Oh My Gods - A Modern Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths
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Oh My Gods - A Modern Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The Greek and Roman myths have never died out; in fact they are as relevant today as ever in their sharp observations about human nature. For thousands of years they have inspired plays, operas, and paintings; today they live on in movies and video games.

Oh My Gods is a contemporary retelling of some of the most popular myths by Philip Freeman, a noted classicist. These t...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published (first published January 3rd 2012)
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Kevin Kizer
Some of my favorite nuggets from this great little book: Pandora's box is actually a mistranslation. It's supposed to be called Panora's jar which changes things dramatically because jars can sometimes be a real B to open whereas I can almost always open any type of lid-based receptacle. The term "panic" comes from the Pan, the Greek satyr god, who genial and lecherous and would strike uncontrollable terror in those who offended him. Orion actually translates to urine boy. Why? The King of Thrac...more
Tabby
A good retelling of traditional Greek and Roman myths. Even though the book is textbook-like and written by a professor, most of the stories flow as well as any fiction work. The title is a little misleading; I thought the tales would be contemporary adaptations. Best to read this collection in installments. Overall, nice, clear, and interesting non-fiction writing recommended for anyone who loves classical mythology.

GoodReads FirstReads Review
Philip Freeman
Oh My Gods: A Modern Retelling of Gree...more
Matt
Somewhat disappointing given my love of Freeman's previous two efforts, biographies of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. In those, Freeman's abilities as a storyteller shone, making the Roman Empire and Alexander's conquests come alive. With this source material, however, I found his narrative style shackled somewhat. Admittedly, it's the myths themselves that restrict the telling of them, but I found this to be a rather stale read. I mean, how many pages of gods manipulating, tricking, and...more
Abbie
Okay, this book was really great, but it was sort of hard to just read all those stories back to back, and it got put on the bottom of the pile. I think I'm going to buy it because it would be a really great reference book to Greek mythology, I'm just trying to decide if I should get a physical copy, or an digital edition that I could use to search for names...
Perry Hall
I couldn't be more pleased with this splendid refresher on the Greek and Roman myths. This is broken down into sections on each of the Gods and Goddesses, as well as sections on heroes like Theseus and Perseus and on Lovers like Orpheus and Eurydice.

Then the book covers the major stories: Hercules, Oedipus, Argonauts, Troy, Mycenae, Odysseus, Aeneas and the myths surrounding Rome from Romulus and Remus to Lucretia.

I wanted more than an encyclopedic guide to these myths, a book like this one with...more
Library Linsey
Not as new and exciting as I was expecting in the age of Rick Riordan. I wanted edgy and a bit fun rather than just another modernized retelling of Greek myth. This sounds like a textbook written by a professor - gee it is!
Vince
I got this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

Freeman does a good job at putting these stories into modern English, with some occasional humor even. The reading moves along quickly without getting bogged down in too much detail, although with all those unusual Greek and Roman names (how many Alcmemes, Alcyones and Althaeas do you know?), you have to take a breather once in a while to get your bearings. Fortunately the author has included some invaluable family trees and a nice glossary in the back of...more
Claire
Oh My Gods is a good book, albeit with a misleading name. There is nothing modern about these retellings. But the title intrigues people. Whenever anyone saw me reading this book, they'd say "Oh my Gods!" and I'd be like, "what?".

I especially liked the tales of the great adventures that Greek (and a few Roman) "heroes" went on. I put heroes in quotes because none of the heroes were very ethical. Even Hercules did a lot of terrible stuff. But you'll just have to read the book. See, the chapters a...more
Vannessa
I loved this book. So interesting - I was sad to finish it. This has definitely put me on a path to search for more Greek and Roman mythology. I would also love to read more a out their history in general. This is such a fun read and easy to understand! Sometimes Greek and Roman myths can be bit confusing and hard to understand (so many names and backgrounds!). However this book makes all the stories manageable. This modern translation also makes you forget that you are reading mythic story ( at...more
Serena
Don't read this, it just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. You know, like when you find out that what you thought you were getting sugar and it ending up being salt?

Yeah, I wanted to salt and burn this book and send it's ashes off. Instead I sent it to the "book-barn" of the local library.

Still. Ick.

And for me to say that about a book about Greek Mythology, a subject so very near and dear to my heart I near love it?

Yeah, something went very, very wrong.

The Roman parts were something I hadn't he...more
Svetlana
When I started reading this book, I thought it was going to be Greek myths taking place in the modern day. The title led me to believe that. That is not the case. What Philip Freeman means by a "modern retelling" is that he has written an adult version of each tale, nothing like the one you learned about in 3rd grade. Basically what this means is that someone will be raped in each story and that Zeus was a very horny god. Setting aside the gruesome details, this was a good book to refresh the mi...more
Sarah
Great little primer if you're planning to pick up and re-read (or read for the first time) any of the Homeric epics or if you just want to refresh you Greek and Roman mythology. Very readable with handy little genealogy charts and a glossary at the back for reference!
Robin
Well, the Introduction was really duuuuuuuull. I hope the stories will be better.

So far, "re-telling" = calling 'having his way with her' by it's more accurate name, rape, and otherwise adding nothing new to the telling. Feh.

