counter Tales of the Greek Heroes (Puffin Classics) - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Tales of the Greek Heroes (Puffin Classics)

Availability: Ready to download

The mysterious and exciting legends of the gods and heroes in Ancient Greece, from the adventures of Perseus, the labours of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, to Odysseus and the Trojan wars.Introduced with wit and humour by Rick Riordan, creator of the highly successful Percy Jackson series.


Compare

The mysterious and exciting legends of the gods and heroes in Ancient Greece, from the adventures of Perseus, the labours of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, to Odysseus and the Trojan wars.Introduced with wit and humour by Rick Riordan, creator of the highly successful Percy Jackson series.

30 review for Tales of the Greek Heroes (Puffin Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    My edition of this is from 1972! I remember reading it as a child and was reminded of it today so I hunted my shelves for it and found it with no covers and a large food stain one the front page. It was a well loved and well read book. I flipped through and read the story of the titan Typhon today. It was this book that furnished me with most of my education in this mythology. The author was an academic and a member of the Inklings along with Tolkien and C.S Lewis. The stories are drawn from origi My edition of this is from 1972! I remember reading it as a child and was reminded of it today so I hunted my shelves for it and found it with no covers and a large food stain one the front page. It was a well loved and well read book. I flipped through and read the story of the titan Typhon today. It was this book that furnished me with most of my education in this mythology. The author was an academic and a member of the Inklings along with Tolkien and C.S Lewis. The stories are drawn from original sources and not tailored for modern tastes. In the Typhon story the titan wrestles with Zeus and cuts out the sinews from the god's arms and legs then makes off with them! Anyway, it's interesting stuff which can be dipped into at will, and should be required reading for Rick Riordan fans so they can see the inspirations in the raw. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ..

