The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
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The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  391 ratings  ·  55 reviews present you this new edition. A man in the garb of a slave went up the side of that mountain that is all covered with forest, the Mountain Pelion. He carried in his arms a little child.
ebook, 340 pages
Published December 3rd 2010 by Pubone.Info (first published 1921)
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I started out really liking this book, but about a quarter of the way through it began to bore me to tears. I think that it was Twain who said something like, "Don't tell your readers that the lady is singing. Bring her on stage and let them hear her." Well, this book was all telling.

I want a GOOD Greek-mythilogical fantasy.
This is the first "real" book of myths I read as a child. It is a great introductory version of many of the classic Greek stories for kids. For adults, there are many, many better books out there.

Padraic Colum, author of The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles, was born December 8, 1881, in County Longford, Ireland. In 1914, he and his wife, Mary, moved to the United States where he began writing children’s stories and books based on Irish folklore and mythology. In 1922, his retelling of Greek myths was recognized as a Newbery Honor Book. Padraic Colum later authored two more Newbery Honor books, The Voyagers: Being Legends and Romances of Atlantic Discovery in 1926...more
Mar 18, 2011 Slayermel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoy's greek mythology
I really enjoy Mythology of all types, but I do have a certain weakness for Greek mythology, I’m not sure what it was that originally attracted me to it as a child but the Minotaur, the Labyrinth, Zeus and his lightning bolts, all that was absolutely fascinating to me.

This is the story of Jason who was supposed to be the king of Iolcus but his uncle Pelias had taken the thrown from Jason’s father Aeson. Aeson worried that his brother Pelias was going to do harm to his young son as he may view h...more
Nessima Tavariel
I can see how one might be a shade on the bored side with this book, which apparently people do, according to the reviews. "Dull and distant" (to paraphrase) seems to be the general opinion around here. I, however, found it immensely enjoyable, exciting (for the most part), and easy to read (surprisingly so). As a bonus, the characters were pretty cool. Or most of them were, anyway. Particularly Atalanta. And Theseus seems like a nice chap. Medea was interesting, even though there was a time or...more
I wouldn't have even given this book a chance if I hadn't read the forward by Rick Riordan. His forward made the book sound so exciting. It wasn't. The story is constantly jumping from one myth to another. The author has the heroes tell stories (myths) to each other while on their journey to gain back the Golden Fleece. All of the myth telling was boring and confusing. It was almost like the author thought he had to cover all the Greek myths in one book. Rather than reading the cliff notes versi...more
Beautifully illustrated, wonderfully reverent to the source material- if perhaps a bit cleaned up and gentler on the younger reader- Padraic Colum's translation/revision of the ARGONAUTICA is a unique entry in the classical mythology world, weaving stories together in a simple, but poetic prose, to form a book that resembles a novel more than a treasury. Colum endows these classic myths and characters with depth and touches of humanity that makes them relatable and modern, while also doing a bet...more
So I'm conflicted about this book. It was written in an appropriate style for children, as the stories were easier to understand and fairly plain and thus it was deserving of a Newbery Honor. But they were written in a style appropriate to children in 1921 and thus modern-day readers would be put off by the language. So it would be hard for me to recommend it to one of my young friends that I give book recommendations to because they would find it deadly dull.

That being said, the stories were go...more
Sean Menon
So far I think The Golden Fleece and the Heros Who Lived Before Achilles is a cool book that is written in old english. Sometimes the story is hard to understand because it is thousands of years old. Overall, I think the book The Golden Fleece and the Heros Who Lived Before Achilles is an awesome book but is for people with high reading skills.
watered down ( PG )version of great greek tales of heroism and adventure. i love it, but when compared to other accounts of these legendary quests all of the guts seem removed (literally).

i recommend this for those new to greek mythology and any one, who like me, wants to know the answer to those jeopardy questions the next time around. :)
I read some book about Jason and the Golden Fleece and other myths in the sixth grade, but I have no clue what the title was. The fact that this one was a Newbury Honor makes this one a safe guess. If anyone had Mrs. Collins at Parker and remembers more let me know! :P
I didn't grow up reading myths, so I was very glad to finally learn who the Argonauts were! I like Colum's style of writing, although my 12 year old, who is reading this now, doesn't like it at all. (It doesn't sound like people text).
The Greek myths of ancient times teach us a lot about what makes a good story. Not every cultural tall tale remains in circulation for thousands of years after it was originally told, so one can definitely learn something from any set of stories that have such exceptional staying power. Above all else, I would say that the most apparent thread of success common to most of the Greek myths is the presence of poignant emotion and sadness, and even sad endings to tales that otherwise would just be...more
Nazanin Rizvi
I kinda unexpectedly LOVED this book!! The main storyline was how Jason and a few other heroes (like Castor and Pollux- the Gemini twins, Atalanta – a hunter of Artemis, Orpheus, Peleus, Telamon, Theseus, Nestor and Heracles amongst MANY others who I can’t remember) called the Argonauts travelled on a ship called the Argo (hence they were the Argonauts) to a place called Colchis where they were to retrieve the Golden Fleece and return it to Jason’s home in Iolcos.