Here's what's really interesting, and I wonder what it says about reality in Ancient Greek society: The women characters, whether mortal or divine, just want to pursue their varied interests -- farming, weaving, hunting, etc., while the men are occupied solely with the pursu...more
J
Don't be fooled by the title: it's not a modern retelling of the myths, it's just the myths. I suppose I was expecting something a little more like Percy Jackson (for adults) but, no, it's just the straight-up myths. I did enjoy reading about the lovers and the origin myths of Rome, which I had never read before. Oh, i knew the whole Romulus and Remus bit but had never actually read them...this goes from Aeneas and the fall of Troy all the way to the beginning of the Republic (the book calls it...more
Brooklym
Amazing, the best telling of the mythology
Kristen Domingcil
More like 3.5 stars. A good collection! The author did very well pulling intertwining myths together under single sections, which I came to like since it allowed me to reference lineage and stories. I generally enjoy mythology and this was a good book for it. However, I didn't like the embellishments of dialogue, it was an attempt I thought was over-done and a bit "hokey".
May
I am pretty familiar with most of the myths in this book but there were a couple that I didn't know about, especially the entire twisted family history of Agamemnon and Menelaus. Freeman obviously doesn't shy away from the more controversial myths that covers incest, rape, bestiality, cannibalism, and patricide/fratricide/regicide. It's still incredible that no matter how horrible some of these myths are, they all permeate our consciousness and influence so much of our Western culture.
Danie Tanaka
This modern retelling of Acient Myths is in my top 5 Favorite books of all time. For the first time I was able to read the uncensored original myths in Proper 21st century modern American English. It has been a wonderful experience. Maybe for a great many of us religious tales fill in that blank and help us reaffirm our religious faith. Then there are those agnostics like me who still see the relevance in my everyday life that reading the ancient myths is akin to comfort food for my SOUL.
Katie
Greek and Roman mythology never really does it for me. However, I did enjoy reading this book and I think quite a few people on my friends list here on Goodreads will really get something out of a modern, uncensored retelling of these myths.

This book served its purpose for me, which was I was tired of not understanding the references to Greek gods, lovers, and heroes. Now I do, and I'm still not excited about Greek mythology. Oh well!
Lillith
The myths of ancient times are the best stories ever told. Who knew archaic gods would be so bad ass? I think we all did. But I never knew the stories could be so simple and completely compelling. Great work by Philip Freeman who has done all the research for you and boiled the stories down to their bones, making very epic (in the truest sense of the word) and world-defining skeletons of the gods and the people that worshiped them.
Seanna
I absolutely love Greek Mythology and I love the telling of this book, but as someone has already said before me, it becomes difficult to read all of the myths back to back.

I actually might buy it just to pick up and read from time to time, but I have a pretty good feeling that I'm not going to finish it any time soon.

I will say, however, it's rather refreshing after Edith Hamilton.
Haley Wofford
One of my favorite retellings of Mythology! I loved the information about Aeneas and the Aeneid, which was very relevant to my Latin class at the time. My best friend is as much into mythology as I am, so I gave her this book as a birthday present and she absolutely loves it. I am planning to get a copy for myself in the near future.
Jeff
A nice compilation of Greek myths and stories grouped according to creation, gods, goddesses, heroes, and lovers. Though I knew before, reading in this set up really drove home how much glorification of rape and incest and the devalued view of women there is in Greek myths.
Patricia
This was like visiting an old friend. I have always loved Greek mythology and haven't read any in at least 15years. I'm thrilled to have won this here on goodreads. I was a bit lost with the Roman myths and honestly they don't really appeal to me. I enjoyed it otherw
Veronica Boeve
I had forgotten how much I loved Greek myths until I started reading this book! However, the only reason I didn't give it five stars is because the title is a little misleading. It isn't so much a modern retelling as it is simply the same stories written in modern verse.
Laurisa
The subtitle of this book was completely misleading. I though I would be reading interpretations of Greek & Roman mythology in current settings and applications. What I got instead was a dry, textbook compilation. Disappointing.
Kara

Its a solid retelling of ancient Greek and Roman myths - a good introduction for the middle school / high school crowd, or anyone looking for a refresher...

...but why on earth would you title the book as "modern" ???
Margery
I was impressed by the family trees (of Roman/Greek gods and godesses)in the appendix but then found they were not all inclusive. Did not take time to read the retold myths so my rating is not for the entire book.
Don
The only thing that really seemed "modern" about this retelling of myths was that it was written now.

There wasn't anything wrong with the book, but it certainly could have offered more.
Sarah
I read this at night before falling to sleep. It was perfect--interesting, sometimes familiar, sometimes surprising. Sometimes I got exhausted from a string of Greek names.
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142802
I teach Classics and Celtic studies at Luther College in the beautiful little town of Decorah, Iowa. I did my doctoral work at Harvard and taught at Boston University and Washington University in St. Louis before coming to Luther to help run the Classics department. I love teaching and see my writing as an extension of my work in the classroom. I hope you enjoy the books as much as I enjoyed writi...more
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“There is a king of natural selection that takes place among myths. Those that capture something essential to the human condition can be preserved for thousands of years. Those that are relevant only to a few are lost forever.” 1 likes
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