Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review: The Penguin Book of Classical Myths by Jenny March

Review also available on my blog!

The greatest legends of all time, splendidly retold

The myths of ancient Greece and Rome are the most dramatic and unforgettable tales of love, war, heroism, and betrayal ever told. Whether it’s Icarus flying too close to the sun, Prometheus stealing fire from the gods, or the tragedy of Oedipus, their characters have inspired art, literature, plays, and films. Now, renowned classics scholar Jenny March presents a dazzling reinterpretation of these time-honored myths. Laid out in eighteen clear chapters and providing the origins, development, and interpretation of each myth, this is the essential guide to the stories that have shaped our world. - Goodreads

Title: The Penguin Book of Classical Myths
Author: Jenny March
Genre: non-fiction-mythology
Published: October 27th 2009
Publisher: Penguin Books
Source: Gift from my Grandma
My rating5 of 5 stars

Buy from The Book Depository

Hi guys!

If any of you pay attention to my posts then you’ll realise that this book is a bit different to what I normally review as it is non-fiction. In my policy page it even says no non-fiction books. However, some of you might have also realised that I absolutely ADORE classics - particularly Greco-Roman mythology. So when I saw this book (especially its gorgeous cover) I knew I had to have it. (Thank God for generous Grandmas!)

For a non-fiction book, which I normally find dull, slow and hard to read, I tore through this book on the 4 hour journey to Cambridge. I know a little about mythology from my Classics class and the Percy Jackson books but not to this extent and detail. Although there are lots of names and families which are quite hard to pronounce, the way March writes is so accessible and I found it relatively easy to read. The illustrations throughout really helped me visualise the stories. Those in the middle especially were so bright and vivid and I just loved them.

The structure was really helpful as well. The introduction gives the myths context and gives the reader lots of information. From then on it talks about creation, then the individual gods and then the myths. This means that even if your prior knowledge is minimal then you have a good basis of information before you start the myths allowing March to go into superb detail and offer different interpretations rather than just the most ‘popular’. The myths are then told in chronological order and often intertwine with one another so that even though this is a non-fiction book, it gives a really sense of story-telling narrative.

Overall, a wonderfully crafted book with a clear structure and easy to read style. Gorgeous illustrations and incredible detail, I highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in mythology. I will definitely be referring to this book in the future!

5 stars.

Have any of you read this book, or have an interest in Greco-Roman Mythology? :)



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