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Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures

(Stephen Fry's Great Mythology #2)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  6,222 ratings  ·  609 reviews
There are Heroes - and then there are Greek Heroes.

Few mere mortals have ever embarked on such bold and heart-stirring adventures, overcome myriad monstrous perils, or outwitted scheming vengeful gods, quite as stylishly and triumphantly as Greek heroes.

In this companion to his bestselling Mythos, Stephen Fry brilliantly retells these dramatic, funny, tragic and tim
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Hardcover, 462 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Michael Joseph
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Roel It is astonishing that sexual references are more frowned upon than the amount of violent content. These are Greek myths and thus, riddled with…moreIt is astonishing that sexual references are more frowned upon than the amount of violent content. These are Greek myths and thus, riddled with murder. It is roughly as appropriate as classic Grimm fairytales are (not the disneyfied versions).(less)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  6,222 ratings  ·  609 reviews


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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed Mythos, but the second instalment is bitterly disappointing.

Greek mythology is full of so many strange stories and strange people. It’s so rich and wonderful and I really do love reading about it, but it needs detail. Stephen Fry has attempted to make Ancient Greek heroes accessible to readers unfamiliar with them, though all the stories are very, very, brief and it’s their downfall.

Hercales, Perseus and Jason are perhaps the best known of the heroes F
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Bradley
I shall judge this book purely upon whether I was entertained. And I'm happy to announce that I was. :)

Fry's wit and erudition come together nicely to make one of the most accessible accounting of a large handful of Greek Heroes I've had the pleasure to read. Perhaps better than Hamilton, definitely better than Bullfinch, but perhaps not quite as bright as Ovid, these are, however, punctuated with Fry's charmingly dry wit and panache.

And isn't that why we love Fry? Oh, an
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Kaitlin
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second Stephen Fry mythology book in as many days (I just read Mythos and loved that) and once again it gets 5*s leading me to think maybe I should try some of Fry's other books out. I don't want to say too much more about this other than that it continues where the first book Mythos leaves off and we move from looking at the Gods themselves to looking at the Heroes and Demi-gods and offspring of Gods who are still remembered today.
Stories such as the minataur, Hercules and more. These are a
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Sara
When I was a child my favourite movie was Clash of the Titans - the 1981 film with Maggie Smith as Athena and Laurence Olivier as Zeus. Medusa was, and is, the scariest monster I have ever seen on TV and I regularly had to leave my light on when I went to sleep because I thought she was going to come and slither up the stairs and turn me to stone.

Anyway, from a young age I’ve had a healthy obsession with Greek Mythology and I’ve read many, many books on the subject. My favourite story still to
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Trish
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing


No, I can not deny it, I can never resist Stephen Fry. So much so that, once again, I have the print copy

as well as the audiobook since it is narrated by the author himself. I read them in parallel to enjoy Stephen Fry’s voice as much as the visual design of the print copy with the great artwork and photographs.

This book can, in some ways, be regarded as the sequel to Mythos .
Instead of telling us about the creation myths, the gods and goddesses and their mingling with humans, the demigods and heroes undertaking quests and
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Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Bless my soul, Herc was on a roll!

Image result for herc was on a roll meme

And then along came Zeus! He hurled his thunderbolt! *wink wink*

Image result for greek mythology memes

Stephen Fry turned Greek tragedy into a goldmine of rich storyclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
And
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Alice Lippart
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
So enjoyable!
Lena K.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, mythology
It's about time we've met the Greek heroes and their foes!
Perseus, Theseus, Heracles, Jason and many more.

This installment was as entertaining as the first one, Mythos. But it felt like Fry crammed in too much information in one book. For example, Heracles' labours were described so shortly, and I would've liked a more detailed account. Also, there was a LOT of name dropping, which Fry even acknowledged, saying that "the important names will stick".

It's another great book for mythology lovers
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Simon
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ancient Myths from a Modern Legend!

This is an audiobook that I simply can't recommend enough. One of British entertainment's legends in Stephen Fry dusts off these ancient tales and breathes a contemporary form of life and colour into them in his own unique style. It's a mixture of description, a little conjecture and of course the lion's share being taken by these grand old tales themselves. They take front and center stage and while Fry cleverly interweaves background and information it neve
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Netta
Nov 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
To make a long story of cheap soap opera-esque characters who happen to be ancient heroes and gods in Fry's world short, this is an unforgivably mediocre piece of prose.
Claudia
Jan 28, 2019 marked it as not-my-cup-of-coffee  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 20% - does not compare to the first one in the slightest; too many details of no importance, jokes seem forced. Don’t know what happen. Maybe I was not in the right mood? I doubt it tho…

Anyway, huge disappointment
Fiona
I’m exhausted! I’m sure I will finish this one day but after reading through the exploits of Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Jason and Atalanta, I can take no more slaying of fire-breathing dragons and multi-headed, drooling beasts, and hapless human beings having their lives manipulated for the entertainment of spiteful gods. Stephen Fry is always entertaining and this is a very easy to read summary of the exploits of mythical Greek heroes. Little was new to me but I have a hopeless me ...more
Ana
Stephen Fry is always a delight to read and listen to and, if I’m being honest, I think I enjoyed this one more than Mythos (which was also a 5-star for me, so this one gets an imaginary, but loving “+”!). Fry has a way of making these heroes sound not only very human, but also quite contemporary, and his passion for Greek mythology radiates from every page, so you can forgive his pedantic digressions. I was actually anticipating even more of them.

