REVIEW: Mythos by Stephen Fry

For those curious about Greek mythology, this is a wonderfully lively retelling of these famous stories.

Prepare to enter a world filled with monsters, Gods and Goddesses as well as magic for this entertaining retelling of some of the most famous stories to exist.

Through his own quirky and humorous style, Stephen Fry offers an intelligent and thoughtful interpretations of stories involving memorable stories including Pandora and her box, the tragic stories of Echo and Narcissus, the relationship between Eros and Psyche for example.

The way in which Fry manages to bring each character to life while providing a witty narrative alongside the stories makes Mythos a really fun as well as playfully intellectual read. For example, Fry informs us of just how the continent of Europe was named as such thanks to Europa being kidnapped over the area in question by Zeus. The book is filled with fascinating facts with relating to language and similarity to words that we still use today that also helps to keep the book interesting.

All the characters – even with their numerous flaws are immensely likeable and it is a real treat to feel as though they have vividly come to life again in such a way that in some regards the reader can relate to them. Yes perhaps not all the known stories are included in this book, but due to the sheer volume of stories it would be impossible for all of them to feature effectively in one book.

Instead, by picking a selection of them, it still manages to offer a comprehensive guide to many of them to still maintain a strong narrative to help the book flow from one story to the next to ensure that the reader is never bored. The whole book is neatly coherent to understand – even while there are many different names to take into consideration – and is almost impossible to put down once started.

These are all tales that are filled with the best and worst emotions including love, jealousy, greed, hope and grief for example and if read or imagined in sombre ways it would be slightly tiresome to read. But thanks to Fry’s style of writing it is kept light and enjoyable as the way in which the tale of Thantos (aka death) was tricked by Sisyphus proves.

Overall, if you are newcomer to Greek Mythology this is a great place to start as an entertaining but still intellectual take on these fascinating stories.

By Emma Clarendon

Mythos is available to buy now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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