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Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

(Stephen Fry's Great Mythology #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  73,644 ratings  ·  7,413 reviews
No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives as boldly or brilliantly as Greek gods and goddesses.

In Stephen Fry's vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy
Paperback, 442 pages
Published July 26th 2018 by Penguin (first published November 2nd 2017)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  73,644 ratings  ·  7,413 reviews

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I don't know about any of you, but this one's a winner. Far from feeling like another dry recounting of a number of our favorite Greek myths, Fry's down-to-earth humor and traditional (modern) storytelling have turned these gods into something most relatable.

I've read Edith Hamilton and Bullfinch's recountings and I've had the pleasure of countless other sources, but here's where Fry shines: he cherry-picks the very best stories and tells them so charmingly and naturally that I wouldn't be surpr
Tharindu Dissanayake
"That vacant twelfth throne has got my name on it."

I love all things Greek Mythology: Chaos, Primordials, Titans, Gods, Demigods... what's not to love, with so much to explore. But when the narrative is hilarious like this, it gets even better!

"It is easier to hide a hundred mountains from a jealous wife than one mistress."

Before Riordan's PJO, I had zero knowledge about Greek Mythology. It was something that I never wanted to, or had to, learn of, or read about before. PJO changed all t
Sean Barrs
The funny thing about Greek mythology is its absolute brutal weirdness. And Stephen Fry totally gets it; he plays on it and as he re-tells it he injects it with so many witty comments. I mean, how could you not? It's waiting to be roasted.

For example, Zeus rips his father Cronos' balls off and throws them to the other side of the earth. The fluid (cough cough) seeps out and thus Aphrodite is born. Once Cronos is defeated, his five children (that he formerly ate) are regurgitated and born anew.
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
This is good enough to eat! Loooooooooooooooooooove it! Gosh!!! I'll try to savour it for as long as possible!

What misery can be so great that it causes you to go about half drowning honest ants? (c)
‘You should ask yourself what brought you here,’ said Pan. ‘If it’s love, then you must pray to Aphrodite and Eros for guidance and relief. If your own wickedness caused your downfall then you must live to repent. If it was caused by others then you must live to revenge.’ (c)
What a business. Th
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of Stephen Fry many years ago, have since watched him debate with the Church and wander through dense jungles trying to find nearly extinct animals, listened to him bring one of my favourite magical worlds to life, and learned a great deal from him on what must be one of the best quiz shows on (British) television. Not to mention his influence on LGBTQ rights and the acceptance of mental health issues (he himself is suffering from at least one). He's been on radio programs, televis ...more
Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nerd alert!

I used to love Greek mythology. Clash of the Titans was one of my very favorite movies growing up. (If you think I’m talking about the 2010 dumpster fire of a remake, then I feel sorry for you. I’m talking about the OG, legendary, asstastic Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animation 1981 triumph featuring an oiled-up young Harry Hamlin in a toga and a Medusa that still appears in my nightmares. But I digress.)

Mythology was my favorite section of high school English. And in college, guess
Jack Edwards
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for any lovers of Greek mythology. Fry breathes life into these well-known tales in a way which isn’t patronising or assuming of any prior scholarly knowledge. He structures the book in a way which can be enjoyed by those with a wide understanding of this mythology, as well as those who are dipping into it for the first time - and it’s glorious. It’s witty and gripping but also extremely interesting, with each story exploring how the Greeks explained natural phenomenons, including ho ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017, audiobooks
It is regrettable that Stephen Fry's talent to be effortlessly snobbish in a very appealing, charmingly British way, does absolutely no good to the subject of his book. The main problem with this book is that Fry's retelling of the myths of Ancient Greece is exactly what the title promises – it is the retelling of the myths of Ancient Greece with some supposedly witty (but more often irrelevant) remarks which can be easily omitted. The question is: Do we actually need one more retelling of Greek ...more
Alice Lippart
The most fun and entertaining book I've read in a very long time. Loved it. ...more
Lucy Langford
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it

So lucky to have found this book in the local library. Stephen Fry does a brilliant job of recounting the Greek myths- through describing the tales of gods, goddesses and creatures alike. This was a very informational read and I was able to build my knowledge on Greek myths and uncover more tales.