  2. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    Eleanor: Dad? Why do you read me books that I might not enjoy reading by myself? Dad: There are a lot of reasons, I guess. I don't think you'll read some of these books in school, or on your own, and they're worth reading. Eleanor: Why don't you read them to Gwen and Poppy? Dad: I do, sometimes. Like The Little Prince. I didn't think any of you would read that one on your own yet, and it's a classic that has influenced a lot of other works. Eleanor: At school, they did The Reader's Theater, and The Eleanor: Dad? Why do you read me books that I might not enjoy reading by myself? Dad: There are a lot of reasons, I guess. I don't think you'll read some of these books in school, or on your own, and they're worth reading. Eleanor: Why don't you read them to Gwen and Poppy? Dad: I do, sometimes. Like The Little Prince. I didn't think any of you would read that one on your own yet, and it's a classic that has influenced a lot of other works. Eleanor: At school, they did The Reader's Theater, and The Power of WOW. Dad: I'm not sure what that is. ...What's "The Power of WOW?" El: It's the Reader's Theater. Dad: Yeah, but what's that? El: Words on Wheels. Dad: Ok, sorry. Keep going. El: Reader's Theater is a play they put on at school. ...Well, sometimes they put it on, and sometimes they just read it. Anyway, they talked about King Midas and mentioned The Greek Myths last week. Eliana - from Reader's Theater might have gotten Tales of the Greek Heroes as one of her books. Dad: So, you knew a little bit about King Midas from reading this book with me? El: Yeah. Or when in Wonder, they had the quote from The Little Prince. Dad: Yeah. I get it. And I get that you get it. That's part of why I'm trying to read you some of these books. El: Yeah. It's just that sometimes I think there are too many adventures. Dad: There certainly were a lot of adventures in Tales of the Greek Heroes, that's for sure. El: My favorite was Chapter 2: Hermes and Apollo. Dad: What happened? El: In Hermes and Apollo, the cattle were stolen. And they didn't know who stole them. ...(*ellipses here = Eleanor explaining much faster than I can type.*) then Hermes admitted that he stole them, and he was just a little baby. Dad: That was a good one. I have to say I like pretty much all of them. Perseus and the Gorgons. I liked Jason and the Argonauts. I'd always heard of that story, but I don't think I've ever actually heard it. What do you think was the worst thing that happened to anyone? El: I think it was that Heracles put on that robe and it killed him. That was MEAAAAANNNN!!! Dad: Yeah. That was crazy. I don't think I knew, or remembered that before reading this book. I also find it interesting that we're using the name Heracles now all the time instead of Hercules. El: Why? Dad: I think most people use the name Hercules. Do you know what the difference is? El: Oh, I know. The Romans called him Hercules, and the Greeks called him Heracles. ...I don't know if I should call him the Roman name or the Greek name. Dad: I guess it just depends if you're talking to a Roman or a Greek person. ... ... That was a joke. You're saying you don't want to read any more books like this? El: Not for a while now. It's been a really long book. We started this in March. MARCH was when we read Hermes and Apollo. MARCH, dad. But I will recommend this book to people, because I recommend all books to people - even if I don't like them, because I know someone might like them. Dad: Sure. I liked it. I wish I would have read it earlier.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    3.5 Stars Ah, Greek mythology, one of my pet passions. Like most people my introduction to the world of Greek mythology came through a children’s book that retold some of the more popular and enduring legends – Heracles, Odysseus, and Jason. That particular book will always have a very special place in my heart (and on my bookshelf). It wasn’t, however, this book. Although objectively a much more comprehensive, intelligent, and less simplified introduction to Greek mythology than many of the brigh 3.5 Stars Ah, Greek mythology, one of my pet passions. Like most people my introduction to the world of Greek mythology came through a children’s book that retold some of the more popular and enduring legends – Heracles, Odysseus, and Jason. That particular book will always have a very special place in my heart (and on my bookshelf). It wasn’t, however, this book. Although objectively a much more comprehensive, intelligent, and less simplified introduction to Greek mythology than many of the brightly illustrated ‘Children’s Book of Greek Myths’ out there, I never quite managed to click with Roger Lancelyn Green’s Tales of the Greek Heroes. I enjoyed it, as I enjoy all retellings of Greek myth and, as an adult with a fairly decent knowledge of the subject, I could appreciate what the author was doing; his unique approach, the way he highlighted several little-known figures or versions of events. But, for me, the magic that first made me fall in love with not just Greek mythology but mythology as a whole, simply wasn’t quite there. Whether it’s that the tone was a little too old-fashioned and slightly mollycoddling (Zeus ‘marries’ the mothers of all his children) or that I’m simply a good fifteen years older than the intended audience and bring with me a whole different set of knowledge and expectations, I’m not sure – probably a very strong helping of both – but I could only get into this book as an intellectual exercise (‘ooh, that’s a version I’ve not seen before’ ‘Ha! He censored the incest out!’) rather than as a particuularly gripping story in its own right. To someone looking for an accessible introduction into the myths and legends of Greece, however, I would strongly recommend it. The real strength of this version above other ‘introduction to Greek mythology’ books is that Roger Lancelyn Green takes a chronological approach. Instead of cherry-picking the best and most well-known stories (Heracles, Perseus, Theseus etc.) and simply retelling them, Green attempts to tell the whole story of the ‘golden age’ of Greek heroes; from the creation of the world and the war with the Titans right through to the defeat of the giants and the death of Heracles (the tale of the later Trojan War and Odysseus’s adventures are told in a second book). Each story is fitted in to the wider context and there’s a strong narrative thread that runs throughout the book even as different heroes take it in turns to assume the leading role. I didn’t always agree with the order Green chose to sort his stories into – I think placing the adventures of Theseus before those of Jason was a wrong one; Theseus being among the Argonauts adds very little to Jason’s story while taking away Medea’s role completely from the Theseus myth and giving it to an unnamed ‘witch queen’ instead. But then that’s how it is with Greek myth – there are so many versions of a single story that once you try to iron it all out there will be contradictions and which version you go for is ultimately down to personal preference. In the end, though I enjoyed it, this book didn’t quite work for me as a piece of entertainment. I loved the idea of it, and I loved stumbling across names I was only vaguely familiar with and having to jump to my numerous dictionaries of Greek mythology to do a bit of fact checking. But things like attempting to tell the story of Oedipus without reference to either the killing of his father or his marriage to his mother, or the story of Heracles’ conception with Zeus portrayed as guilt-stricken by the deception and only sexing up a married woman for the sake of creating a hero were simply too laughable for me to take the book entirely seriously. Still, I would recommend it as well worth a read to anybody with an interest in Greek mythology, and not just as an introduction.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emilie

