enjoys devouring people. He’s not very bright, but stands as tall as thirteen men on one another’s shoulders and so has a long reach when he grabs at something. His voice is low, like word thunder, and he’s quick to anger. And so when Odysseus and his 24 men appear unexpectedly in the Cyclops’ cave after a long day tending his flocks, Polyphemus roars his fury, shoves a giant boulder into the exit and snatches up two men, popping off their heads and eating them.

Horrible as it sounds, of all the characters I enact when I perform The Odyssey, Polyphemus is probably the most fun. My right eye shuts, leaving only the left one open, and I’ve been told my face contorts into something truly ugly once he shows up in the story.

Along with the 12-string guitar score that races along during these grisly scenes, his voice and actions make for a crazy combination of stimuli. Intense enough, I hope, to become cinematic for listeners.

I’ll be performing large sections of The Odyssey Saturday night, July 27, 2019 at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. It’s a great venue with excellent sound and intimate seating, not to mention delicious food.

Just try to be done eating by the time Polyphemus snacks on the humans!

————

 

Odds Bodkin’s The Odyssey

July 27th at 8 pm

The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua, NH

$13 in advance, $15 at the door

 

TICKETS

Why Bar Hop When You Can Island Hop?

It’s Saturday night in New Hampshire and instead of bar hopping, why not island hop with Odysseus of Ithaca in 1300 B.C.? Unlike him, you can settle in comfortably and order drinks and a dinner as I regale you with his namesake story, the Odyssey. The Island of the Lotus Eaters is where fentanyl-like flowers grow; Odysseus and his men are lucky to escape alive, which can’t be said for their visit to the Island of the Cyclops. Other islands come: the Island of the Cannibals where most of his fleet is destroyed; Aeolia, the Island of the King of the Winds who puts all the storms into an ill-fated bag which, of course, doesn’t stay closed; on and on. Island after island. Adventure after adventure.

I’ve been telling this tale with 12-string guitar and harp for decades and will be doing a fairly long version of it (not the complete 4 hours, though) at the Riverwalk Music Bar on July 27, 2019 at 8 pm.

This is a full evening’s entertainment.

Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. It’s appropriate for kids over the age of nine, too.

I hope to see you there!

 

The Odyssey with Odds Bodkin

Saturday July 27th 2019 at 8 pm

The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua NH

 

An ODYSSEY in Summer/Adult Epic Storytelling in NH July 27th with Odds Bodkin

The Riverwalk Music Bar is a hip place to perform. Usually the venue hosts bands and young singer-songwriters, but a few times each year I arrive in my ancient hoariness with an epic for adults.

If you count them, there are 37 character voices in my telling of Homer’s The Odyssey:  Odysseus himself, his crew, the Cyclops, cannibals, Circe, Lotus Eaters, on and on. It’s Greek mythology told in modern English with a score on 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, peppered throughout with vocal effects like wind and seabirds. Of all the epics I tell, I’ve been telling this one the longest.

The show starts at 8 pm. So grab a delicious dinner, order from the bar and settle in for some imaginative, out-of-body storytelling.

Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door.

Storytelling Collections for Families

 

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“a modern-day Orpheus”–Billboard Magazine

“one of the great voices in American storytelling”–Wired

 

A SUMMER’S WORTH OF AUDIO STORIES

A SUMMER’S WORTH OF AUDIO STORIES

Smart parents across America are choosing Odds Bodkin’s Master Drive for inspiring vacation travel listening for their kids. The “consummate storyteller” (The New York Times) offers twenty-five hours of vivid tales from around the world, scored live with original acoustic music.

And it all comes on a flash drive. Plug it in and load age-coded folktales, fairy tales, myths and epic stories onto your kids’ devices. They’ll love it.

Check it out here!