Like Mayflies in a Stream
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Like Mayflies in a Stream

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In the great city of Uruk, there is no peace when Gilgamesh is restless, and he is never at rest. Shamhat, a priestess of Inanna, goes into the wilderness to find and civilize a match for Uruk's violently active God-King. Like Mayflies in a Stream brings new life to the Epic of Gilgamesh, diving into one of the earliest conflicts between civilization and wilderness, civic...more
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published October 5th 2009 by Hadley Rille Books (first published October 1st 2009)
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Rosalind M
I've never searched for any information about Gilgamesh, never really been interested beyond watching documentaries which have attempted to describe ancient cultures for modern humanity. But Shauna Roberts's novel brings life to a subject that has always seemed rather dry to me. Her reconstruction of life as Gilgamesh and his people may have experienced it gives color to a history that formerly seemed like nothing more than clay shards; cuneiform; and unfamiliarly stiff ancient verse. The charac...more
Barbara Martin
This is a fictionalized story about Gilgamesh in ancient Mesopotamia where Ms Roberts has developed an in-depth detailed description of Sumarian life in 2800 BC in the city of Uruk. From what I know of the story of King Gilgamesh, Ms Roberts has not deviated much from the tale to portray the characters in a manner she feels would be appropriate for their stature in the community.

The story is seen through multiple points of view from Enkidu, the wild man who lives with the gazelles in the desert...more
GUD Magazine
While I found the cover off-putting for a handful of reasons, once inside I was caught in the flow of the narrative. Roberts realizes her players well, showing multiple sides to mythic characters, and the details she puts into this historical re-imagining of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" really bring the story to life.

I was not familiar with the myth prior to reading Roberts' interpretation, and I think that it stands well on its own. We are quickly, and rather brutally, introduced to the deprivations...more
I found this a really compelling read. Just great characters and a very realistic feel to the historical world. The basic story is a retelling of the Gilgamesh legend, but the mythology is fleshed out with supporting characters who seem extremely real. By the time I got to the second half of the book I was loath to take a break from it and was turning the pages rapidly to find out what happened next.

An incredible retelling of the Gilgamesh myth. Well-researched, authentic, gripping. I would recommend this to everyone.
The “Epic of Gilgamesh” comes alive with the vivid descriptions, characters, and crisp writing talent of Shauna Roberts! Although it is a retelling of an ancient myth, one that perhaps not all of us are as familiar with as, say, King Arthur, Like Mayflies in a Stream is written in such a way that it gives a fresh voice to an otherwise ordinary tale.

If you enjoy a good historical novel, or if you are already interested in anything related to mythology, then this is the book for you! No matter th...more
Debra Mullins
I adore books set in the ancient world. As soon as I saw this one was set in Mesopotamia, that was all I needed.

LIKE MAYFLIES IN A STREAM is a skillful retelling of the Gilgamesh epic told from the point of view of Shamhat, a priestess of Inanna. Shamhat loves her life as a priestess and strives to always do as the goddess would want. She has taken a vow of chastity, which was only set aside once for a special feast day when she was selected to play a part in a ceremony that left her pregnant b...more
Ren Garcia
Prior to reading Dr. Shauna Robert’s "Like Mayflies in a Stream" all that I knew of ancient Mesopotamia was a picture of a fossilized footprint in my set of childrens’ encyclopedias, the fabulous ziggurat at Ur, a small section of pre-rolled characters in my beloved D&D Legends and Lore book and a few days of study in my Mythology 101 class in high school. Dr Roberts, who has a clear passion for the subject, brings it all back to life in this revisitation of the story of Enkidu from the wild...more
Lynn Franklin
Before starting this book, I knew nothing about The Epic of Gilgamesh. While I love reading about archaeology and archaeologists, I've shied away from books attempting to actually tell a story from ancient people's point of view. I kept picturing Elizabeth Peters' delightful spoofs along the lines of "Urg spotted the goddess and wanted her for himself." (See Peters' delightful Die for Love (Jacqueline Kirby).)

Based on a friend's recommendation, however, I downloaded a sample and couldn't stop re...more
Nov 18, 2009 V rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: z2009
This story is a (fairly) realistic novelization of the Epic of Gilgamesh that is told mostly- but not entirely- from the point of view of the priestess who has been sent to tame the wild man Enkidu. The premise is a good one and the author does an excellent job of fleshing out many details of ordinary life in Sumerian times. I mostly enjoyed the story but, as usual, have a few small gripes...
In the process of making the story more realistic, some of the mythic resonance of the original tale is l...more
Steve Malley
Forget history. Forget accuracy and detail. This retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh is a simply fantastic novel. The writing is clean and compelling, the storytelling brilliant. There's plenty of action, a kind and sensitive heart to the story and one of the best heroines I've ever encountered.

Okay, now the history. Now the accuracy and detail. Like Mayflies in a stream is one of the best historicals I've read, especially considering the period in which it's set. Shauna Roberts clearly knows her...more
This author described a time completely foreign to me, so well that I continued thinking of the inhabitants long after closing the book. So many details are included in the lives of the characters, that I could practically taste the meals, and feel the aches in my feet! The fight scenes were gruesome! The love scenes were underplayed.

Not my regular reading genre, so it was a good stretch for me. I was anxious to turn every page to read the story unfold.
Oct 30, 2009 Sheila rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sheila by:
This book is a novelized version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, and one of the earliest known works of literary writing (or so says Wikipedia). The story takes place approx. 4750 years ago in the city of Uruk, and tells the story of King Gilgamesh. A very interesting story, with lots of details about daily life of that time period.
I wasn’t familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh, but enjoyed reading this retelling of the ancient tale.
Great book for readers of historicals that are well-researched and well-written.
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