    i love greek mythology so much but multiple times the author got me lost with all the different names and some of them even seemed to come out of nowhere

  5. 4 out of 5

    C

    More like "The Adventures of Heracles" 😅 but still I learned a lot of things. Thank you Mr. Green 💖 More like "The Adventures of Heracles" 😅 but still I learned a lot of things. Thank you Mr. Green 💖

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    I think this book put me in a reading slump. I really hope not because I have a lot of book I want to read this month, and my goal for the school year is to read 100 and a reading is not going to help me achieve my goal. Overall I think this book is not worth reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Girl with her Head in a Book

    For my full review: https://girlwithherheadinabook.co.uk/... My Greek Mythology Challenge has proven much trickier than anticipated. I was finding the subject matter to be unbearably depressing even before the massive global pandemic. I found myself questioning how I had ever gotten the idea that I liked Greek mythology in the first place. With that in mind, it was helpful to retrace my steps and go right back to the book that first caught my attention over twenty years ago. I first read Tales of For my full review: https://girlwithherheadinabook.co.uk/... My Greek Mythology Challenge has proven much trickier than anticipated. I was finding the subject matter to be unbearably depressing even before the massive global pandemic. I found myself questioning how I had ever gotten the idea that I liked Greek mythology in the first place. With that in mind, it was helpful to retrace my steps and go right back to the book that first caught my attention over twenty years ago. I first read Tales of the Greek Heroes aged around eight or nine. We had covered the topic at school and I had responded - as I generally did - by becoming obsessively interested. I got this out of the library and I remember reading it before bedtime and picturing these magical people in my mind. Returning to the book now felt risky - if the spell was broken here too, I risked sullying very contented childhood memories. In fact, I ended up with a nice trip down Memory Lane. Having read so many modern or contemporary retellings of the Greek myths and legends, it was an interesting step change to return to something so unashamedly traditional. As an Oxford academic and an Inkling, Roger Lancelyn Green has an impressive classical background and has written children's versions about the mythologies of almost every culture on the planet. The updated forward to Tales of Heroes notes that this particular book inspired Percy Jackson. I am definitely not the only reader whose understanding of the classics has been heavily influenced by Roger Lancelyn Green. Which only makes it all the more worthwhile to take a closer look at just how he tells the story. Like Stephen Fry's more recent attempt Mythos, Green is writing the Greek foundation myths for an unfamiliar audience. There though the similarity ends. Where Fry revels in the sordid aspects, Lancelyn Green skims past them carefully. I admit that I sniggered on the re-read when I came across Green's explanation that Oedipus took the throne and ruled well but was subsequently punished for unspecified crimes that he had committed 'unintentionally'. Another stellar example is his description of how Tiresias was blinded by Hera for saying that women had a better time than men, with Green failing to specify that by this Tiresias meant during sex. But despite these issues, I was really struck by the way that Green manages to retell the stories for a younger audience without appearing patronising. More than that, he actually covers a huge amount of ground while still keeping his reader engaged. Where your average 'Greek Myths for Children' book cherry-picks a few key incidents like the abduction of Persephone or Theseus' battle with the Minotaur, Green is genuinely trying to put across a reasonably detailed understanding of the classics, drawing in an impressively wide range of sources. I was surprised - and then surprised at how surprised I was - to realise just how influential Tales of the Greek Heroes has been for me over the twenty or so years since I last read it. Bearing in mind that this was a library book that I read once, a massive chunk of the character names did stick in my head. At eighteen, I went to a university full of predominantly privately-educated people to study a literature degree. While reading Mythos, I was reminded of my own past irritations with how the upper classes can 'gate-keep' ancient mythology. By contrast, I can see that Tales of the Greek Heroes gave me some tools to fight back. In a tutorial when I was nineteen, I correctly named Theseus' mother Aethra. Another student expressed surprise that I had heard of her since I had gone to a state school. The only reason why I knew her name was because I had read this book and also one of Green's other books, The Luck of Troy. That was not the only time that something like that happened. I had forgotten that this was where I first learned a lot of these things and I have a huge gratitude to Green that his books helped me to save face in environments where I sometimes felt on the back foot. Reading the right books can seriously damage your ignorance. Reading the book as an adult, I can see that Green is not writing with the same emotional range as a lot of the more modern retellings. He tells us what is happening without really interrogating the characters' wider motivations. We never have to stop to consider the consequences. With so much ground to cover, it is a bit of a whistle-stop tour. Yet still Green weaves a magic of his own. The passage describing the night Zeus and Alcmena conceived Heracles inspired very confusing feelings in my childhood self. It was probably the first time that it ever occurred to me that the act of making babies was something that people actually did for fun. Of course, re-reading it now I was more disturbed by the casual way that Green describes Heracles' violence towards women. For all that though, I do plan to point my son towards Tales of the Greek Heroes when the time is right. If possible, I hope to read it with him. Partly because there are certain episodes such as the life of Heracles which I think require extra discussion. But as an introduction to Greek mythology, Tales of the Greek Heroes is pretty unbeatable. It explains the events of the mythology in a manner both clear and succinct. And although the Greek heroes were perhaps not as heroic as Green would have had me believe, knowing who they are has still come in pretty handy. This book has been a fantastic building block in my journey as a reader - a true and under-appreciated classic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Anderson

