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Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus
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Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  318 ratings  ·  48 reviews
In the latest retelling of the world’s greatest stories in the Myth series from Canongate, the highly regarded novelist Salley Vickers brings to life the Western world’s most widely known myth, Oedipus, through a shrewdly told exploration of the seminal story in conversation between Freud and Tiresias.

It is 1938 and Sigmund Freud, suffering from the debilitating effects of
Hardcover, Canongate Myths, 176 pages
Published August 10th 2008 by Canongate U.S. (first published November 1st 2005)
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The Penelopiad by Margaret AtwoodThe Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip PullmanWeight by Jeanette WintersonBaba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka UgrešićRagnarök by A.S. Byatt
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8th out of 19 books — 39 voters
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Modern Adaptations of Greek Mythology
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I am a sucker for the revisitation of old myths in new ways. Whether “God’s Behaving Badly” which put the Greek Gods in a London flat, “The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break” where we find the monster is still alive and working as a short order cook, or Atwood’s retelling of the Iliad and Odyssey from the perspective of Odysseus’s wife in the wonderful “Penelopiad,” I love reading authors riffs on these stories of my youth. With that disclosure, I cannot help but recommend “Where Three Roads Meet ...more
Freud is dying of cancer, and he is hallucinating Tieresias, who wants to tell him the Oedipus myth. It's a brilliant idea, but the actual book gets a little tedious, because the myth is so familiar, and Freud's reaction is so predictable. Vickers doesn't really seem to get inside Freud's head or tell us anything new. Maybe that's too much to expect, but why write the book if there's nothing new to say?
Diane Warrington
I really enjoy Salley Vickers writing which is why I chose this, not realising it is part of the Canongate myth series. I already know a lot about the Oedipus story from my university days so the obscure narration was not an issue. What was a problem was the narration itself. As another reviewer notes, oh the dashes! When an author chooses to use a first person narrator to tell the story I feel it should be just that. However this is a disjointed dialogue between two people that keeps interferin ...more
Jessica Bell
At first, when I started this, I felt that it wasn't going to be very satisfying. It seemed like useless babble between Freud and Tireseas; mere dialogue to fill in space. But somewhere around the middle of the book I began to realize how tremendously clever it is. And from that point, with each page I turned, I'd find more reasons to appreciate it. I don't know if I can say I 'enjoyed' this book. I don't think that's what it's for, anyway. It's enlightening. It's intelligent. It's thoughtful. T ...more
This is an interesting read - the choice to tell Oedipus via conversations between Freud and Tiresias is different, though it doesn't add to, or alter very much of, the myth.
It's a little problematic in places (and alters Tiresias - which are unnecessary and one point in particular alters Tiresias completely and adds modern cultural negatives for absolutely no reason).

I learned about Freud, and the writing and story telling style worked with the subject matter. It was a bit slow, and rambled i
Susan Rose
Jul 07, 2012 Susan Rose rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes mythic retellings, or are interested in Freud
This is another book in the canongate myth series, this one is a adaptation of the oedipus myth told to Freud during his last days by Tiresias.

First off I would say unlike some of the other canongate myth series it helps with this book to have some degree of knowledge of Oedipus. Also I would recommend everyone to read the short introduction in the book which talks about Freud's illness, which is valuable to know during the book.

Right this is a really quick read which is written in a conversat
The Canongate Myth series is an interesting publishing idea and I have enjoyed seeing what different authors I know have done with it. It's a bit like a massive themed anthology, of longer stories rather than short. It's a while since I read any Salley Vickers' but this seems quite different in style - although the difference was for me very much like the difference between Alexander McCall Smith's No 1 Ladies' Detective and his Dream Angus Canongate Myth.

I wonder if I might have got more out of
I read about 70 pages of this and then stopped because I wasn’t getting much out of the book. But because I like this author and others appeared to have enjoyed the book very much I picked it up again and finished it. I might not have persevered if it had been longer. It’s very different from Salley Vickers’ other books. In a dialogue between Freud, who is dying from cancer, and the seer Tiresias, one of the participants in the Oedipus myth, the story is reexamined and reinterpreted. The part I ...more
Definitely takes balls to have someone tell the story of Oedipus to a dying Freud. I really enjoyed the narrators voice. It would have got four stars but the beginning describing Freud's battle with mouth cancer felt a little long winded to me.
Rebecca Riggleman
I have read several of Salley Vicker's books and this one is by far my absolute favorite. It is such an interesting look at the story of Oedipus and the complex that Freud named after him.
The second in the Canongate Myth Series I have read and I found it very moving and thought-provoking. In the Sophocles version Teiresias was always the character who interested me most - the blind seer, and although I know little of Freud's theories I liked the human story of his illness and death. Sally Vickers, whose books I really like, has explored in a very short and apparently straightforward re-working of the Oedipus story, some profound ideas about reality, the divine and human strugglin ...more
Lindsay Coppens
The concept of the book is interesting- Tiresias visits Freud while Freud is on pain killers, and they strike up a friendship...real or a hallucination doesn't really matter...and over the years of visits Tiresias retells the story of Oedipus from his own perspective. Unfortunately, for most of the novel, Tiresias's telling is not much different from the original. I did find the idea that perhaps Tiresias was directly involved with the various prophecies at Delphi interesting, and I also enjoyed ...more
Where Three Roads Meet kindly starts with a brief introduction into Freud's later life. This proves helpful, for the majority of the book is written in a series of short dialogues between him and Tiresias during this time period. There is a certain irony to the fact that Dr. Freud, someone who researched the mind, is talking to someone who is in his mind. The dialogue is fast paced, but has a full of a range of emotions, most notably wit and pathos. The talk these two share is food for thought, ...more
You need to have some knowledge of Greek mythology to enjoy this book I think. Salley Vickers' retelling of the Oedipus myth seems a bit pedestrian at first, but it grows on you, especially when you get to the scene where Oedipus discovers the truth.

