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Holy shit, this book reminded me what the word 'epic' really means. I was drawn to it after having loved Zorba the Greek, but I was unprepared for its depth. I read part of it in Canada, part in Kephalonia (Greece), and did not pass the 3/4 mark (or thereabouts). In the early parts it was, in a word, badass. Odysseus refused to be shackled by domestic life and yearned for the open sea. As he and his friends built their ship by day, and caroused by night, I felt the joy of working hard on a project of my dreams. The joy of community, also, as I long for the society of strong and fierce men who share my projects. As they sailed the Mediterranean, raping, pillaging, burning, and conquering, I felt the joy of power. The morality of strength. Bloodlust. As they sailed the Nile, casting their fortune into the sea, I felt the burden of worldly possessions, and the noble struggle of poverty on the open road. As they joined the workers' revolt, I felt the oppression of the wealthy, and as they joined the barbarians, I felt disdain for decadence. I envied their empty bellies and burning minds as they crossed the desert, and felt proud as they raised their town high. When Odysseus climbed the mountain to commune with the God within, I felt his thirst for enlightenment, and the combination of his compassion and his disdain for his fellow men. I stopped shortly after this - I couldn't stay engaged, which says to me that I simply wasn't ready, or in the right headspace. There is a long road ahead, and this book has given me a moral compass. For that, I am grateful.