Bookish Discussions

Stephen Fry’s Mythos:

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‘The Greeks created gods that were in their image; warlike but creative, wise but ferocious, loving but jealous, tender but brutal, compassionate but vengeful’

Rating: 3 stars

Read: 6 December – 11 December, 2018


I’m not sure how to review this one. Do I discuss the myths themselves (did I like them?) or do I discuss how Fry retold them (although I haven’t read any of the actual Classics?). How do I know whether I disliked a myth, not because the myth itself was rubbish, but because the way Fry told it was? It’s a hard one, but I’ll try my best. So, if you didn’t know, Fry, a lover of Greek mythology, decided to re-tell some of the myths. He recently released another re-telling, Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures. I thought it’d be easier to start out with a modern re-telling before I dived into the Real, Heavy Stuff. I think Fry did a good job.

Initially, I found the myths so entertaining. I think Fry is an excellent story-teller and he definitely got the tone right. It wasn’t serious – it was rather quite playful. It suited the myths because they weren’t serious either. You get the feel that Fry is passionate about Greek mythology – he knows and understands these gods and their origins and wants to share that with his readers. I really enjoyed learning about the basics – the beginning, the second order and the Olympians. I found the stories so chaotic, excessive, funny, ridiculous, and generally a really fun read. They came at a right time (I am a massive ball of stress).

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Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology:

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Spoiler free | Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Read: 1 May – 2 May, 2018

‘Before the beginning there was nothing – no earth, no heavens, no stars, no sky: only the mist world, formless and shapeless, and the fire world, always burning’


I must admit, I was rather sceptical going into this. Back in February, I read (and didn’t enjoy) Kevin Crossley-Holland’s collection of Norse re-tellings titled The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings. This collection had potential, but unfortunately did not deliver. CH didn’t make the stories engaging, meaning they weren’t fun to read. Instead, they were monotonous and dull. I was worried this might be a running thing with Norse re-tellings (were they all like this?). I was wrong, though. So very wrong. Gaiman, once again, managed to surprise me with his writing.

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Bookish Discussions

Madeline Miller’s Circe:

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Spoiler free | Rating: 4 out of 5 stars | Read: 20 April – 21 April, 2018

The Song of Achilles review

As soon as this came in the mail, I dropped everything and commenced reading it. I had previously read the Penguin Little Black Classic, ‘Circe and the Cyclops’, in preparation for this, and I’m glad that I did. It set the mood for this novel, and I was able to see how true Miller kept to the events of Homer’s telling. Circe is set ‘in the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans. When Circe is born she has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft’ (Bloomsbury).

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