Posted in Reviews

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Mythos by Stephen Fry – 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
Release Date: August 27, 2019

Recommended: Yes!!!
For teachers, students, people who like to laugh, and those who want some explanations for why things are the way they are, via the antics and follies of humans and gods.

A gorgeous reworking of the original versions’ cover

Summary
This book is a challenge to define by genre. What do I call it? Fiction? Non-fiction? Religion? History?? Regardless, you’re led through the creation of everything straight up to actual recorded history, where myth blends with fact, by our lovely guide Stephen Fry. His humor and passion for the topic work perfectly together to make these legends feel so relatable and engaging, while also teaching a hell of a lot. The Titans who are the basis of life, the New Gods led by rebellious and lecherous Zeus, and the endless demi-god offspring they produce all get their own stories here. This new edition features photographs and images from sculptures, paintings, and other art based around the stories told within. It’s a lovely touch to see such lavish recreations from the time these stories are based on.

“Born male, he was turned female as punishment by Hera for striking two mating snakes with a stick, something which annoyed her greatly at the time, for reasons best known to herself.”

Mythos, Page 267. One of many moments that completely cracked me up

Thoughts:
Man, I took a risk when I started this book. When I went through Circe and was so disappointed, I was left craving some good mythology and took a chance on this. I was unsure if a 300+ page book of straight Greek myths would be able to hold my interest. I put my trust in Stephen Fry, however, and BOY DID IT EVER PAY OFF! I never imagined I’d be cackling over Hera and cheering on Prometheus while on the train to work, garnering stares. Fry has such a deep passion for the topic. He really did his research, and it shows. The clear tracking of the seemingly endless deities and humans they collide with is an impressive feat. Add to that his clever footnote additions for an extra joke, further context, or linguistic heritage (my personal favorites), and this was a delightful package of a book. I was able to read it straight through since there’s the story of the world building, but also the sections for each new person we meet. You’ll learn a lot reading this, but you’ll also have a lot of fun reading this and that’s critical!

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free copy of this in exchange for a review. Love when it’s easy to review because the book is SO GOOD!! πŸ˜€

Just an extra note that Fry is super passionate about this topic. I would highly recommend using passages from this for teachers in higher levels, probably minimum 8th grade to 12th (some advanced vocabulary might bear explaining for any level, however). The tales are informative, funny, and memorable. For teachers (and students!!), that last is critical!

Here’s a little preview of the story, and of Fry’s recognizable style. He reads here a section from the book about Pandora and her opening of a seemingly unimportant little box.

Author:

Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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