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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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  395 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
From acclaimed writer and scholar Philip Freeman, a contemporary retelling of classic Greek and Roman mythology.

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 G
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 3rd 2012)
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Kevin Kizer
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tabby Shiflett
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
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
While it might look like a humorous book, it's definitely more info-packed and yet was still entertaining to read....for a big ol' mythology buff like me.

I did take my time going through it because it's still not going to be as entertaining or grab all my attention like a lot of other books can and do. I'd still recommend it as something to grab if you enjoy Greek/Roman mythology, but if you're looking for mythology + humor go for Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mytholog
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Irene Lazlo
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Un libro de referencia genial. Te cuenta los mitos de una manera accesible y directa pero sin omitir nada, de hecho te cuenta otras versiones menos populares. Tiene un glosario muy amplio y árboles genealógicos de los dioses y héroes muy útiles. No se limita a contarte el mito tal cual, sino que insiste en las relaciones familiares y se remonta a los padres del héroe. Me han gustado las pinceladas de mitología romana, porque es mucho menos conocida. Hasta me he reído en alto en partes, sobre tod ...more
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...
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!
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A few typos and a bit of clunky grammar not due to translation, but a thoroughly enjoyable read!
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want a general background on the Greco-Roman myths
I picked up this book because the cover called out to me, also I was in the Met and it was on sale. The title caught my eye because, like most people, I thought it was a book of myths retold not only in modern language and anthologized, but also within the context of the modern world making it a fiction. This was not the case. This is a book of simplified and anthologized Greek myths told in modern English (which actually satisfies me despite not being what I expected).

I like the way it's organi
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Caitlin Eaton-Robb
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was not at all like I thought it would be, but fairly enjoyable none the less. I assumed by the title that this would be a collection of stories from Greek mythology told in a modern setting - this was not the case. Instead, this is simply a collection of Greek classics, written in modern English, and with various details and particularly lengthy stories summarized for the modern reader who really doesn't care about the specifics of every pit-stop Hercules or Odysseus made on their jou ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for a class, and it is actually written by my professor, who is a wonderful human in addition to being an excellent author and classics expert. While our class skipped the chapters covering the Iliad, the Odyssey, and creation, having studied them in class already, I read everything else and can honestly say that I really enjoyed the book. The myths were summarized clearly and concisely, and when alternate versions of a tale exist, all were mentioned. I learned more myths throug ...more
Brianna Macho
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book with wonderful retellings of the Greek and Roman myths. Although some myths are different from what I know, it was refreshing to hear about the myths from a different point of view and to compare the myths to other myths or their original tale.
I think the author did a great job of picking some of the most interesting myths, and weaving them together so that the book went in a natural flow of things and the events went together.
Although Percy Jackson will always be numbe
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So after having this on my currently-reading shelf for two years, I'm just going to say I've read it. I've read enough of it to formulate an opinion on it, so there.

It's a basic telling-of. It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but if you've done research on the Greek pantheon before (I had), a lot of it is repeat information and I wouldn't expect any crazy new stories out of it.

There is also way more pages dedicated to the male Gods. Athena gets one page. And I know Athena was a fair
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-english, mythology
Hm, I've really liked this book although it wasn't what I expected. I picked it up because it is advertised as a "modern retelling of Greek and Roman myths". I thought the myths would be put into a modern context that would make the reader understand them or relate to them more, but not. In this case, "modern retelling' means that there's no sugar-coating (the heroes are not ideals to be followed, the gods are vicious and aggressive)... But this doesn't make the book any worse! It's not for chil ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
For those of you looking for myths interpreted in modern settings, this is not the book you're looking for-- "Oh My Gods" is all your standard Greek and Roman fare from high school, with perhaps a bit more detail.
Going into the book with all the wrong expectations did color my experience quite a bit, but if you want to read book about classic myths this is still probably a good read. Some of the writing and dialogue is awkward and poorly-adapted though (i.e. modern slang is used surrounded by a
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology, read-2012
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.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Why does this not have a cover? Read this book over multiple sittings- loved how it was easy to read and understand. Often I found myself reeling at what the characters do- really brutal stuff they do- cutting up their kids and all just for the sake of revenge and spite. And the gods- very might, very fickle, very human like in emotion and nature.
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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".
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythos
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.
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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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