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The Golden Fleece by Robert Graves

The Golden Fleece (1944)

by Robert Graves

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4761032,999 (3.76)6



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This novel, not surprisingly for those who know Robert Graves preoccupation with the idea of a transition from matriarchal worship of the Triple Goddess to the patriarchal Olympians, fairly creaks with scholarship. Every incident seems constructed to buttress some portion of theory to reconcile traditional accounts with Graves interpretation. Nor is it a novel in the usual sense. Incident after incident is recounted but we have little access to the inner lives of the characters. Nor is Heracles really a major character. Interesting to a student of Graves, but not engrossing as a story. ( )
  ritaer | Oct 27, 2018 |
Substance: Kind of fun to read, despite the endless minutiae of ancient Greek names and places.
Graves does an excellent job ot tying together all (surely he got them all..) the mythical and legendary people and events and places of ancient Greece into a coherent, plausible narrative.

Despite the title, Hercules is almost tangential to most of the action, although he is a symbolic and actual focus for much of it. The original title "The Golden Fleece" is much more descriptive.

Style: Graves is very detailed, very descriptive, and very funny, in a sly manner. His narrative writing is very akin to his poetic style, which he exercises in translating the Greek poems (and possibly creating his own).

* * *

I bought this during a decade-long obsession with Robert Graves in the 1990s and only got around to reading it this year (2018), mostly to get it behind me and clear out my stacks, but decided I like it enough to keep it. ( )
  librisissimo | Aug 10, 2018 |
Jason and the Argonauts, Hercules, the beginning of the Wars of Troy. See the original Harpies, and the soldiers of Cadmus! There's a hair's-breath escape, deep plots, several love stories, and more mythologies than the Tea-party platform! Yep, Robert Graves gives his take on one of the original quest stories and does a very good job! ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 29, 2013 |
I have to admit I couldn't handle reading this all the way through. Not by any means a straightforward novel about the Argonauts. Rather, a poetic, allegorical, satirical take on men and myth. ( )
  scootm | Aug 24, 2009 |
Not read ( )
  GlenRalph | Jul 16, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Gravesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Norfolk, LawrenceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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But as a rule the ancient myths are not found to yield a simple and consistent story, so that nobody need wonder if details of my recension cannot be reconciled with those given by every poet and historian. Diodorus Siculus. Bk.IV, 44: 5,6
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Ancaeus, little Ancaeus, oracular hero, last survivor (it is said) of all the Argonauts who sailed to Colchis with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece, speak clearly from your rocky tomb by the Goddess's fountain in cool Hesperidean Deia.
Nor is this to be wondered at: the Goddess has always rewarded with dismemberment those who love her best, scattering their bloody pieces over the earth to fructify it, but gently taking their astonished souls into her own keeping.--LAWRENCE NORFOLK (pg. xvi)
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An inventive reimagining of the story of Jason and the Argonauts, this novel by renowned poet and classicist Robert Graves brings heroic figures of Hellenistic myth to life. Graves' Jason is belligerent, energetic, and full of life, and the society Graves builds for him is outlandish and deeply invested in ancient cults. Against this primitive, religious backdrop, the charismatic Jason assembles a crew and sets out to retrieve the sacred gold-trimmed fleece that is sacred to Zeus, and that has been stolen by worshippers of the Triple Goddess. Accompanying him is Hercules, a brave warrior known more for his brawn, and his astonishingly good luck, than his brains. Robert Graves builds a compelling world that sets Hellenistic magic and mystery in a surprisingly gritty, realistic setting, a fascinating read for fans of Greek mythology.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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