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Classics of Travel Literature — The Odyssey & The Hobbit

The Odyssey

The OdysseyThe Odyssey is a story about a homicidal maniac (Odysseus) who refuses to ask for directions. This tragic flaw, shared by many men, leads his crew to disaster. Some are eaten by monsters, some are eaten by their crew-mates, and some finally get fed up with this cruise from hell (literally at one point), and take a flight back to Greece on their own.

Finally, Odysseus returns home, and is shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that after a 20-year absence, his wife is entertaining the possibility of remarrying.

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

The HobbitThis is another tale of vacations gone awry. Bilbo Baggins is a wealthy hobbit who hires Gandalf Travel to take him on a grand tour of Middle Earth.

But Gandalf plays a little bait-and-switch on Bilbo, and our hero soon discovers that it will not be Gandalf leading the tour, but a cadre of fat, venal and mentally challenged Dwarves. Even worse, he is expected to do most of the work himself. Though he finds the experience trying, Bilbo discovers hidden reserves of talent, bravery and pluck.

Everything goes well until Bilbo inadvertently starts a race war.

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Alltop thinks washing is pointless too. Originally published October, 2010.