Ahead of writing this, I was having a browse through the books that clutter my bedroom and this one caught my eye. As I picked up today’s recommendation, I had such a vivid memory of where I started reading it. It was at the café, ‘I Will Kill Again‘, in Homerton (sadly closed now…). I can so clearly picture the table I was sitting at and the other people around it too. Do you ever have that? When a piece of music, or a movie, or just a random object, carries memories with it? The main reason I picked today’s book might be because I enjoyed reminiscing about reading it, but also, because it is incredibly good. Therefore, this week’s book club read is ‘Mythos’ by Stephen Fry.
Throughout the ages, various writers and story tellers have attempted to present the lives and adventures of the Greek gods and heroes and the myths that surround them. There are many different books that you could choose to learn of these tales. So that begs the question, why pick Fry? The reason why I love this version, is because I love Stephen Fry, and his personality clearly comes across in this book. Fry makes his writing accessible to everyone, as it is not a dense academic read. To see what I mean, just have a look at this brief extract: “It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea-lions, lions, human beings and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits.”
In ‘Mythos’, Fry only covers a brief selection of the classic Greek myths, but has followed it up with the sequel, ‘Heroes’. This book is the perfect way to dip your toe into the deep waters of myth telling. If you enjoy this suggestion, I would recommend trying ‘The Odyssey’, which was thought to be composed in the 8th century BC. Or if you feel like you are already an expert in Greek mythology, why not try learning about the Norse tales in ‘Norse Mythology’ by Neil Gaiman.