Steven Fry is a lover of Hellenic mythology and ancient Hellas in general. I've featured his words before on this blog, abide in an entirely different context and I will gladly do so again now. Fry has narrated a selection of Hellenic myths in "Mythos."

Fry has selected a small group of stories. They derive mostly from Hesiod’s Theogony (the birth of the gods and the creation of the first few generations of humans), Apuleius’s Latin novel The Golden Ass (Cupid and Psyche), and Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Arachne, Midas, Echo and Narcissus), as well as Homeric Hymns to Demeter and Hermes. They deal respectively with the abduction of Persephone and the theft by the newborn Hermes of his big brother Apollon’s cattle. There is no index, so there are more I have not yet listened to.

So far, I am greatly enjoying the audio book version of Mythos. Harry Potter fans on this side of the globe know very well that Fry does very well with audio books and he brings both a distinguished and humorous feel to the myths with which I am very familiar. I don't like all of his interpretations as he falls victim to stereotypes sometimes (Hera "hurling china ornaments at feckless minions," Ares "was unintelligent of course, monumentally dense"), but on the whole, it's a good, entertaining read. Official blub:

"From the birth of the universe to the creation of humankind, Stephen Fry - who fell in love with these stories as a child - retells these myths for our tragic, comic, fateful age. Witness Athena born from the cracking open of Zeus's great head and follow Persephone down into the dark realm of Hades. Experience the terrible and endless fate of Prometheus after his betrayal of Zeus and shiver as Pandora opens her jar of evil torments. The Greek gods are the best and worst of us, and in Stephen Fry's hands they tell us who we are. Mythos - smart, funny, and above all great fun - is the retelling we deserve by a man who has been entertaining the nation for over four decades."

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