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Corydon and the Island of Monsters by Tobias…

Corydon and the Island of Monsters

by Tobias Druitt

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This new take on the story of Perseus and Medusa paints a very sympathetic picture of Medusa, who is not a monster at all, and makes Perseus out to be a shallow, glory-seeking non-hero. Corydon, the main character, is very memorable and very likeable.
  jdetmon | Mar 8, 2009 |
Corydon, the lead character begins this tale as a humble goat herder run out of his native village (the mob included his own mother) as a Pharmakos due to a deformity (one leg is “goat footed”). Corydon finds peace as a simple goat herder on a largely deserted part of the island, that is until a group of pirates show up and captures him, adding him into their traveling “freak” show. Here Corydon finds himself imprisoned with the likes of the Sphinx, Medusa, The Minotaur and many others. During his brief imprisonment, Corydon finds an unlikely friendship with the gorgon, Medusa and he finds there is a surprising humanity to her and all the monsters…each is tender and much more human than the humans in this story in their own monstrous way. Lucking into being nearest the fearful and mysterious staff that the pirates use to keep the monsters prisoner, he manages to snare it and free himself and Medusa. Later, with the help of the other two Gorgons on the island, they are able to free the remaining monsters who eventually all find happy homes on the island.

They might have remained happily ensconced on the island for many years to some, however, in a surprising twist, the surviving pirate escapes and goes to King Polydectes spinning a tale of treachery and murder on the part of the monsters. The King naturally assigns Perseus to take care of the monsters...however he (Perseus) is unable to raise a band of heroes in the traditional manner so he resorts to a bit of trickery (promising riches that don’t exist) and begs the aid of his father Zeus (who here is a selfish, absent minded pig of a man) to accomplish the task. The story continues as Corydon and his monster friends make plans to defend themselves from the invading would be heroes. In a refreshing new twist that turns traditional Greek mythology right on its ear, Druitt gives us monsters that become heroes and heroes that become monsters and gods that are just slightly off center from their traditionally accepted positions.

This departure is what makes Corydon & the Island of Monsters so enjoyable…we’re not being given the same old story in shiny new wrapper; we’re getting the same old wrapper with a shiny new story in it! I found myself unable to put down this book, I was sick with worry for Medusa and her child…fearful for the Minotaur and Corydon as they traversed the depths of the Underworld (and this part of the story is some of the best reading in the entire book). It’s a wonderful tale and I hope that many people will discover the joys and sorrows, triumphs and tribulations of Corydon, the monsters and all the others contained in these pages! The only “complaint” I can foresee anyone making about Corydon & the Island of Monsters is that is does go into who Medusa became the “monster” that she is in this story (for those unfamiliar with this myth, Medusa had sexual relations in the temple of Athena and was cursed for it by being turned into a monster). This particular part of the book is no more than a page or so and the actual act is alluded to only briefly. I didn’t find it objectionable at all, as I find TV to show much more explicit sexual material on an ongoing basis all day, everyday. I thought the material presented here relevant to the mythos of the story and tastefully done. I give Corydon & the Island of Monsters 5 stars and am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series (Corydon & the Fall of Atlantis). One final note, the book contains a glossary of Greek terms with pronunciation to help readers with unfamiliar people and terms common in Greek mythology, my 10 year old found this to be very informative and helpful while reading the book! ( )
  the_hag | Aug 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037583382X, Hardcover)

A young shepherd, Corydon, is driven out of his village because of his unusual appearance and then captured and put on display as a monster. Alongside him in the traveling freak show are Medusa, the Minotaur, the Sphinx, and other classical beasts. When Corydon helps these monsters to escape their cages, they scatter to seek peace and solitude away from prying eyes. But then an army of “heroes” arrives hoping to win glory by killing the monsters, and Corydon must unite these unloved and unlikely allies to fight for their survival and for their island home.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:42 -0400)

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Corydon, an outcast Greek boy with the leg of a goat, learns that he is part of an old prophecy and joins forces with Medusa and other "monsters" known in Greek mythology in a confrontation with mortal heroes fighting for the Olympian gods.

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