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Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient…

Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece (2017)

by Stephen Fry

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6741421,832 (4.04)17
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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Greek Mythology need I say more? It's one of few best books out there that gives illustrations with a background story of each God/Goddess that I've come across. The cover is beautiful. I recommend this book for all ages.

This is my honest opinion.

Rating 4.5
  tomasitoreads | Aug 19, 2019 |
Stephen Fry's retelling of the Greek myths is exactly as brilliant and funny as you'd expect. Even if the myths are familiar, there's a pleasure in encountering Fry's own take. There's also plenty of footnotes filled with plenty of word nerdery and funny asides. This may rival Edith Hamilton's Mythology as my favourite recounting of these myths. Highly recommended. ( )
  MickyFine | Jun 25, 2019 |
The Greek myths make for an unusual read in any circumstance. There is nothing simple about Zeus, Kronos or Apollo and their antics from Mt Olympus. But it is fair to say that if anyone is going to make their stories readable, it would be Stephen Fry.
In Mythos, Fry attributes the Gods & co with modern day speech and thought processes which give them a crazy, ‘what-the-hell’ quality … something Fry does so well. And although our thoughts differed on the value of this read, there was no doubting its entertainment appeal.
We had a good conversation around myths and story-telling and why us humans are so good at it. We seem to need explanations for everything around us, above and below, and this is where the Greeks excelled. The most imaginative of us couldn’t come up with anything nearly as creative as the family battle between Kronos and Zeus! We loved the female roles, but in most cases, the males ended up taking over, so nothing new there …
Someone mentioned the similarities between these myths and some of our indigenous stories, particularly of the natural world. Both the Greeks and Aboriginals seemed to find significance in the night sky and what they read there.
In closing, it would be best to day that if you have a hankering to know more about the ancient myths but lack the courage (and time) to delve too deeply into a text book style study, pick up Mythos and/or Fry’s follow up Heroes. If nothing else you’ll come away a little more informed with smile on your face and a even a chuckle in your heart. ( )
1 vote jody12 | Apr 30, 2019 |
An engaging and friendly retelling of stories from Greek myth, told very personably and cheerfully by Stephen Fry. It is written very much in his voice, which I found delightful, and with the occasional personal observations, wry comments or unobtrusive asides on its various linguistic influences on modern language and names. There is a handy map of the Ancient Mediterranean with nary every placename mentioned in the book helpfully pinpointed, as well as a very thorough registry of names in the back -- though the book should really be read from cover to cover. As Fry states in the foreword, for reasons of scope the longer (and most widely known) myths are not included -- so other than the occasional reference to them, you will not find Herakles, Perseus, Theseus, Achilles, Odysseus, Orpheus or Jason and his Argonauts here. The tradeoff is that he has ample time to share every minor tale imaginable, including many a mere page or paragraph in length. He does, however, include the creation myths and the war against the titans, and sets the stage for the rest of the book beautifully when doing so, jumping smoothly back and forth between his own invented dialogues in more intimate scenes to the (perhaps more expected) prose retellings. My sole complaint of any note is that the book clearly required another quick re-read by the author after the final revisions, as some sections show rather obvious and unfortunate signs of having been reordered and juggled, so that a story will reference something as though the reader knows it, only to have that thing happen (and being described as if for the first time) one or two stories later.
The book, perhaps, is in want of an Ending, but with no Greek equivalent to the Norse Ragnarok to provide a natural such, it is likely a bit much to ask. And while it in the second half at times can feel a bit like an anthology of minor mythological anecdotes, Fry's roughly chronological ordering of the stories and frequent nods backwards and forwards between them makes is always have a sense of forward momentum and interconnectivity. Warmly recommended, and thoroughly enjoyed. ( )
1 vote LokiAesir | Apr 30, 2019 |
I have to admit up front that I'm probably the wrong audience for this book. I'm quite familiar with all these stories and would probably have preferred a more scholarly study. But I do enjoy Fry's work as an actor and comedian and he tells these stories well in an engaging manner.

It's an excellent introduction to Greek myth for an adult or teen. For someone younger, I'd recommend reading it for yourself first. Greek myth certainly has its raunchy side, and Fry doesn't shy away from it. He doesn't use coarse or even adult language, but neither is he ever terribly euphemistic.

If the book has a real flaw, it's that Fry is a little too fond of his own cleverness. Occasionally, he'll work in a bit of word play that really isn't as funny as he thinks it is, and it's easy to imagine him smirking and asking the reader to admire how clever he is.

Still, all in all it's a good book, and I would certainly pick up a sequel dealing with the Heroic Age should he write one. ( )
  DemetriosX | Feb 10, 2019 |
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