I hope you’re all doing okay! I realise that I have been a tad AWOL on all platforms recently and been in a bit of a reading slump and I’m not really sure why because I’ve loved the books I’ve been reading. I then went on holiday and been pretty much non-stop since I got back so I’m yet to get back into the reading groove.
I managed to finish Mythos before I went on holiday but didn’t leave time for a review so here it comes!
“Mythos begins at the beginning, but it does not end at the end”
The myths within this book are fascinating in a disturbing, romantic, tragic kind of way. They all stand alone; yet are also linked land all have enchanting characters that make Greek myths immersing .
“Creatures and gods that were ambiguous, inconsistent, unpredictable, intriguing and unknowable had arrived…The fun began.”
Chaos, primordials, Titans, gods, demigods and mortals. These are the beings that create a Greek myth in one way or another. The funny thing about Greek mythology is it’s often quite brutal (like when Zeus rips his fathers testicles off and throws them to the other side of the world) and weird in equal measure, yet many people seem to love the stories and they’re still told in Greece to this day.
“It is that hope, perhaps, that spurs us on to believe that our quest for happiness will not be futile.”
We begin at the beginning as all good myths do, with Chaos (not the Big Bang) and with him came Nyx (night), Erebus (darkness), Hemera (day) and Aether (light). Later they were joined by Gaia (Earth) and Tartarus (caves), Pontus (sea) and Ouranos (sky). We then discover how the four elements came to be; Earth (Gaia), Water (the spittle of Zeus), Fire (the sun of Apollo) and Air (the breath of Athena).
“But something was missing. Something very important.”
We learn about the birth of Athena from Zeus’ head, we join Persephone on her journey into the Underworld, we marvel at the love affair between Eros and Psyche and when Pandora opens her jar – well that’s something else to behold altogether.
“Painters, poets and philosophers…They have seen an image of the absurdity of human life, the futility of effort, the remorseless cruelty of fate, the unconquerable power of gravity. But they have seen too something of mankind’s courage, resilience, fortitude, endurance and self-belief. They see something heroic in our refusal to submit.”
You may all remember my review of Galatea? Well the actual myth differs from the one I read previously and it seems like it’s very possible in some Greek myths, mortal lovers can be granted a happiness that we all crave…maybe it is stories such as these that fill our minds and our hearts of these thoughts that one day we too will have a happy ending.
“…how little you understand a loving mortal heart.”
Read the myths and enjoy the links to modern day life and you may find you’re able to relate to a few as well. Stephen Fry does and excellent job of combining ancient myths and modern day storytelling to bring to life the Greek myths, some we know very well and others not so much and some make us question everything we already know.
“Perhaps narcissism is best defined as a need to look on other people as mirrored surfaces who satisfy us only when they reflect back a loving or admiring image of ourselves.
When we look into another’s eyes…we are not looking to see who they are, but how we are reflected in their eyes. By definition, which of us can honestly disown our share of narcissism?”
The book is is split in to lots of separate stories so the flow can be a bit off at times but Fry’s humour helps to make this and I especially enjoy the little footnotes.
I can’t wait to visit Greece in all its glory and history and go on a ‘mythology trip’ to see the places and the famous landmarks associated with these myths. Yes I’m a nerd and I have zero shame in admitting that! I still have a few Greek themed books to read – Elektra, Ariadne, Circe and Pandora are all on my TBR list and will feature (at some point) in my reviews.
I hope my next review, Heroes (along similar lines to Mythos just solely about Greek heroes), will come a lot sooner than this one did!
You can find Mythos on Amazon
Until next time,