    I remember this book being in our English Literature class' reading list. I loved it. I think it is geared more to the young mind than to an adults as, yes, the narrative is aimed more to adventure and action as opposed to a more deep and profound account of the Greek mindset and way of life in those times. That said, I too enjoyed Green's idea of linking the stories and forming a more coherent continuity with an ultimate end goal - Defeating The Giants. All the heroes were on Zeus's short list. I remember this book being in our English Literature class' reading list. I loved it. I think it is geared more to the young mind than to an adults as, yes, the narrative is aimed more to adventure and action as opposed to a more deep and profound account of the Greek mindset and way of life in those times. That said, I too enjoyed Green's idea of linking the stories and forming a more coherent continuity with an ultimate end goal - Defeating The Giants. All the heroes were on Zeus's short list. He was always, always mindful of Prometheus' prophesy of the coming war and looking on for the foretold mortal hero. I loved Heracles' labors and the accounts. Of course we can't expect every single nuance of myth, including the more controversial aspects of Greek mythology to be crammed into this book. So I won't join in and criticize on that. Bear in mind this book is written for a YOUNG audience. Other than that - GREAT book and excellent appetizer course for someone now starting off on the Journey!

  9. 5 out of 5

    eman | readsforkeeps ✨

    This was a quick and unexpectedly fun book to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Middlestead

    I found these to be somewhat dull retellings of exciting stories.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Sas

    About as spartan a retelling of the Greek myths as you could hope for (which I believe is typical of his retellings for young readers, and fair enough) but Green does a solid job of knocking the tales of the Greek Gods and heroes into a reasonably linear and comprehensive whole.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Padmanabha Reddy