I might be repeating myself, but Fry is an
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t.
Actual rating: 3,5*

If you’re into Greek mythology, Heroes (and I’m guessing Mythos as well, although I haven’t read that one yet) is a good way to get to know a lot of the ancient gods and heroes. As an introduction, Heroes does a good job at presenting some of the most famous characters of Greek mythology and even a couple of some lesser known ones.
“It is your fate to be Heracles the hero, burdened with labours, yet it is also your choice. You choose to submit to it. Such is the paradox of li/>
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Natasha
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retellings, owned
4.5 stars. I listened to this on audiobook- and Stephen Fry is an absolute delight. I was giggling and guffawing and generally having such a good time I didn’t even realise I was learning something. Bravo Sir.
Andrea
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mythology
To all the heroes we have never heard of.
Perhaps you are one of them.


Oh how I love this man. He could write anything and I would happily pay money for the privilege of soaking it all up, but the fact that he chose to write, in his unique way, about Greek mythology (a topic that has fascinated ever since my parents first took me to Crete and I got to walk around the "ruins" of Knossos before they became a roped-off tourist attraction) makes me ridiculously happy. Not surprisingly, the story
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Thomas
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second in Stephen Fry's Greek Myths series, following on from the first installment of Mythos.

Like Mythos, avery fun and enjoyable read. Although it is part of a series it can be read and taken as a stand alone book in my opinion. If anything I enjoyed this a bit more than Mythos. As the title suggests it is a book that focuses on the Heroes of the Greek Myths. Following the likes of Herakles (Hercules), Jason, Theseus, Orpheus and Perseus to name a few.

The stories are brought to life and
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Walter VDE
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-f-g
After I read Mythos, I wanted the author to write about the heroes and demi-gods. With this book mr Fry delivered, again. Rumor has it that Mr Fry will tackle the Iliad next. I can't wait :-)
Sam
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can probably guess my joy when I found out that there was going to be another book in the mythos “Series” by Steven Fry with the focus shifting from the temperamental and all to often human gods of the Greek pantheon; to the heroes, quests and monster slayings happening all around mythical Greece and the then known world.

I enjoyed every minute of it, the different stories and the sense of an overarching plot the author created. The various heroes had motivations that lead them to do what th
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Margaret
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
Stephen's retelling of the myths of Greece's heroes is a delight.

An absolute must for anyone interested in Greek mythology.
Cendaquenta
Maybe not quite as good as Mythos, but I had a fun time.
Sina Tavoosi
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
As sequel to Mythos, Stephen Fry's humorous take on the beginning of the Greek myths and life of the gods, Heroes focuses on some of the most distinguished Greek heroes. The lives of Perseus, Herakles, Theseus, Jason, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Atalanta and Oedipus are covered here, albeit briefly. I think your enjoyment of Heroes heavily depends on whether you are already familiar with these stories. I wasn't, I mean I have heard the names but the details of their heroic lives were lost on me. So th ...more
Roy
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great retelling of these Greek heroes. Fry provides his unique wit with a perfect sense of knowledge. I kind of wished I'd listened to the audiobook version as I believe that may have also been just as enjoyable.
Thomas Edmund
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was over-excited to pickup Heroes, after thoroughly enjoying 'Mythos' and got a little worried reading the foreword that Fry was getting a little silly with it (he injects a tonne of humour into dialogue) however my fear was misplaced and Heroes was just as good, if not somewhat more enjoyable than Mythos as the tales are more digestible being 'hero-centric'

Some worry that they can't follow the convoluted and complicated character lineages, but Fry's style allows you to enjoy the tales withou
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Nyamka Ganni
🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩



Mr Stephen Fry reading Heroes! (Live reading excerpt)
https://youtu.be/zh2jHkmWBrQ

He's a wizard!
Kirsty
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, june-2019
As fantastic as I was expecting it to be, and then some. A book about heroes written by one of my heroes. I cannot recommend this, or its companion volume Mythos, enough.
Jo
Fry's second book retelling the Greek myths. This one focusses on the more mortal heroes of old telling the tales of such as Jason and the Golden Fleece and Theseus. As one would expect from Fry, this was excellent and well worth a read.
Angus McKeogh
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just like Mythos. Great stuff! The stories are timeless and entertaining and the writing is superb; and no matter how much I think I know on the subject I find out that I’m actually rather ignorant. Highly recommend this two book series.
Laurence
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I finish Heroes, Stephen Fry mentions a third part in his Greek Myths series about the Trojan War and its aftermath. Looking forward to it.

Have been looking for a good modern retelling of the Greek Myths (just as I was for the Norse Mythology, thanks Neil Gaiman) for some time, and these first two books have certainly scratched that itch. So many stories that I knew pieces of or only the names of which are much clearer now.

Next I'd like a modern retelling of the Egyptian myths in the same s
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Simon
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heroes is fun, easy to power through, and informative at the level I am going to engage with Greek mythology.  Thanks to its collection of vignettes, I will comprehend the deeper meanings of Xena: Warrior Princess during my Sunday afternoon re-watches.
 
However, its biggest effect is to convince me to re-rate Circe at five stars.
 
Heroes is about some jolly japers got up to by clever heroes blessed with magnificent bodies and variably pithy lines.  In Fry’s retellings, the humour is bawdy (“golden sh/>
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5,687 followers
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 for stage, screen, television an ...more

Other books in the series

Stephen Fry's Great Mythology (2 books)
  • Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold
“Remember, cautioned the centaur. Modesty. Observance of the gods. In a fight do not do what you want to do, but what you judge you're enemy least wants you to. You cannot control others if you cannot control yourself. Those who most understand their own limitations have the fewest.” 3 likes
“You see?' said Prometheus. 'It is your fate to be Heracles the hero, burdened with labours, yet it is also your choice. You choose to submit to it. Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.” 3 likes
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