Book Review |4/5 stars | Genre – Fantasy / History
Once again, I’m reviewing a book that I was given as a Christmas present, I’m pretty sure that we’re at the end of the Christmas pile now (if I’m remembering correctly). But I’ll get straight into the review now that I’ve finished reading.
In Stephen Fry’s vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. (synopsis from Goodreads)
My initial thoughts…
For many years I’ve enjoyed the Greek Mythology stories, as well as enjoying Stephen Fry’s humour. So, I was very excited to start readingt his book, and it did not disappoint. The structure of the book was perfect for introducing the different Titans and Gods while detailing the many stories that revolve around this interesting possible history. Although it took a while to read there was never a point that I didn’t find this book fun to read.
- Humorous writing: throughout the book you can definitely see the humour that Fry is so commonly known for in his TV shows and interviews. It made some of the darker stories easier to digest, while also making the lighter stories a lot funnier to read.
- Jibes at the modern world: although we may never know if the Greek Mythologies were ever real or not, clear comparisons can be made to the stories that came from this time and how we function as humans today. This is something Fry plays on, with footnotes making direct comparisons to how we live our everyday lives with the not so great personality traits from the Gods themselves.
- All present and acounted for: at the end of the day there are so many Gods it kind of unreal. So for me the most impressive part was the Fry managed to get so many Gods and Titans and lesser gods, demi-gods and more all with enough explanation to understand who they were and how they fit into each relevant story.
Room for improvement?
No book is without its faults, although I really enjoyed reading this book, I don’t think its one that is to be read in one go. As there are so many stories the book can take a long time to read. Thankfull, I’ve recently had a much longer bus journey so I’ve read it then. It still did take a while, definitely more of a book to pick up and read a story at a time.
Stephen Fry has definitely crafted these stories together in a wonderful anthology that is a delight to read. Meh, it might be a bit long at times, but what book isn’t. His humorous writing style and the general interest for the Greek gods made this a great book to pick up.
I would definitely recommend!