    After a roller coaster ride in 2020, I started this year by reading this classic by Roger Lancelyn Green. "Tales of the Greek Heroes" is one such book where you will be taken on an a journey with the legends of Greek classical beliefs. Although many know about the Iliad by Homer, which is no doubt a classic epic about the exploits of Greek Heroes, Roger Lancelyn Green shows us the background of heroes like Heracles, Perseus, and Prometheus. The most intriguing part of the book is the narrative t After a roller coaster ride in 2020, I started this year by reading this classic by Roger Lancelyn Green. "Tales of the Greek Heroes" is one such book where you will be taken on an a journey with the legends of Greek classical beliefs. Although many know about the Iliad by Homer, which is no doubt a classic epic about the exploits of Greek Heroes, Roger Lancelyn Green shows us the background of heroes like Heracles, Perseus, and Prometheus. The most intriguing part of the book is the narrative that Green choses. An omniscient narrator helps the reader to understand the narrative well by giving a bird's eye view of the event. Not many know that Green was among the inklings group along with J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, two writers who don't need an introduction. One of my favorite narratives in the book is the part where Green writes about the labors of Heracles. Little do people know about the Greek thought beyond a few stories but Green manages to write a book containing some of the most important events in Greek myth and that too in a simple tongue. The retelling is absolutely one of the best ways to tell the stories of antiquity to the people of present day. The stories of Zeus, Hera, Orpheus, Apollo, Athena, Hermes, and many other immortals which include the likes of Cronos and Ouranos, contain lessons which people seldom know about. I personally liked the book and it's also worth a re-read. I would suggest to go for a read. You won't be disappointed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Lee

    This book served the purpose I was looking for it to serve . I decided to read this book to refresh my memory on Greek mythology and gain some background info in order to read Circe by Madeline Miller for my book club . I learned a lot as far as the main themes of the heroic age of Greek Mythology . Basically , there’s a lot of darkness; lies, betrayal, jealousy , deceit, and disguise . All this began with the opening of a box by Pandora that let sin out into the world . I found it very interesti This book served the purpose I was looking for it to serve . I decided to read this book to refresh my memory on Greek mythology and gain some background info in order to read Circe by Madeline Miller for my book club . I learned a lot as far as the main themes of the heroic age of Greek Mythology . Basically , there’s a lot of darkness; lies, betrayal, jealousy , deceit, and disguise . All this began with the opening of a box by Pandora that let sin out into the world . I found it very interesting to connect the Greek myths that made modern day beliefs what they are ! The reason I gave this book 3 stars is because certain stories were hard to follow . Whether that is just the nature of the stories or a flaw of the author’s writing I am unsure . It just seemed like there were too many names and too many events happening in between one main event . It made it confusing for myself, as the reader, to remember what the original quest was . I did enjoy getting this background info even though Circe was only mentioned twice . I was able to gather what story she is a part of so that I can learn more if I want to.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    I enjoyed Green’s Myths of the Norsemen, so it made sense that I would check this one out next. Tales of the Greek Heroes presents an accessible retelling of the myths, from the beginning of the universe to the death of Hercules. I was more familiar with these stories as a kid. But I found myself remembering bits as the book went on. While every chapter more or less stands on its own, Green interweaves plotlines and characters so the whole book reads like a single epic. Admittedly, the way he wr I enjoyed Green’s Myths of the Norsemen, so it made sense that I would check this one out next. Tales of the Greek Heroes presents an accessible retelling of the myths, from the beginning of the universe to the death of Hercules. I was more familiar with these stories as a kid. But I found myself remembering bits as the book went on. While every chapter more or less stands on its own, Green interweaves plotlines and characters so the whole book reads like a single epic. Admittedly, the way he writes - where a battle passes by in a paragraph, and a journey constitutes one sentence - creates little narrative tension. Still, as a overview of the myths, this book captures the essentials of what makes these stories exciting and timeless. I was surprised that the Jason and the Argonauts chapters were my favorites.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Camille

