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Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures

(Stephen Fry's Great Mythology #2)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  22,598 ratings  ·  2,028 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 timeless t
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Paperback, 415 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 murder…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)
Aneta Well as in Greek myths - you will find a lot of sex (including incest, zoophilia, etc) and a lot of violence (the heroes kill their families, beasts, …moreWell as in Greek myths - you will find a lot of sex (including incest, zoophilia, etc) and a lot of violence (the heroes kill their families, beasts, other people, and sometimes bad guys as well :) ). While it is never described in the most graphic way - I wouldn't really feel comfortable with 13 year old reading it - but it is up to you. Read a bit and see how you feel about it. If not - there are myths for teens (different editions)(less)

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Start your review of Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures (Stephen Fry's Great Mythology, #2)
Sean Barrs
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 h
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Bradley
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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, and the tellings of these
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Kaitlin
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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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Mark Porton
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Heroes by Stephen Fry is a book I had to listen to. Fry’s narration is wonderful - perfect pronunciation, timbre, pace, drama for effect, and of course, he's bloody funny. I really recommend listening to this if you can – it is terrific.

For some months now I have been wriggling my way through the fascinating world of Greek Mythology and I have finally come to the realisation these stories are Nursery Rhymes for Grown-ups. Having read and watched a few of these tales, I know how they end, I alwa
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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  ·  review of another edition


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 a
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Jen - The Tolkien Gal
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2019, mythology
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 storytelling and a treasury of possible memes. Full, comprehensive review to come.

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Ash
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: casual Greek mythology fans
Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Heroes is a follow-up to Stephen Fry’s original book of Greek mythology, Mythos, which I haven’t read but now plan to. Whereas Mythos focuses on the titans and gods of Greek mythology, Heroes focuses on the mortal heroes (as the name suggests). It includes sections on Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Jason, Atalanta, Oedipus, and Theseus.

I love Greek mythology, and I love Stephen Fry,
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Alice Lippart
So enjoyable!
Lena K.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology, nonfiction
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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Kerri
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
A wonderful follow up to Mythos, which became an immediate favourite of mine. I was certain to get this book given how much I enjoyed it predecessor, but I was thrilled to see the cover featured an image of Pegasus! While I have many favourite figures of Greek Mythology, I think Pegasus is the one I love most. So, even before I opened the book, it was off to an excellent start.

Here Stephen Fry documents the heroic adventures of the following Greek heroes: Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus,
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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 never
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Tanya
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After learning about the exploits of the Primordial Beings and Olympian Gods in Mythos , we now follow their mortal offspring, the Great Greek Heroes.

"The heroes cleansed our world of chthonic terrors—earthborn monsters that endangered mankind and threatened to choke the rise of civilization. So long as dragons, giants, centaurs and mutant beasts infested the air, earth and seas we could never spread out with confidence and transform the wild world into a place of safety for humanity.
In t
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Haïfa
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.75 stars

Another remarkable narration and a clever collection of Greek myths, this time dedicated to (more often than not, the rise and fall of) the most legendary and celebrated heroes of ancient Greece (before the Trojan wars, to which the 3rd volume of this collection will be dedicated).
Some stories were inevitably more interesting and engaging than others. But that was to be expected of a collection that spans generations and countries.
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. ...more
Anna
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 amazi
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Claudia
Jan 28, 2019 marked it as dnf-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
Celeste
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology, funny
Actual rating: 4.5 rounded up.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Chronicle Books) and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stephen Fry is such a treasure. There’s something about his style of storytelling that can make even the most grotesque tales a delight to read. And when given the opportunity to listen to him reading his own words, I never pass it up. His verbal storytelling is even more entertaining than his writing, and I so enjoyed being able to simultaneously read
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Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
Having never read any of the Greek mythologies, or Norse, or Roman, or any of them, really, I don't have anything to compare this with. But as an introductory "course" (if you don't count Xena or Percy Jackson, which I don't know why you wouldn't), this was a lot of fun. Fry retells the Greek classics with a wry, humorous tone and manages to keep a light tone even when talking about messed up stuff. And these are ancient Greeks, so there's plenty of icky messed up crap. Worth checking out.

And of
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Dylan
Jun 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
8.5/10

This novel is a great continuation to Stephen Fry Retelling of Greek Myths and once again executes pretty much everything he wants to accomplish. They aren’t many weak narratives presented but if I were to state the most engrossing for me it would be Heracles, Jason, Oedipus, Theseus and Perseus. The rest to me varies in quality, though did wish some of the tales Fry went a bit more in-depth because they probably more source material on it. Atleast much more for Heroes compared to Mytho
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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
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 of A
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Geoff
I love Stephen Fry and I love Greek Mythology, but the mix of the two here didn't quite work. The stories of the heroes (Hercules, Theseus, Atalanta, Jason, et al.) are amazing and funny and chilling, and Fry has a breezy, easy storytelling style that mostly stay out of the way and lets the stories do the talking.

The problems actually come from the humor. Fry inserts some 21st century British sitcom style dialogue in the stories, and instead of increasing my appreciation of the stories, it took
...more
Franzi
4.5 Stars

Just as entertaining, funny and interesting as the first book Mythos.
Fadi Antwan
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I simply love Greek mythology. Read this while playing Hades at the same time. That’s what I call a winter break well spent.
Ric
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Stephen Fry’s first book on Greek Mythology, Mythos, and this one was just as good. His writing style is so funny and it breathes new life into these myths, which are fantastic on their own. I love how the book is broken up by hero (which is appropriate given the title). It outlines the heroic and tragic lives of some of the greatest heroes in the Greek pantheon. Mythical figures like Heracles, Theseus, and Oedipus have their lives and stories satirized by a truly hilarious huma ...more
Thomas
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
...more
Natasha
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, retellings
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.
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 l
...more
Camilla (Fabulouslybooks)
Can we talk about how talented a writer Stephen Fry is?? His writing is truly as enchanting as Greek mythology itself!
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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

Other books in the series

Stephen Fry's Great Mythology (4 books)
  • Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry's Great Mythology, #1)
  • Troy
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