How meta: an odyssey exploring Homer’s The Odyssey. Scott Huler has a baby on the way and one last adventure in his soul. Picking up a copy of the epic poem, he connects with it in a way that he didn’t when he first read it decades earlier.
He sets off, travelling lightly and cheaply, to visit each of the main stops on Odysseus’s troubled journey home. Or at least the places that most closely resemble the mythological places.
In No Man’s Lands Huler sums up the lessons of The Odyssey: the perils of ambition, the emptiness of glory, the value of love, the failure of self-glory, and the importance of family. He learns to fully appreciate the central theme: the greatest adventures of all are the ones that bring us home to those we love.
The book is part travelogue and part critical reading of The Odyssey, with a mix of personal self-realization thrown. To me, the key signal of my enjoyment of this book is that it made we want to blow the dust off the edition of The Odyssey from my college days and really read it this time.