Top positive review
58 people found this helpful
on 24 February 2012
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