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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Definitive Collection of Myth (in all variants)

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unacceptable! Heavily redacted version should be sold as "ABRIDGED"!!

This is an abridged and mutilated reading. Nowhere in the description is this indicated. The original work contains Graves' explication of each myth narrative. Graves' sometimes speculative scholarship is what makes this work unique, yet the commentary following each section of the myth narrative has been excised. Unfortunately, to sell this as Robert Graves' The Greek Myths without indicating that it is heavily redacted is fraudulent and a great disservice to a wonderful author. I'm rather steamed about it.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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A Great Survey of Greek Mythology

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.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Not for audiobook

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.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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possibly a useful book

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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"some say.."

The basis of our philosophical culture. Here are countless lucid tales. Strange humankibd held these in high regard until science.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • darkbluepoppy
  • 04-09-18

Where are the notes ?<br />

The most important part of Graves's version of the Greek Myths is missing! The translation itself is excellent but it is the interpretation which makes it stand out despite the current view of classical scholarship that the interpretation is flawed. Graves's extensive footnotes were what I was looking forward to hearing in an unabridged recording of the book, and I am so disappointed that they are not included.

58 of 63 people found this review helpful

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  • Manish
  • 03-19-18

Greek Mythology

Brilliant. Well read. Covered all the myths that could be told and then some. Not a beginner's book. Try Fry's Mythos instead.

43 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • WarwickStudent
  • 07-29-18

Dry, muddled and rushed. No notes or analysis.

This book is meant to have some hefty analysis of the myths and their contexts/relevance which chapter one does with the apple giving and its linkage to biblical myths. However, this has none of that.

Worse, the book is a hodgepodge of myths told at max speed. Zeus's mother told him off, he threatened to rape her, she became a snake, he became a snake and followed through. Bam - next story! (Not quite that succinct but not far off.)

Many chapter are actually collections of stories about a character but are mostly 3-6 minutes long in total (as in all the stories combined).

I know Greek mythology is not codified or linear but this is just not a good book for anyone but an expert and all the experts seem to reject it

I'll try Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jo o.
  • 04-21-18

A bit too academic for an audio book

I struggled a bit with this book as I found it quite dry and not as poetic and lyrical as I had hoped. The introduction is rather dry but informative but after listening to all the historical facts it had taken away a lot of the magic from the stories. Great if you are studying the myths but if you just want to sit back and enjoy the old tails them maybe a reworking or more modern telling will please the listener more than this rather dry academic work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • gary
  • 04-26-18

Where are these notes I’m supposed to get

Ok, very dry. Very disappointed that the notes didn’t appear & no information as to how I get them

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen J
  • 09-08-18

Greek Gods behaving like spoiled teenagers

As this book progressed I became appalled by the behaviour of so called "Greek Gods".

I tolerated the first 15 chapters, all the time hoping that there would be a story of the heroes of Ancient Greece, like Jason and the Argonauts, or the story of the Wooden Horse.

Audio books presents this book without naming any of the 60 chapters, so if the story I seek is in this volume there is no way I can find out.

Shame on you Audiobooks

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  • Chris
  • 08-06-18

Myths according to Graves and nobody else.

If you want to learn about Greek Myths forget the Graves version of events and get Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, and Ovid's Metamorphoses instead. Graves adds and embellishes, but worse still changes the original primary sources, making his versions no more than fictionalised accounts of them. There is absolutely no structure to this work either chronologically or in terms of location. Having listened to this you will be no clearer as to how all the myths fit together, it would have been more exciting listening to a dictionary. The narrator needs a medal for keeping awake, and may explain some of his strange pronounciations along the way and his monotone voice. Avoid.

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  • DJB
  • 07-06-18

fascinating overview

It's great to have a deeper understanding of the things which have entered common usage without understanding of the history and context.
This is very well delivered and, because the chapters are short, can be listened to in long sessions or very brief periods.