“It’s me, King Hades, Lord of the Underworld, back again to tell you the real, true story of a Greek myth. This time it’s The Odyssey…Do you really think you know this myth? Of course you don’t.” – Kate McMullan, p. 7
So begins the young adult novel, Get Lost, Odysseus by Kate McMullan. This clever retelling of Homer’s classic epic is unique in that it is from the perspective of Hades, the all-too-often forgotten god of the underworld. Hades sets out to get things straight and in the process tells a story that is compelling and fun for young readers.
With clever nicknames for the gods and a wealth of background information, this book makes Greek mythology accessible and fun, even for young readers. The contemporary dialogue allows it to read like a modern novel rather than a story that is ages old. Focusing on all of Odysseus’ adventures – from the Laestrygonians to King Aeolus and from Circe to the Underworld – the book is an easy read with plenty of humor scattered throughout. For any young fans of mythology or readers interested in looking at Odysseus’ story from a different perspective, this is a fun and engaging read.
Book Club Questions:
Note: I would not suggest making this an adult book club read, but for anyone wishing to have discussions with a young reader (your child, or a student), these are some questions that could guide the discussion.
1. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus is frequently shown as arrogant and rude. Do you feel that he comes across this way in Get Lost, Odysseus? Explain.
2. Is Hades a good narrator for this story? Why? Is he biased in any way?
3. Is Odysseus a hero? Why or why not? Justify.