Stephen Fry writes the book in such a way that it is not dry or boring (unlike some other informational books) and you can easily follow the myths and use your imagination. His writing can be rath
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm happy to say that Fry's comforting, relaxed, and vibrant voice echoes through the entire book, even for those chapters reserved for humans, mainly. I know the author is very intelligent, and has never been accused of being a narcissist.

Name dropping aside, I thought the book was far from committing the most wanton of sins, that is patronising. The tales of the Gods were unleashed by Stephen Fry on my unsuspecting mind. Imagine if he turned his talents to Hindu gods, or Inuit ones. The potent
Where did it all start?
Stephen Fry, in his delightful voice, tells of the beginning of the world and the birth of all the Greek gods and goddesses.

The original gods were the sky the sea, the ocean, the earth and many more natural spirits.
Much later came the most familiar gods, who were Zeus, Athena, Apollo, Venus, Mars and so on.

The Greeks had gods with human emotions exactly the same as the Greeks themselves. The gods were created in their image.
No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives a
William Gwynne
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology, reviewed
Expanded review now on BookNest - BookNest - Mythos

“For the world seems never to offer anything worthwhile without also providing a dreadful opposite.”

Mythos is the first of Stephen Fry’s retellings of Greek Mythology, with this initial instalment focusing on the origins of the world, the gods, of mankind, and the early tales of these creations. It varies from the epic scale of Zeus and his siblings launching global warfare against the Titans, all the way to individual tales of clever interacti
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realy great book 👌, stephen Fry did a marvelous job, the writing itself is for me personally to chaotic and in the end I still didn't know who who is or who did what again the only thing I could remenber is the 12 olympic gods , but still a excellent book if you are into greek myths and looking forward to be reading more greek mythology 🥰 , 3⭐⭐⭐ ...more
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Jan 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Finished it! Still hated it. I just couldn't bear the structure nor style of prose that Fry chose to use. I'm much more partial to a classical style or a beautiful lyrical style when it comes to relating Greek myths. This had neither. And since I've read extensively about Greek mythology over the years this just didn't add anything new to the subject for me.



Nah. Not gonna DNF this one. The desire to read it in totality and then get to trash it and rate it
This was the perfect book to read over a very sunny and hot Bank Holiday.

Covering the dawn of the Gods, through the golden and silver ages, this discusses a wide range of stories told in the usual Fry wit. It’s incredibly informative and well planned out, told in a more structured chronological order than I’m normally use to with these stories. And I’ve read a lot of these stories. There’s nothing new here if you’ve delved into Greek mythology, but I enjoyed Fry's take on them - and I really li
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never been that interested in Greek mythology, to be honest. I knew a few of the names and (fewer) of the stories, of course. But I would definitely consider myself a newbie.

So as a newbie, did this book work for me? It did. Partially.

This is essentially a short story collection, told from the beginning. I enjoyed most of the tales. Some more than others, sure. But generally I felt entertained throughout the book.

But I’m not sure how I’m supposed to keep all the names and their relationship
Nat K

"Gods are nothing if not capricious."

A riot of characters and colour burst from these pages. I cannot pretend to be any the wiser about Greek mythology, because, let's face it, there's a cast of thousands involved. And it's hard to keep track of them all. But I had a hell of a good time reading this. Wonderful escapism!

In his imitable style, Stephen Fry brings to life the dawn of time, when gods and goddesses ruled the earth, heavens, seas & sky. He tells us about the squabbles, the jealousies,
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Stephen Fry ends his delightful retelling of the Greek myths with these wise warnings to us, simple mortals:

“Don’t mess with the gods. Don’t trust the gods. Don’t anger the gods. Don’t barter with the gods. Don’t compete with the gods. Leave the gods well alone. Treat all blessings as a curse and all promises as a trap. Above all, never insult a god. Ever.”
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myths-related, humor
I must have been around 8 when I first read The Legends of the Olympus and fell in love with Greek mythology. I reread it at least 3 times afterwards and remains one of my favorite books to this very day.

