Odysseus and his crewmates are welcomed in to Aeolus and given the bag of winds so they have a smooth sail home. As they reach Ithaca his men become very curious about what is in the bag and open it. All the winds come out of the bag and the ships are blown away from Ithaca and back to Aeolus. After hearing what happened to Odysseus's men, Aeolus thinks Odysseus is cursed, sending him away with no help.
Odysseus and his crew were sent to the Land of the Cannibals. There, due to lack of hospitality, the Laestrygonians "invited" them in and ate them. Odysseus, and the crew that was left, fled back to their boats and got away.
"But the king let loose a howling through the town that brought tremendous Laestrygonians swarming upfrom every side—hundreds, not like men, like Giants’Down from the cliffs they ﬂung great rocks a man could hardly hoistand a ghastly shattering din rose up from all the ships—men in their death-cries, hulls smashed to splinters—They speared the crews like ﬁshand whisked them home to make their grisly meal." (Fagels, 159)
They landed on Circe's Island. Odysseus had his men go see who was living on the island. The men were lured into Circe's cave and turned into pigs by her powerful spells. Odysseus was told by a witness what had happened and went to see for himself. On his way there he was stopped by Hermes, disguised as a young man. Hermes told him to take this herb and eat it before he drank the poison Circe was sure to give him. Odysseus did as he was told, being the only man to not react to the spell. Circe was amazed, wanting to lay with him at once. He made a deal with Circe that he would lay with her if she turned his men back into mortals. She agreed and Odysseus stayed with Circe for one year. Finally one of his crewmates told him they have to get back home and they can't stay any longer. "Circe, now make good a promise you gave me once—it’s time to help me home. My heart longs to be home,my comrades’ hearts as well. They wear me down,pleading with me whenever you’re away." (Fagels, 170) But they had to go through the Land of the Dead to get home. As they get to their ship they see their youngest member, Elpenor, dead from a broken neck. He slept on the top of the boat overnight and when he woke up he fell off, breaking his neck. Odysseus and his crew left without a proper burial.
Once they got to the land of the dead Odysseus spilt the blood of the sheep for a sacrifice. When Odysseus spilt the blood all of the spirits came in to try and have it but Odysseus had to fight them away because he had very specific ones he wanted to talk to. They talked to Elpenor and he said that he would like a proper burial.
They also talked to Big T and he told Odysseus about what is going on at home. He also said how there is trouble and men taking his food and that Penelope is still waiting for him. Big T gave him many warnings and things that he should avoid.
Then Odysseus saw his mother he tried to speak to her but she never responded. He tried to come in and give her a hug but his arms slipped right through her. Odysseus's mother said "She was upset because he didn't come back from Troy and she killed herself.'' After he talked to his mother they went back to Circe's island and buried Elpenor.
Odysseus makes it back to Aiaia and he buries Elpenor. He has one more fun night with Circe and talks to her later on. She tells Ody two ways to get home. He was told that he had to go trough Sirens and then he had a choice to go through Rovers (moving rockes that are impossible to go through, or Skylla and Charybdis. He chose to have a chance and go away from Rovers. Ody knew that if he went through Charybdis he would loose his whole ship and crew and if he went through Skylla he would lose 6 men. Circe tells him the he must move quickly through Skylla's water and to stick close to to Skylla and far from Charybdis. Circe tells him the to stay away from the cows of the sun and then ody sets sail to face these trials.
Ody makes his way to Sirensand he has a cleaver trick. All of the people on the ship but Ody will put bees wax in their ears so they can;t hear the Sirens calling and singing to them. The other people on the ship would have to tie up Ody and not let hims go until they pass the Sirens and are safe. They do this and all goes well. They then went off to Skylla. Ody did not listen to what Circe said and he told his men to fight Skylla. "Odysseus tries to inspire courage in them while he arms up against Skylla. Clearly, he’s forgetting Circe’s instructions." (Shoomp.com, The Odyssey Book 12 summary) He then backed off remembering that he was soposed to move quickly through the water and to just accept that he was gonna lose six men. They make it through, six men down and start going home, but tired and exhausted. the closest piece of land was where the Jesus cows live.
Odysseus tells his crew not to stop at the Jesus cow island, but Eurylochos convinces the crew to go and land there because they were so tired. Ody agrees, but under one condition, NO ONE can eat or kill the Jesus Cows. They all agree and and the pull to the shore. They get stuck on the island for a month because a big storm comes and one day, when Ody went to prey, they people from the ship get so hungry that they go and sacrifice a cow and eat it. Helios gets mad because his cow was eaten so he calls to Zeus to take care of the issue. Zeus destroys the ship and kiss all the other members on the ship, but Ody. Ody gets washed up on the shore of Calypso's island to be stuck there for 8 years.