It seems as though the trend of introducing modern readers to Greek mythology isn’t going away any time soon. And I couldn’t be happier. I love being able to revisit these stories in a more relaxed way. I finished listening to Stephen Fry’s Heroes last Sunday and immediately started listening to Troy. I had so enjoyed his retelling of the myths about the great Greek heroes that I knew I wanted to see what he made of the Trojan War. After all, we’d heard it referenced so much in the earlier work. It also helped that Helen gets a mention in Less is Lost. I felt like the universe was telling me that it’s time.
I’ve had the audiobook version of this book in my Audible library for quite a while but never felt like listening to it. I don’t find it easy to listen to myths when I’m working because I tend to lose track of who everyone is. Those Greeks had such similar names so I always worry that I’d get lost. It’s also much longer than my usual audiobooks, so it wouldn’t be something I could finish over the course of one day. Meaning I’d had to rely on my memory to remember what I’d just listened to. In my constant attempt to decrease my TBR, I decided it was time to listen to it. Over the last week, I’ve listened to it in between reading a physical book. I definitely think this was the best way to do it. That way I can take a break whenever things get a bit too weird or rapey. Although, thankfully, there isn’t as much in the follow-up to Mythos.
Do you ever revisit the books of your youth? It’s one of those big dilemmas. Do you reread them to see if they’re as good or do you not take the risk? It’s awful going back to something that you loved and realising that it’s just not that great. That was my quandary with this book. I had thought about it for years but couldn’t find it anywhere. It didn’t help that I’d forgotten the full title and didn’t know who wrote it. There was a point where I genuinely believed that I’d made it up. Although, I also remembered how much I loved this book. I am sure that it was the reason that I love Greek mythology. It must have been my introduction to them. I can’t remember where I bought it but it was probably at the Scholastic book fair. Those places were magical. I miss the rush you’d get at one of those. Nothing in adult life can match it.
Oh, the smugness that I was experiencing last week. What an idiot I was. I was so cocky when I finished two books in one week. So, cocky that I almost didn’t get this one finished in time. I expected to get through this poetry collection in no time but, whenever I had the chance to read it, I just didn’t want to. Maybe it was because I had just finished two really easy to read books? Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t engaging with this one enough? I guess it was about time that I had a bit of a struggle. 2019 has, for the most part, been a really good reading year. I’ve not experienced much of a reading slump so far so it was high time that I had a small one. It also doesn’t help that I’m super tired this week. I feel like I’ve barely slept the last few nights. So, I’m going to be a boring old lady and get to bed early tonight. Wrapped up, herbal tea, and a pair of fuzzy socks. Sounds blissful.
There was a point when I didn’t think I would finish this book for today’s post. I was well on track until I got horribly distracted by a podcast I listen to. A friend from work and I are obsessed with the My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast and love discussing it. I’d been saving series 4 for a bit to give me a break after series 3 but, the other day, she announced she’s finished book 4. So, naturally, I have to catch up with her and I may have listened to that instead of Stephen Fry one night this week. It was enjoyable listening to this book as an audiobook but I’m not convinced it’s the greatest way to do it. For one thing, I fell asleep in the middle of several chapters and had to go back the next day. For another, it took me way less time to read a chapter than it took Stephen to narrate it. I’ve never considered how much longer saying something out loud is compared to reading it in your head but it must have a major impact on the time you spend with a book. But this feels like a topic for another time. It’s late and I have to get this review finished.
I meant to start writing this review last night because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me. Inevitably, I didn’t manage it as I got distracted and, if I’m not careful I’ll do it again tonight. It’s all because of this book as well. I have been a fan of Greek myths since I was a kid and got given a book about them. Before writing this post, I decided that it was vital to find the book online so I knew the name. I never did, which is a shame because I bloody loved that book. It presented the Greek myths in a child-friendly way that really played up the humour. Something that really helped distract from just how horny Zeus and everyone really were. It meant that I became interested in the myths rather than disturbed by them. With that kind of background then this book should have been right up my street. So, why has it taken me 7 years to read it? A very simple answer… the cover. The original cover (featuring a breastplate that looks more Roman in my mind) just looks tacky. I know I know. Never judge a book by its cover etc. But, come on, it’s awful. If Bloomsbury hadn’t released the beautiful Modern Classics edition then I might never have experienced this book at all. I owe them.