No-Man's Lands

No-Man's Lands

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

When NPR contributor Scott Huler made one more attempt to get through James Joycea€™s Ulysses, he had no idea it would launch an obsession with the booka€™s inspiration: the ancient Greek epic The Odyssey and the lonely homebound journey of its Everyman hero, Odysseus.No-Mana€™s Lands is Hulera€™s funny and touching exploration of the life lessons embedded within The Odyssey, a legendary tale of wandering and longing that could be read as a veritable guidebook for middle-aged men everywhere. At age forty-four, with his first child on the way, Huler felt an instant bond with Odysseus, who fought for some twenty years against formidable difficulties to return home to his beloved wife and son. In reading The Odyssey, Huler saw the chance to experience a great vicarious adventure as well as the opportunity to assess the man he had become and embrace the imminent arrival of both middle age and parenthood.But Huler realized that it wasna€™t enough to simply read the words on the pagea€”he needed to live Odysseusa€™s odyssey, to visit the exotic destinations that make Homera€™s story so timeless. And so an ambitious pilgrimage was born . . . traveling the entire length of Odysseusa€™s two-decade journey. In six months.Huler doggedly retraced Odysseusa€™s every step, from the ancient ruins of Troy to his ultimate destination in Ithaca. On the way, he discovers the Cyclopsa€™s Sicilian cave, visits the land of the dead in Italy, ponders the lotus from a Tunisian resort, and paddles a rented kayak between Scylla and Charybdis and lives to tell the tale. He writes of how and why the lessons of The Odysseya€”the perils of ambition, the emptiness of glory, the value of love and familya€”continue to resonate so deeply with readers thousands of years later. And as he finally closes in on Odysseusa€™s final destination, he learns to fully appreciate what Homer has been saying all along: the greatest adventures of all are the ones that bring us home to those we love. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part critical reading of the greatest adventure epic ever written, No-Mana€™s Lands is an extraordinary description of two journeysa€”one ancient, one contemporarya€”and reveals what The Odyssey can teach us about being better bosses, better teachers, better parents, and better people. From the Hardcover edition.As genuine spurs to memory, I prefer the effluvia of the journey itself, the hoard of ticket stubs and receipts from which I ... from Istanbul to A‡anakkale, in a little four- color envelopea€”and suddenly therea#39;s bus travel in Turkey: cakes and cologne. ... Ia#39;ll try to make sure this remains my journey and not hisa€”that like Odysseus did for Telemachus, Ia#39;ll get out of the way so he ... And finally, hanging on our medicine cabinet are three necklacesa€”first one with a piece of jade from the Hong Konganbsp;...

Title:No-Man's Lands
Author:Scott Huler
Publisher:Broadway Books - 2008-03-11


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