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The Greek Myths: Stories of the Greek Gods and Heroes Vividly Retold [Kindle Edition]

Robin Waterfield
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

The Greek Myths contains some of the most thrilling, romantic, and unforgettable stories in all human history. From Achilles rampant on the fields of Troy, to the gods at sport on Mount Olympus; from Icarus flying too close to the sun, to the superhuman feats of Heracles, Theseus, and the wily Odysseus, these timeless tales exert an eternal fascination and inspiration that have endured for millennia and influenced cultures from ancient to modern.

Beginning at the dawn of human civilization, when the Titan Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and offered mankind hope, the reader is immediately immersed in the majestic, magical, and mythical world of the Greek gods and heroes. As the tales unfold, renowned classicist Robin Waterfield creates a sweeping panorama of the romance, intrigues, heroism, humour, sensuality, and brutality of the Greek myths and legends.

The terrible curse that plagued the royal houses of Mycenae and Thebes, Jason and the golden fleece, Perseus and the dread Gorgon, the wooden horse and the sack of Troy - these amazing stories have influenced art and literature from the Iron Age to the present day. And far from being just a treasure trove of timeless tales, The Greek Myths is a catalogue of Greek myth in art through the ages, and a notable work of literature in its own right.


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Review

'A magnificent new book which explains and retells some of the most thrilling stories in human history' Lancashire Evening Post.

From the Inside Flap

The Greek Myths contains some of the most thrilling, romantic and unforgettable stories in all human history. From Achilles rampant on the fields of Troy, to the gods at sport on Mount Olympus; from Icarus flying too close to the sun, to the superhuman feats of Heracles, Theseus and the wily Odysseus, these timeless tales exert a fascination and inspiration that have endured for millennia. Beginning at the dawn of human civilization, when the Titan Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and offered hope to mankind, the reader is immediately immersed in the majestic and magical world of the Greek gods and heroes. As the tales unfold, renowned classicist Robin Waterfield, joined by writer Kathryn Waterfield, creates a sweeping panorama of the romance, intrigues, heroism, humour, sensuality and brutality of the Greek myths and legends. Featuring over 120 images of remarkable variety and beauty, The Greek Myths also reveals the enduring impact the myths have had on Western art and culture. The terrible curse that plagued the royal houses of Mycenae and Thebes, Jason and the golden fleece, Persue and the dread Gorgon, the Wooden Horse and the sack of Troy - these and the many other amazing stories included here have had a decisive influence on literature and civilization from the Iron Age to the present day.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Illustrated Greek Myths 15 Sept. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my teenage daughter as a bridge between the childrens versions of the Greek Myths and the translated texts. It gives comprehensive unbowdlerised coverage of all the stories,(even Rosemary Sutcliff's superb retelling of the Illiad omits the sacrifice of Iphigenea) but for me its chief strength is in the quality and range of the illustrations used. These go from early greek pottery to 21st century sculpture, beautifully reproduced to match the high production values of the book itself, making it a joy to own. I would have bought it for the pictures alone. The text is fine, if sometimes showing the 'joins' between two authors and thus aiming at poetic effect in some areas and not others, but my daughter read it straight through without any complaints and I may be showing my age here. If I was only interested in the text I would stick to Robert Graves, but I am not sure my daughter would agree. I will probably test that this Christmas!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vividly Reviewed!! 24 Feb. 2012
Format:Hardcover
Loved this book: the writing, the illustrations, and the organization. You MUST add this book to your library, but you MUST read it before shelving!!

The writing: I was gripped by this description of Clytemestra preparing to murder her husband, Agamemnon, after he triumphantly returned home from the Trojan War: "For a moment she hesitated: he had become so toughened by ten years of warfare that he seemed invulnerable and somehow magnificent. But she stiffened her resolve, and no sooner had he risen, dripping, from the relaxing warmth of the water than Clytemestra entangled his limbs in a sheet, and trapped him as effectively as a proud stage in a net." See why the subtitle of the book is "Vividly Retold"?

The illustrations: The book includes everything from the traditional Greek vases and sarcophagus reliefs to marble statues, oil painting by European masters and Italian frescoes--all in color on high-quality glossy paper. Many illustrations were new to me, such as the sensual eighteenth-century oil painting by Jacque-Louis David, "The Love of Helen and Paris," with this caption by the authors: "Paris found that he was better suited for the bedroom than the battlefield." Vivid captions, too!

The organization: Finally a reader can fit these thousands of stories into manageable categories. In addition to the usual sections about the twelve gods, the Trojan War, Odysseus' return, the heroes are creatively presented in the cities of Thebes, Mycenae and Athens. Vividly understandable.

Definitely buy this book. Worth every pence or every penny, in my case, here in the USA. -- Marilyn Rouvelas, Arlington, Virginia
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greek Myths 3 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Greek mythology has always been a sizeable gap in my classical education and at 60 years of age I felt it about time I did something about it. Reading this book is a pleasure. It is well set out and gives the reader a great perspective into the thinking behind the myths. Well written. Thank you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you wanting more... 29 Jun. 2014
By mortyoh
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a nice book for those looking for an introduction into the Greek myths. My only qualm with it really is that the prose and the stories are a little simple... if you already have a basic understanding of the main tales, then this book isn't going to give you anything else additional to the knowledge you already have. It's definitely a book for those who aren't looking to get into the stories seriously and just want a basic point of reference.

Otherwise, it's a nice light read and not too overwhelming. So perfect for someone looking to be inspired; it definitely leaves you wanting a more in-depth look...! I find myself now very interested in other interpretations and any different perceptions of these classic mythological stories.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just right for the non-academic reader 21 Feb. 2014
By William
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's actually quite hard to find a really readable but comprehensive guide to Greek mythology. At first I was put off by the 'vividly retold' bit, thinking that it might be a dumbed down jobbie. But I bought it anyway and was glad I did. Waterfield is very accessible, but does not compromise on detail. Beautifully illustrated too. Strongly recommended for non-academics like me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book about Greek myths 15 Mar. 2014
By June
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a book about the Greek myths that tells each one in plenty of detail, including stories about the gods and about the historical background to them..
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 12 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a beginner when it comes to knowing anything about Greek myths and this was the perfect book to tell me all about them. It's told in a story telling manner that's easy to understand but not patronising and with lots of description that makes it an enjoyable read. There were lots of confusing names that made it a little tricky to follow but that's in the nature of Greek myths I guess. Sometimes within sections it did tend to jump around a bit, which got a little confusing but rereading the last couple of sentences sometimes helped to clarify my understanding. Overall however, it was a great purchase that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys the topic and reading, not for children but not so complex that it's for academic purposes. :) x
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read 25 Oct. 2013
By Ai-Lin
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to learn about Greek mythology and wanted a book that is easy to read. This book does so so well. Wonderful storytelling.
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