Including many of the greatest stories ever told - the labours of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the minotaur, Midas and his golden touch, the Trojan War and Odysseus's journey home - Robert Graves's superb and comprehensive retelling of the Greek myths for a modern audience has been regarded for over fifty years as the definitive version.
With a novelist's skill and a poet's eye, Graves draws on the entire canon of ancient literature, bringing together all the elements of every myth into one epic and unforgettable story. Ideal for the first-time reader, it is equally valuable for anyone seeking an authoritative and detailed account of the gods, heroes and extraordinary events that provide the bedrock of Western literature. The result is a classic among classics, a treasure trove of extraordinary tales and a masterful work of literature in its own right.
Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was an English poet and novelist, scholar, translator and writer of antiquity, specialising in Classical Greece and Rome. During his long life he produced more than 140 works. Graves's translations and innovative analysis and interpretations of the Greek myths, the memoir of his early life, Good-bye to all That, and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print. Graves earned his living by writing popular historical novels, including I, Claudius (for which he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), King Jesus, The Golden Fleece and Count Belisarius. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1961 and made an honorary fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, in 1971.
©1955 Robert Graves (P)2013 Audible Ltd
Choreographer. Director. Actor. Educator. And lover of audio books! They are theatre for the mind!
When reading greek myths it is important to remember that there were no orthodoxies in the ancient Greek religious system. The worship and stories of Gods and Heroes varied from place to place throughout the Hellenic world. What is so fabulous about Robert Graves is he does not just recount the most excepted version of the myth but rather depicts them all. He also points out if he feels a version of a myth was created or altered by a tragedian or poet. However, Graves collection of the greek myths are not for the beginner; a general working knowledge of the gods, heroes, the timeline and family lineage is a must. I truly recommend this book to any lover of the greeks and their mythology.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
Listened to with the kids. My kids now think Greeks and heroes are all randy drinkers prone to murder (in all its forms) and incest (Dad, what's incest?), and the gods and demigods are worse.
My kids (13 & 11) were mainly interested in the sex, blood, and the strata of godhood (Gods, Demigods, Semidemi, etc). A poet's mythology for sure, and obviously influenced by Grave's own obscession with the White Goddess myth, etc. The most interesting survey of Greek Mythology I've come in contact with. I might have to revisit my Bulfinch and Hamilton again just to make sure I'm not clouded by some offbeat, proximity bias or elixer/aphrodisiakon that has attracted me to Graves from the egg.
Historian and music lover. Trying to learn French.
This book is great, still I rate it low. Why? The greatness of this book lies in the detailed references and notes accompanying the stories. These are all excluded from the audio-book, and that drags down the value of the purchase. Honestly, I don't think the book would work in the audio-format even if the annotations were included. I bought the printed book after listening to some chapters. My conclusion is that Graves's account of the Greek myths is a marvelous read - on paper.
My experience of this audiobook was of having someone read a textbook to me. It may be of interest to someone who knows something about Greek mythology, and pagan mythology in general, and is ready for some depth. But then, it might be better for such a reader to buy a physical book, with a TOC and index, and where you can put bookmarks between the pages and notes in the margin.
I will probably keep this book on my device for a while to read me to sleep.
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