Happy New Year to One and All – Let’s hope it’s a good one!
Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros to share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that she’s reading or is planning to read soon.
This week’s opening is from Mythos: the Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry, one of my Christmas presents.
These days the origin of the universe is explained by proposing a Big Bang, a single event that instantly brought into being all the matter from which everything and everyone are made.
The ancient Greeks had a different idea. They said that it all started not with a bang, but with CHAOS.
Was Chaos a god – a divine being – or simply a state of nothingness? Or was Chaos, just as we would use the term today, a kind of terrible mess, like a teenager’s bedroom only worse.
Think of Chaos perhaps as a kind of grand cosmic yawn. As in yawning chasm or a yawning void.
No one loves and quarrels, desires and deceives as boldly and brilliantly as Greek gods and goddesses. They are like us, only more so – their actions and adventures scrawled across the heavens above.
From the birth of the universe to the creation of humankind, Stephen Fry – who fell in love with these stories as a child – retells these myths for our tragic, comic, fateful age. Witness Athena born from the cracking open of Zeus’s great head and follow Persephone down into the dark realm of Hades. Experience the terrible and endless fate of Prometheus after his betrayal of Zeus and shiver as Pandora opens her jar of evil torments.
The Greek gods are the best and worst of us, and in Stephen Fry’s hands they tell us who we are. Mythos – smart, funny, and above all great fun – is the retelling we deserve by a man who has been entertaining the nation for over four decades.
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I was delighted to receive this as a Christmas present. I loved Greek myths when I was a child and want to know more. In his Foreword Fry writes that you don’t need to know anything to read this book – but I’m looking forward to reading about the ones I do know as well as others I don’t.
What do you think – would you read on?