In this chapter I offer a reading of the Cyclopes episode in Odyssey 9 that places the rhetoric and point of view of Odysseus at the heart of the episode and displaces Homer to a point of considerable ironic distance behind his character’s narration. From the very first words of the episode to its conclusion, in Odysseus’ similes, his judgments, his self-characterizations of motives, his lurid descriptions of gore, and not least in the strange exculpating structure he gives his narrative, Odysseus’ celebration of his signature cunning and his very persuasive construct of the whole experience are shown by Homer to be just that, a cunning construct blind to and alternately obscuring its own excesses and even corruption. I will argue that Homer, the “real” narrator, separates himself from Odysseus, the fictive one, and in doing so exposes the unreliability of Odysseus’ narrative representation. The episode also reflects and criticizes a mentality emerging with the polis, as it presciently portrays the perils and self-justifications of a mētis-minded civilization advancing under full sail, thus linking the world represented in Odysseus’ narration with the real world of Homer’s eighth-century audience.