Where do we come from? Why do stars shine and the seasons change? What is evil? Since the beginning of time, people have answered such questions by crafting imaginative stories that have served as religion, science, philosophy, and popular literature. In his irreverent and popular question-and-answer style, Davis introduces and explains the great myths of the world, as well as the works of literature that have made them famous. In a single volume, he tackles Mesopotamia's Gilgamesh, the first hero in world mythology; Achilles and the Trojan War; Stonehenge and the Druids; Thor, the Nordic god of thunder; Chinese oracle bones; the use of peyote in ancient Native American rites; and the dramatic life and times of the man who would be Buddha.
Ever familiar and instructive, Davis shows why the ancient tales of gods and heroes, from Mount Olympus to Machu Picchu, from ancient Rome to the icy land of the Norse, continue to speak to us today, in our movies, art, language, and music. For mythology novices and buffs alike, and for anyone who loves a good story, Don't Know Much About Mythology is a lively and insightful look into the greatest stories ever told.
©2005 Kenneth C. Davis; (P)2005 Random House, Inc.
"Ranges widely and with such sparkling wit....A superb starting point for entering the world of mythology." (Publishers Weekly)
Why did'nt our history teachers make it this interesting? Very engrossing book, covers not just the basics of mythology but why it enthralls us such. We are teased with the man behind the myth story telling method though he never quite finishes what he starts. Not only a history lesson but an indepth look at how these stories from the past have shaped both or present and future outlook on life. Truly entertaining.
Every book is worth considering. It's the kind of consideration on what to do with the book that differs.
For a long time, I was fascinated about mythology in general but didn't know where to start. Most published works cover only one mythology, or only a part of it. This book is an excellent compilation of the most important mythologies put together in a very approachable and fascinating way.
Not only does it go through the most important points and beliefs of each mythology, but often compare and contrast them with one another, as well as will religious teachings (Noah's Ark and the Flood being the most common among all mythologies.)
If you're planning to buy this book, I suggest you get the unabridged version. Highly recommended.
I was really looking for a book on GREEK mythology, but this was very enlightening as it expanded the Mythology of the WHOLE WORLD. Egyption, Native Indian, you name it.
The book starts out great - not what I expected. It gives a history of the region (Greece, Rome, Africa, Americas, etc.) then gives some of the more popular beliefs and myths. Well done. But, wow - does he get on a soap box concerning the Americas. It really gets old and soures an otherwise good listen.
I really enjoyed learning new and surprising things, but those were few and far between in this book. I don't like how this book just throws a bunch of information at your head, without really organizing it in a meaningful way. At times it's really laborious and about as exciting as an almanac or phone book of mythology rather than something you actually want to listen to. This is an excellent book for those who absorb copious amounts of information for fun, but not for those who also expect some entertainment or thoughtful analysis. If you know just the basics of mythology its going to be a really long wordy recap.
I am really discouraged, because he seems to me to just catalog information. I can go to wikipedia for that.
It was read to fast for my brain. I had to o back the moment my attention lapsed.
Not really. But I came away with a few good morsels.
I am not sure I am going to finish it all the way. I am about 90% through, carried by the hope it might get better.
I really enjoyed "Don't Know Much About History," so I thought I would go through the series, but this book was not as good. I did not enjoy the reader. I found his accent distracting and lacking in emotion.
The first half of the book seemed pretty good. I followed the structure and could understand the links (maybe because I more familiar with the material). The second half seemed muddled. I found myself not wanting to turn on my MP3 player because I new what was waiting for me.
If you really like myths, this might be a good book, but if you only have a passing interest, I might try something else.
I'm an RN: Retired Nurse (-: Living the good life. I'm enjoying my hobbies: playing music and Photography, I do a lot of both in beautiful Balboa Park. I listen to Audible books during my 2 mile walk to the gym; 4 days a week, and during my boring workouts! I like movies, theater, cooking, my friends and my cat; not necessarily in that order, and life in general.
I could listen to John Lee read the phone book! Of course listening to him read this Superbly well done material is much more instructive.
The use of BCE, btw, has become more common and while it may be more "PC", I, for one, prefer it to BC.
I really liked this and have been recomending to all my friends. I learned so much about the history of so many cultures and their myths there were areas I wish had been covered a bit beter but all in all a great overview
I thought this book would be full of stories about the greek mythology etc. It did not really seem to hit the mark although did go into some depth talking about all the various gods in different civilizations. So it was very long (three audiofiles) and not fantastically interesting. I am generous giving it a 3 I think. Maybe I will listen to it again as I can't really remember very many details of it!
John Lee, the narrator has a wonderful voice, but I bought this book based on the sound of Kenneth C. Davis' enthusiastic introduction. I love this topic. i have scores of books and not a few audiobooks on mythology. I was looking forward to 20 hours of recounts and reflections on some of the greatest stories ever told, and in the voice of a fellow enthusiast, not in the voice of a classically trained actor doing a job...however good a job that might be.
Kenneth C. Davis
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