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Songs on Bronze: The Greek Myths Made Real
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Songs on Bronze: The Greek Myths Made Real

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A vivid, uninhibited retelling of the classic Greek stories

Songs on Bronze is the first major retelling of Greek mythology in half a century; a set of lively, racy, dramatic versions of the great myths, which, in a multicultural society, are recognized more than ever as stories without equal.

Most of us would like to know the Greek myths better than we do, and books like Se
Published September 1st 2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2005)
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Pete daPixie
Once upon a time, long ago, far away, there lived a young boy, aged somewhere around seven years old. At his school he had completed all those 'learning to read type books' and so he was allowed to enter the school library and select for himself a proper book to read. After wandering around the shelves for a while he finally picked out a book to read. It was called Theseus and the Minotaur. That first book was a scary introduction to reading matter! Today, over fifty years later, that old boy ha ...more
I have always wanted to be more literate about the cast of characters of the Greek pantheon. I have attempted to read The Odyssey but did not have the attention span. This book contains condensed versions of just the myths I have been wanting to get more familiar with plus a version of The Odyssey which covers the most important elements of The Trojan Wars.
(You will recognize the stories from O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

The length of each section is just about right for a bedtime story. The lang
As someone who has always been interested in the Greek myths, but has never really read them in any great detail, this was just the book I needed. It tells an easy-to-read and interesting version of many of the key/well-known Greek myths (from the origins of the Gods to the tragic fates of Achilles, Oedipus, and Orpheus). There were a few times where I got lost a little with some of the names (keeping track of who was who), but that is no fault of the author's. On the whole, it's well written an ...more
The myths were not in fact "made real" as the title implied. As earlier reviewers have stated, these myths are lacking in detail enough to bring them to life. While the writing provides a decent overview of the myths in a non-textbook way (which those learning myths for the first time might truly appreciate) the details provided are not the ones classically taught. Menelaus, for instance, was not King of Sparta prior to marrying Helen. Helen's father, Tyndareus was, and he was faced with the cha ...more
Nigel Spivey pens an interesting new take on the classic Greek Myths, bringing a novelist's aesthetic as well as a modern sensibility to some of the more famous stories from the canon: Theseus, Perseus, Oedipus, Heracles, the Trojan War and The Golden Fleece. A few of the religious myths are scattered in, namely the tale of Demeter and Persephone, and some of minor tales pop up in brief and interesting ways. If you're a purist it probably won't satisfy, but if you're a casual reader looking for ...more
Delicious Strawberry
These myths were a lot of fun to read. The title of this book was a fairly accurate one. Lots of little details are added to the Greek myths to give them more dimension, making for more memorable and enjoyable myths. It's a great starter book for anybody interested in mythology, but be forewarned, there are mentions of homosexuality (Zeus and Gnaymede, for example) as well as incest and rape. But all of these things existed in the original myths) so people familiar with these myths should not be ...more
I am rounding up my stars for this book, because really, it's a 1.5. It wasn't good. It wasn't "fresh" or "invigorating" or "up to date" or any of the other things it claims to be. It was badly written "he said she did and then they went and smacked stuff" writing that took all the power and joy out of what are really powerful tales.
I will freely admit I only read this as I needed a speedy refresher before I went to a roleplay event, but I actually found it really wasn't that great.
There are bet
This is a fun, easy-to-read retelling of some of the most famous Greek myths. Spivey leaves in a lot of things that were left out or glossed over in the retellings I read when I was younger. He eschews archaic language in favor of the dynamic and poetic, and as a result the stories feel very immediate. I particularly enjoyed his retelling of the Persephone myth. My only complaint is that he really did pick the most famous myths, and I would have liked to run into more obscure myths that I hadn't ...more

I can't stand the kind of thing wherein you get Orpheus to foresee modern wars.

This book just got my hackles up in how it retold the myths - I realize that saying it 'omitted' this or that element is more or less meaningless but what it chose to include, what it chose to modify and hat it chose to exclude made the stories really flat and terrible imo.

Also the writing was terrible. Characters 'purring.' Odyssesus watching his 'shapely' wife walk away. Second hand embarrassment.
Jasmine Star
I think this is a grat book if you have not already read the myths. It would be a good introduction to the stories. If you are already familiar with the myths and have read the unabridged versions of the stories you may find that there is a lot missing. The author mentions this in the introduction, and i admire how well he organized the book, but it's like watching Alladin after reading Arabian Nights...mashi phal phal.
Scott Markham
I absolutely love Greek Mythology, and Nigel Jonathan Spivey's book is a great synopsis, and hits all the highlights! It is well written, and flows smoothly from story to story. I came out of reading this book with a better understanding of Greek Mythology, and all of the great characters that played a role.

I loved this book and recommend it to anyone that wants to understand Greek Mythology with a greater acumen!
the only things i enjoyed about this book were the prose style (at times), the refreshing take on hades and persephone, and the last chapter featuring orpheus and eurydice's tale (a favorite of mine for years).

otherwise? there are far better books out there that tell of the more well known greek myths, as well as the lesser known tales.
I didn't like Edith Hamilton's "Mythology" in high school (perhaps I'd like it better now). Spivey is much easier to read than Hamilton and much more contemporary in his use of language. I would describe "Songs on Bronze" as a fun, welcoming introduction to Greek mythology. It's not Earth-shattering, but it's good.
A retelling of the greek mythology in novel form. It's OK, but the modern take is more boring than the epic take. There's something about the older language forms that give the sense of antiquity. The author might have done better to put them into a more modern context. The Percy Jackson novels do this better.
Jen Schroeder
Okay, so I'll admit that my husband picked this up while we were at my parent's house and I stole it from him before he could finish it.

Great fun, actually. Very light, soap-opera rendition of the classic Greek myths. Easy to pick up and put down as it's basically a collection of short stories.

This was an excellent book. It makes the Greek myths accessible to the average American and shows them for the awesome stories that they are. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know about the myths but hasn't the stomach to wade through Homer's version.
Danielle B
It summed up a lot of myths without leaving out too many details. I've read it many times and I don't normally read books more than once unless they're great. I loved this one. Kudos to Nigel Spivey.
Erin O'Riordan
Spivey is not only intimately knowledgeable about his subject matter, but also a spellbinding storyteller. I can scarcely imagine a mythology collection more readable. A true gem.
Read this with my 13 year old son ( a notorious non-reader!) and we sailed through it - loved all of the stories - v well told and broken down into easy to read chapters
Spivey's retelling of the myths sparkle. Give it to someone who doesn't think they like this sort of thing. Might change their mind.
Vikas Datta
Excellent... brings the old stories to life though some are quite tersely dealt with
Chris Swann
Very interesting retelling of well-known Greek myths.
An excellent update to classical myth.
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