Stephen Fry’s retelling of Greek myths created a new Mythos

Give me a break okay? I studied Mediterranean Archaeology, so I have many books on the Greek myths on my bookshelves. I also just like to read them. I was a bit hesitant about Mythos though, mostly because I already have so many of these books and I know almost all myths out of the back of my mind. I might not be able to recite them word by word, but I can retell them without having to think for long. However, Mythos proved itself a worthy addition to this part of my collective memory.

There is no way you’ll read this book without hearing Stephen Fry’s voice in the back of your head, narrating every word. His remarkable way of storytelling is famous, and the way he writes fits this expectation like a glove. The choice of words and the English used are exactly what one would expect from a man with his reputation. And because of that it’s easy to read this book in one go, from start to finish even though the Greek myths are written in a way that makes it perfectly doable to read them over a longer period of time with breaks in between.

Maybe it’s Fry’s sarcasm that makes re-reading the myths so enjoyable. He paints the gods in a completely different picture. While everyone who knows any bit of information on the myths knows the gods had their struggles while also all looking at ways to gain more favour, power, or just to get laid, no storyteller actually says this out loud. And then Fry does. He calls these deities out on what they are, shames them while he speaks of their awesome powers without any hesitation. Obviously, he wears good protection against lightning bolts coming down one day to smite him… It is a tad refreshing from the more classic settings for these stories, and I’m wondering what he’ll do to the Greek heroes (who all carry one fatal mortal flaw) next…

Stephen Fry. Mythos / Penguin / 9781405934138 

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