It's a lovely touch to have the ghost of Tiresias tell the story to the dying Freud and point out the aspects Freud missed due to his focus on sex, and his lack of interest in Jocasta's experience. Vickers explores other aspects of the myth with subt
Elizabeth Newton
Beautifully written reimagining of the Oedipus myth. Would have loved it had I known the myth better.
Part of the series of myths being retold by various authors. Salley Vickers is a psychoanalyst as well as a novelist, and has cleverly woven the Oedipus story around the last painful years of Siegmund Freud's life.

Even though I knew the myth of course, I found this retelling quite gripping.
Sandra Lawson
Not one of my favourite novels by Salley Vickers. She draws on her earlier training as a psychoanalyst and her knowledge of Greek mythology to create a modern day series of mythological meetings between a dying Sigmund Freud (now living in Hampstead) and Tiresius. The two men discuss the story of Oedipus from the viewpoint and knowledge of the blind man and reflect on the solving of the riddle of the Sphinx and the ways in which Oedipus's parents tried to thwart the Oracle's prophecy.
Too many psychoanalytic theory classes in grad school have made me a jaded reader of the Oedipus myth, so I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the other Cannongate Myths books I've read so far. Still, the structure was engaging enough that I finished it it two sittings, and there are some noteworthy observations about truth and language, translation, and interpretation. I'll probably be seeing crossroads in every corner for a while.
Vickers is not the first person to offer a rebuttal to Freud's theory of the Oedipus Complex, nor does she say anything revolutionary. More attention is paid to Jocasta's point of view, which is not hard because Freud basically forgot women existed when he first formulated his psychoanalytic theories. The book is primarily an engaging way to read the Oedipus story without having to bother with the play.
This is a somewhat weird project. It's not so much a novel as an imagined deathbed dialogue between Tiresias and Freud in which Tiresias explains what REALLY happened to Oedipus and argues for the power of the old gods over Freud's rational materialism. I'm not a huge Freud fan, but his final days must have been pretty horrific, and that was movingly depicted here.
The Myths can go either way, and this fell just on the wrong side of so-so. I didn't know much about the last days of Freud so that was quite informative but it felt like it dragged on for quite a while saying not very much. I don't know how much deviation there was from the original Oedipus story but it felt a bit like a lengthy retelling without much surprise.
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Clever re-telling of Oedipus through the re-education of Dr. Freud.
Favorite Quote: “ But Doctor, you must have experienced how dismaying it can be to “know”. And worst of all is to know what is of no benefit to anyone”
“You see, it is not the gods that cause tragedy, Doctor. It’s we mortals who misconstrue the signs.”
Both an illuminating retelling of the story of Oedipus (making him seem more real to me than his being a character in a play did, though granted I did read Sophocles in high school); and Vickers' (she's also a psychoanalyst), at times humorous, but ultimately respectful rebuttal to Freud's theory of the Oedipus Complex.
Sep 03, 2008 Alice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those unafraid to challenge their prejudices.
Shelves: escape
Enchanting! Vickers reweaves this myth with beauty, wisdom and imagination. Its powerful message is cradled in breathtaking imagery and revealed so gently you discover your attitudes toward sex, violence, betrayal and love shifting imperceptably so you arrive at the end of the book in a different place than you began.
this was a bit hard work but the the story of the end of freuds life is quite interesting. There was something lacking to the retelling of this myth. I really think the author forgot that not all the readers would have such an in depth knowledge of the original myth as she and freud had. and so I got lost at times!!
Gabrielle Carolina
Did not finish.

Oh, the pretentious quality of the writing. Oh, the spending a huge fraction of the small book detailing Frued's ailment without any particular feeling of voice. Oh, the dash marks, oh, the dash-marks.
I didn't see this as a new slant on the old Oedipus myth , just a rather tedious retelling with Freud puttin in obvious comments as he suffers from cancer of the mouth and is hallucinating.
A fairly quick read...especially if you are knowledgeable about Greek mythology. I have enjoyed all the novels put out in this series where contemporary authors re-tell the Greek myths.
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Salley Vickers was born in Liverpool, the home of her mother, and grew up as the child of parents in the British Communist Party. She won a state scholarship to St Paul’s Girl’s School and went on to read English at Newnham College Cambridge.

She has worked, variously, as a cleaner, a dancer, an artist’s model, a teacher of children with special needs, a university teacher of literature, and a psy
More about Salley Vickers...
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