The adventures that the Argonau...more
An anthology of ancient Greek myths tied together by the frame-story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, this is some of the best English epic prose I have ever read in my life, and that includes the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

And, as if that wasn't enough recommendation on its own, it's also a surprisingly feminist-friendly story: Jason's mother gets a personality, Atalanta is one of the Argonauts (only one of whom puts up any fuss about "omg a GIRL", and he's explicitly characterized as a boor), Mede...more
Sheryl Tribble
This book kind of follows the Argonautica for a while, nice-ifying things (the women of Lemnos ran their men off instead of killing them, for example), adding Atalanta (Apollonius didn't let her come along), and adding various myths as stories someone tells. The first two thirds or so have an episodic but coherent story line, however the last third is a pile of stories about various people who had been on the Argo, going both forward and back in time. I would have liked it better broken up into...more
Ann Carpenter
I'm glad I listened to this one on audio since the narrator did a nice job of translating the fairly dry prose in a manner that was perfectly suited to the carefully told tale that it was.

I don't think this would win any awards if it were published today, if only because I think it would have a hard time BEING published for children today, being very dry. These hero tales are inherently filled with action and adventure, yet I never got a sense of thrill from the book.

Some of the tales were slig...more
This book was pretty interesting, while I did think that the author did a lot of jumping around (e.i. being in one story and having a character start to tell story. It got confusing) it still kept my interest, which was more then what I had hoped for. I wasn't sure how tough this book would be to get through, seeing how it had a couple factors that might hinder my liking it, including the fact that it was about mythology. But it was one of the first Newbery Honors and I felt like I had to read i...more
I thought the first two parts of this book were fascinating and I loved learning more about Greek mythological heroes I had only known by name. The adventure of Jason and the Argonauts was fraught with danger, adventure, love, hate, and more. Then came the third and final part of the book. The quest for the Golden Fleece now complete at this point, Padraic Colum wanted to give additional information about particular heroes, an epilogue of sorts. Here followed many more stories and adventures but...more
I am trying to read the Newbery Honor and Medal winners and I just could not get through this. It just never reached out and grabbed me.
Conrad Kersting
I think this falls into being one of my favorite mythological books of all time. The story circles around the great hero Jason and his voyage to Colchis to retrieve the sacred Golden Fleece. Jason and the Argonauts encounter many challenges and obstacles along their voyage, but they remain resilient and true to their journey.

This book is very teen-friendly, as it was a little dumbed down. The characters are lively and fun, and the description is very well done, though it does seem to drag it ou...more
1922 Newbery Honor Book

I really wanted to give this book 4 stars but I can't. I've read books on the Greek heroes before but this book was excellent. Not only did the author take pains to actually describe things in detail but he attempted to flesh out characters as well. What keeps me from giving it four stars is the amount of characters which gets confusing and the fact that it lags quite a bit in the middle.

Jason and many other Greek heroes (including Heracles) set off on a quest for the Gol...more
I never would have finished this if it wasn't a Newbery Honor. I just didn't enjoy it all that much, and always put off reading it. I didn't plan to read it quickly, but I would let weeks lapse in-between reading any of it. Some of the stories were interesting, but then it would immediately move on to another story that I didn't find as engaging. Definitely not one of the better Newbery Honor books out there.
I have grown to appreciate Greek myths but I haven't found a book of myths that is easy to curl up with. Part II of this book had one cogent story arc but Part I and especially Part III felt like the author crammed in other myths in and around the myth of Jason. I would have much preferred to read a book that told the story of Jason and the Argonauts leaving the other stories to another book.
I remember this book being the one that got me interesting in Greek mythology. Another one read as a child, but still somewhat remembered and somewhat relevant. Of course, like any historical text, it is biased and the stories are not as believable or likable as some different versions of the same accounts, but it served its purpose and at the time it was great fun.
Won a Newberry Honor in 1922 - and it was a nice enough story. I may have made a mistake in reading this immediately after I read all the Percy Jackson books, so it's possible I would've enjoyed it more had I timed it differently. I already knew the stories, so it wasn't exciting in that way, but I did enjoy hearing the stories in a different way with different details.
I enjoyed The Golden Fleece quite a bit. It reminded a greatly of when I used to read Edith Hamilton's Mythology as a child. I admit, the stories-within-a-story format took some getting used to, but a least they all held some significance as to furthering the tale and intertwining some familiar myths and legends into the fabric of the overall story.
The Argonauts get past the wandering rocks, which kill anyone in the path of them. They are sent on a quest to retrieve the golden fleece, because Jason's uncle was afraid that his brother would send someone to take the throne back after he stole it from him. they also see the titan Prometheus chained to a mountain where a falcon eats his liver daily.
Kailey W
Oh my goodness this book is like the best book on Greek mythology. The harpies torment humans while Jason and the Argonauts try to go get the golden fleece from a distant island. This is the book to read if your looking for a good adventure. Will Jason and his Argonauts ever find the golden fleece? You'll have to read to find out:)
Jori Richardson
I would prefer to read the authentic Greek translations, or "Mythology" by Edith Hamilton, over this book.
It attempts to abridge and simplify the stories, focusing on Jason of the Argonauts (the Golden Fleece), but I did not like the writer's style at all.
Not the best form of reading about Greek mythology.
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Newbery Medal &am...: Golden Fleece June Read 1 3 Jul 02, 2013 07:25AM  
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Padraic Colum was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer and collector of folklore. He was one of the leading figures of the Celtic Revival. (Source)
More about Padraic Colum...
The Children of Odin: The Book of Northern Myths The King of Ireland's Son The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy A Treasury of Irish Folklore Great Myths of the World

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