Stephen Fry’s retelling of these myths is just as good as the original, if not better. It is limited to the gods (heroes’ tales are not included) but much more detailed than the version I read. I never really thought about how many of today’s vocabulary are derived from the names in these myths
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020

Greeks did not grovel before their gods. They were aware of their vain need to be supplicated and venerated, but they believed men were their equals. Their myths understand that whoever created this baffling world, with its cruelties, wonders, caprices, beauties, madness, and injustice, must themselves have been cruel, wonderful, capricious, beautiful, mad, and unjust. The Greeks created gods that were in their image: warlike but creative, wise but ferocious, loving but jealous, tender but brut
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved
I've always loved Greek Mythology, there's something so captivating about it, and it is intriguing to read different versions and tellings of the many stories, Gods and other figures. Stephen Fry's Mythos is easily the most readable book of Greek Mythology that I've read so far (excluding children's versions, though those usually avoid the more violent and sexual aspects of the myths) and I wish I had had it at my disposal during my high school years, when Classical Studies was my favourite subj ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
As always, Stephen Fry proves to be a wonderful narrator, bringing life, humour, and modernity into these age old stories. Certainly, Jeremy Kyle's show has nothing on the incessant sexual escapades, jealousy, deceit, love, and revenge that fuel the tales, which are essentially one long list of who had sex with who and what children were born of it. Sometimes listening to it in big chunks was almost too much, it is perhaps a book best dipped into so that each mini story has a greater impact- oth ...more
The lesson that repeats and repeats throughout the story of man. Don’t mess with the gods. Don’t trust the gods. Don’t anger the gods. Don’t barter with the gods. Don’t compete with the gods. Leave the gods well alone. Treat all blessings as a curse and all promises as a trap. Above all, never insult a god. Ever.

Stephen Fry’s dry, sardonic wit and wicked humour shines through every page, particularly the pseudo-archaic banter between the Gods and Goddesses, which is perhaps what someone already
It is always such a joy to listen to Fry.

If only I had the likes of him during my undergrad days I wouldn’t run to the hills at the merest mention of anything mythological and mostly Greek (& Roman) at that! (my knowledge of Indian mythology is rudimentary, Egyptian abysmal and Norse, non existent). Anyway, it took me almost an entire month to finish this book. It's best enjoyed in small doses imho to avoid being overwhelmed or bored by the nature of the tales. Am glad to have not given up on
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly fantastic. I have always found the mythology of Ancient Greece fascinating, but it's also always been a pretty confusing mixture of madness and mayhem. Fry has collated many of these myths into one book and he has also added chronology which makes reading through the stories make a lot more sense, and shows us many of the relationships between the Gods and how these were formed. I definitely think this is one of the best examples of the Mythology, very readable and easy to enj ...more
~ a foray in fantasy ~
Interesting mythology compendium— a different spin on the perspectives of the time. Also, the book is a lot more queer than I realized the Greek myths had. Curse the straight-washing in most mythology books!
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At a time when other children had their mothers reading "Sleeping Beauty" and "Little Red Riding Hood" to them, my father was telling me the story of the abduction of Persephone with his own adornments (I particularly liked the squirrels wondering why she was picking flowers instead of nuts).

I bring this up so you understand that I was exposed to the Greek myths at a young age. Once I was able to read I got my hands on Bullfinch's Mythology and Robert Graves rather interesting two volume offerin
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mythos is practically perfect in every way.

I’ve adored Greek mythology since I was a child. I’ve also always been utterly charmed by Stephen Fry. The combination of these two things was an absolute delight. Fry’s writing is a perfect marriage of class and sass, and he gives the original source material tremendous respect while never taking those sources or himself too seriously. Take this line, for instance:
“Gaia visited her daughter Mnemosyne, who was busy being unpronounceable.”
Isn’t that j
Mark Porton
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, funny
Mythos – The Greek Myths retold by Stephen Fry is a delight.

Stephen Fry, for those of you who know him, is an irrepressibly talented raconteur, comedian, writer, TV host (QI), actor and atheist. He’s one of those fellows you’d love to have a pint and ploughman’s lunch with on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It wouldn’t only be interesting, it’d be funny.

This is a re-read. I picked it up at the Cairns Airport last week, only to find out I had read it on my Kindle in January 2019. Please tell me I’m not
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Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile. As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI. In addition to writing fo ...more

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“Gaia visited her daughter Mnemosyne, who was busy being unpronounceable.” 90 likes
“For the world seems never to offer anything worthwhile without also providing a dreadful opposite.” 39 likes
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