GIANT CANNIBALS
Love, lies, mythology and murder on the seas of ancient Greece.
THE SOURCE, PART I   by Mike Warren

The Odyssey is the second-oldest surviving text in Western literature. Here's a ham-fisted attempt to summarise it in eight easy chunks.

Part I

The Iliad's decade-long war, fought far from our hero's home shore of Ithaca, has ended. Ten years have passed since the Greek victory, and the surviving soldiers have returned to their homes - all except Odysseus, whose ships are lost and his men are dead. He is alone, held captive by the nymph Calypso.

Meanwhile, Odysseus' wife Penelope, and son Telemachus, wait in Ithaca for his return. Penelope is surrounded by suitors, who are eager to presume Odysseus dead and marry her. Telemachus is given a divine hint that Odysseus is alive, and that the suitors must be expelled in time for his return. Telemachus travels to Sparta, where he learns how his father's cunning helped to win the war - including a rather important subterfuge involving a wooden horse.

The Gods convene to discuss what should be done. Poseidon has cursed Odysseus so they don't invite him to their meeting. They agree that Odysseus must be allowed to return home, and Zeus commands Calypso, against her will, to release him.

Odysseus builds a boat and sails for Scheria, but Poseidon catches up with him and sinks his ship. Odysseus struggles to shore, and meets the Phaeacian King without revealing his identity. The King agrees to offer him a ship. The Phaeacians throw a feast and games in his honour, and a bard begins to tell stories of the Trojan War. Upon hearing these, Odysseus shows emotion, and the Phaeacians grow suspicious of his identity. Odysseus reluctantly reveals who he is, and proceeds to tell them his story.

Next



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RE-INTERPRETED, PART I   by Dylan Spicer

Across a series of articles, Dylan charts other efforts to re-write Homer's great epic. This week, he looks at two kinds of Ulysses.

SIGNAL TO NOISE   by Mike Warren

How does one tell a whole story using only the human voice? Mike takes a famous tall tale and finds meaning in the medium.

WHAT I LEARNED   by Mike Warren

In what he hopes is an affably informal article and not a scruffy, unqualified and overly-personalised rant, Mike shares a first-timer's perspective on recording an audio drama.

MEET THE CAST   by Mike Warren

We've just finished recording Giant Cannibals. After three exhausting days in-studio, I'm delighted to introduce you to our talented and hard-working cast. Expect plenty more to come; in the meantime, you can view their profiles by by following the links. The full list of contributors can also be found in our People section.

DIVINE WINDS   by Dylan Spicer

Dylan explores the balance of coincidence and plausibility in The Odyssey.

THE SOURCE, PART VI   by Mike Warren

A disguised Odysseus finds Ithaca to be very different from how he left it.

MONSTROUS MEANINGS   by Mike Warren

Mike asks what a monster really is, and what fictional monsters can tell us about ourselves.

CANNIBAL MYTHS   by Dylan Spicer

Dylan charts the significance of the cannibal taboo in storytelling, and asks how this changes the way we see the Laestrygonians.

SOMETHING TO HIDE   by Mike Warren

So we don't trust Odysseus. But what ugly truth might convince him to spin his stories?

THE SOURCE, PART V   by Mike Warren

After ten years at sea, Odysseus returns to Ithaca.

TELLING THE TRUTH   by Mike Warren

Is our hero's own account reliably narrated, or are we right to lose the plot?

THE SOURCE, PART IV   by Mike Warren

Odysseus' story comes to an end, as he explains his time with witches, monsters and the dead.

THE OLD AND THE NEW   by Mike Warren

Can one of our culture's most venerated texts tolerate being re-imagined so liberally? We think so, and here's why.

THE SOURCE, PART III   by Mike Warren

Odysseus continues to tell his story. After a brush with the Cyclops, Odysseus' homeward journey is thrown violently off course. Giant Cannibals focuses on this section, because we don't think our hero is telling the truth.

THE SOURCE, PART II   by Mike Warren

Shipwrecked on Scheria and exposed for who he really is, Odysseus begins to tell his story. This is the Cyclops bit, by the way.