I’m thoroughly enjoy Greek mythology. Growing up watching shows like Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys had (and still has) a big impact on me. I remember being in fifth grade and our teacher reading D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and being hooked on every tale. I own the beautifully illustrated Treasury of Greek Mythology, which my son is still too young to appreciate, and I’ve enjoyed Rick Roidan‘s work of Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series and The Heroes of Olympus Series. I haven’t finished Heroes of Olympus, so I haven’t gotten around to reading The Trials of Apollo Series, but I’m sure they’re all just as good.
Naturally, I decided I wanted to write a novel with roots in Greek mythology. While I was still working at a bookstore before heading back to school, I asked my fellow coworkers of another book that may help me on my mission. Quite a few of them referred me to Edith Hamilton‘s Mythology, so I picked it up. If you’re not into mythology ( I have no idea why you wouldn’t be) and you feel like trying something new, any of the titles I mentioned above are a great start. Aside from Hamilton’s book, their mainly for children, but the stories are a interesting read for all ages. Each tale describes of the Greek’s beliefs and theories as to how and why the world functions: through the Gods.
Touching on the cons, Hamilton’s book could have gone into further detail about certain figures in the Greek tellings. The usual gang is all there from Zeus and Hera to Hades and Persephone to the Muses, but there are some with only a paragraph description for their contribution to the functionality of the universe. I’m sure that’s no fault of Hamilton’s, seeing as there probably isn’t much on those deities to begin with.
This second con may not be considered all that serious but, for some, it may. The sections can be fairly lengthy. It’s a superficial complaint, but I figure there will be some people who don’t like having to read about a certain God for roughly ten pages (Possibly an exaggeration, but maybe not).Who knows? It may be their least favorite of the Gods.
Moving on to pros, you’ve probably guessed I’m going to be biased since I have an interest in the topic. Hamilton does a great job of breaking down the timeline of how the Gods and what we now know as Earth came to be. Since some sections are long, there’s a hit and miss chance of getting a wallop of information on your favorite God. Each section is broken in seven parts, starting with the Gods, the Creation, and the earliest heroes. The last part delves into Norse myth, which I didn’t know much about and enjoyed learning. There are a few figures I’d never heard of before and it was fairly informative to read about them, even if it was a paragraph or pages long.
There isn’t much to spoil as most people have an idea about Greek Myths and the lot, but I found this book useful. A lot of what is in Mythology can be found on the internet, there’s no doubt, but it saves an endless Google search will almost all of it in one place. Whether this is for leisure or work, Hamilton’s book is a good read. I definitely finished this book with more knowledge to use on my novel in progress. There’s many wonders in the world, these stories being wonderful theories of how they came to be. Have any thoughts on Greek mythology or even the culture? Comment and share to let me know!