Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles” as Want to Read:
The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  609 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Geared toward young readers, this classic book centers on the Argonauts' quest for "The Golden Fleece." Generations have thrilled to compelling renditions of the adventures of heroic Jason and the sorceress Medea, mighty Heracles, the minstrel Orpheus, and other legendary figures from Greek mythology. Author Padraic Colum, who was a popular children's writer in his day, po ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Createspace (first published 1921)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,593)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 28, 2007 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-college
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.
Mar 18, 2011 Slayermel rated it it was ok  ·  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
Alessandro Duran
“The Golden Fleece, and the Heroes before Achilles,” follows the story of a young man named Jason who was given a mission by his evil uncle Aetes, to go, and retrieve the legendary Golden Fleece. Along his travels, his crew mates and other individuals told stories about all of the Greek heroes, heroines, and the creation of everything.
I would highly recommend this book to a friend because, it contains action, humor, interesting, and extraordinary events.
May 19, 2015 Isaiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book The Golden Fleece and the Hero's Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum is about a young boy named Jason goes on a quest to find the golden fleece. Jason was the son of king Aeson, but becomes an orphan when he was 3 years old. Aeson send one of his slaves to take Jason to the king centaur. The slave did what he wished for. The centaur told the slave that he would look after the child until the child became a man. This centaurs name was King Chiron. After a few years later Jason wa ...more
Casey O
May 26, 2015 Casey O rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Golden Fleece by Padraic Colum is a book about a group of ancient heros who try to win the golden fleece. Jason one of the heros, is mad at King Aeson, his uncle as he rules Iolcus as a tyrant, raised by Chrion a great centaur, jason to win back Iolcus from his uncle, but he says he must win the golden fleece to rule Iolcus. Jason Gathers together many heros that are determined to win the golden fleece.

I disliked this book because it was very boring and had a very boring stile. I did not lik
Sam N
May 17, 2015 Sam N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Golden Fleece is about a boy named jason who goes on a journey for the Golden Fleece. He gets a crew of hero's that build a boat called the Argo. They start on their journey to the island of Colchis is, on their way they take breaks on other islands and help the community that is on the island. On the islands, they Save King Phineus from harpies and tell stories to the women of Lemnos. They finally get to Colchis and get the Golden Fleece. And return home.
I would recommend this book to any
Angie Lisle
I remember this book being read to me as a child and I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. The prose is quasi-archaic with thous and thees thrown into passive sentences that tell rather than show what happens. It makes for a dull read.

The myths aren't in chronological order even though they could be sorted and told in such a manner instead of bouncing back and forth in time. As a child, I couldn't keep the chronology straight, not without backtracking and rereading (which I wasn't incl

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
Christopher Montalbano
This book is about a boy named Jason who goes on a quest to find the Golden Fleece. He was born in the wild by a centaur and one day he finds out who he really is and he needs to find the Golden Fleece. On his epic journey he runs into danger, bad weather and monsters.Do you think he will find it? I would recommend this book to any one who likes adventure.
jillian nessie
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
Jamisen Blackwell
This book is about a youth named Jason who was fostered by a Chiron, the centaur. After he was fostered by Chiron he went back to his real father. Then he meets the king of his country, king Pelias, who makes him go on a daring voyage for THE GOLDEN FLEECE. He gets his army ready with famous people such as: Hercules, Orpheus, Atalanta, Theseus, and Medea. Will Jason be able to get THE GOLDEN FLEECE back to king Pelias, or will he die on his voyage to get it.

I would give this book to anyone. The
May 27, 2015 Crystal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newberry, fantasy
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
Jul 21, 2014 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
This is one of the many great books about the quest for the golden Fleece and Jason. Jason is on a quest to get the golden fleece will he live or will he die.

I would recommend this book to any one who like history and quest in ancient Greece.
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
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.
Jan 29, 2009 Goz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Feb 26, 2015 Sawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book, The Golden Fleece is one of my favorites of all time. I have always been interested in Greek myths but The Golden Fleece is the best representation of the story of Jason I have ever seen. It has a bit of everything. Padriac Colum displayed the creation of heaven and earth as well with a storyteller on board the Argo. The book is amazing and I recommend it to anyone. No matter if you have never read a Greek myth this book is incredible and will make you want to read more myths. I know I ...more
In the book The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum, the reader comes to understand that whatever someone sets their mind on, no matter the difficulties, they can persevere and do what they have their mind set on. This Greek Myth takes place mostly in an ancient city kingdom called Iolcus and the protagonist also travels to the Sea of Pontus (which is now called the Black Sea). This particular myth that the author wrote about is in 3rd person in an omniscient ...more
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).
Nov 03, 2014 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, 2014
audio (on playaway). At first I thought this retelling of "Jason and the Argonauts" and related stories was pretty dry, but once you get used to it, it's grand. The narrator is less expressive than I was expecting for a children's audio production, putting one to mind of an uninspired reading of a textbook, but his clear, precise pronunciation actually grew on me and I love it now. That said, if you are looking for something to put on to quiet your brain so you can sleep, this totally works. If ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2015 Nazanin Rizvi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
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
Jan 04, 2013 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newberys
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
Apr 25, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant read, but with definitely dated language. That didn't really detract from the stories for me, but the straight up exposition for 90% of the book did. But as with most fables and legends, it's as much about the story teller as it is the story. This reads like you're meant to read it aloud as a bedtime story, and I undeniably enjoyed reading these stories, most of which I had never properly read before but had some vague knowledge about.
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
Oct 09, 2013 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, fantasy
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Newbery Medal & H...: Golden Fleece June Read 1 3 Jul 02, 2013 07:25AM  
  • Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time
  • The Old Tobacco Shop
  • All Sail Set: A Romance of the Flying Cloud
  • Bright Island
  • The Windy Hill
  • The Jumping-Off Place
  • The Forgotten Daughter
  • The ABC Bunny
  • Black Fox of Lorne
  • Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America
  • All Alone
  • The Cow-Tail Switch: And Other West African Stories
  • The Avion My Uncle Flew
  • The Noonday Friends
  • When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories
  • Sugaring Time
  • The Corn Grows Ripe
  • Thistle and Thyme: Tales and Legends from Scotland
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...

Share This Book