An Odyssey-a Father, a Son, an Epic

This scholarly book compares the Greek poem “Odyssey” with the relationship the memoirist Daniel Mendelsohn had with his father. Much of the references to The Odyssey ramble and become repetitive. The mystery about why Daniel’s father Jay is emotionless provides some compelling reasons to finish the book. The author’s gayness enters into the book periodically. There are some references to the father understanding his son’s sexuality. When Daniel declares his homosexuality to his parents the father says to the mom, “Let me handle this I know something about it.” Another centerpiece of the “mystery” tells the story of Jay’s brother Bobby who has polio. The Greek cruise that Jay and Daniel take provides the heart of the book. But overall the lengthy analysis of The Odyssey weakens the writing.

Michael Cunningham and Daniel Mendelsohn – On Writing “An Odyssey” – YouTube

Daniel Mendelsohn – Wikipedia

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