    This book has 19 stories of the heroes, including a few stories devoted to Heracles, Perseus, Theseus and Jason as well as others related to the Olympian Gods and their games of manipulation. Reading this after Stephen Fry's Heroes was probably not the ideal order, as it is extremely hard to top Fry's wonderful and detailed retelling, but this does serve to give readers a succinct account of many of the classic legends of the Greek Heroes. I liked that at the beginning of each story there is a ver This book has 19 stories of the heroes, including a few stories devoted to Heracles, Perseus, Theseus and Jason as well as others related to the Olympian Gods and their games of manipulation. Reading this after Stephen Fry's Heroes was probably not the ideal order, as it is extremely hard to top Fry's wonderful and detailed retelling, but this does serve to give readers a succinct account of many of the classic legends of the Greek Heroes. I liked that at the beginning of each story there is a verse somewhat related to the story. This fabulous one is from Browning's translation of Euripides' Heracles starting chapter 9, The Choice of Heracles. First, then, he made the wood Of Zeus a solitude, Slaying its lion-tenant; and he spread The tawniness behind - his yellow head Enmuffled by the brute's, backed by that giant grin of dread.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    SO ENJOYED THIS. I've always had a particular fascination with Greek mythology ever since I read The Odyssey in high school. And after starting the Percy Jackson series, I just got really into it and wanted to read more on the myths. I've never read a compilation like this, and I loved how the stories were intertwined and kept building on each other, even when a lot of them were their own tales. It was very readable, even though there are *so many* names to remember and keep track of and figures SO ENJOYED THIS. I've always had a particular fascination with Greek mythology ever since I read The Odyssey in high school. And after starting the Percy Jackson series, I just got really into it and wanted to read more on the myths. I've never read a compilation like this, and I loved how the stories were intertwined and kept building on each other, even when a lot of them were their own tales. It was very readable, even though there are *so many* names to remember and keep track of and figures to follow along with. But from the gods and goddesses and their involvement with mankind, to the heroes who slayed monsters and took on quests to be remembered, I was wholly enchanted with this book. *adds the Troy book to my Amazon cart*

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adrien Fischer

    A very good book. Great for those interested in Greek Mythology.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keira

    I decided to read this book because I like Greek myths and it is a short stories novel, so it was easy to read and enjoyable. This book is for the bingo board square 'three short stories from one anthology', I liked this category because it is easy to find and read. The three stories I chose from the novel are 'The coming of the immortals', 'Hermes and Apollo' and 'the story of Prometheus'. My favourite quote from these stories is 'If you are lucky enough to visit the beautiful land of Greece you I decided to read this book because I like Greek myths and it is a short stories novel, so it was easy to read and enjoyable. This book is for the bingo board square 'three short stories from one anthology', I liked this category because it is easy to find and read. The three stories I chose from the novel are 'The coming of the immortals', 'Hermes and Apollo' and 'the story of Prometheus'. My favourite quote from these stories is 'If you are lucky enough to visit the beautiful land of Greece you will find a country haunted by more than three thousand years of history and legend' I liked this quote because it paints a picture for the setting of the book, untouched by humans and naturally beautiful. I like the setting in this book because it is shown as a place fit for immortals and lets our minds imagine what it looks like, very beautiful and pure. There are many different places in Greece as the setting of this book some mythical and some real, but they are always described as being beautiful and it makes the reader want to not only visit Greece but picture the story of the immortal gods living in the picturesque landscape. I learnt from this book more Greek mythology as I have always been interested in it, and have read books about it e.g. Percy Jackson, but to read more original myths is more informative but still enjoyable for me to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    My daughter and I read this together for her school required summer reading. Though she is going into 6th grade and capable of reading by herself, she never would have made it through this book had I not read it to her. First, there needs to be a pronunciation guide for all the names and places. I know I butchered every one except for those I had heard before. Second, the stories are written in such a round about, convoluted way that you can't keep track of who is who and what their story is. A My daughter and I read this together for her school required summer reading. Though she is going into 6th grade and capable of reading by herself, she never would have made it through this book had I not read it to her. First, there needs to be a pronunciation guide for all the names and places. I know I butchered every one except for those I had heard before. Second, the stories are written in such a round about, convoluted way that you can't keep track of who is who and what their story is. A chapter will start about one god and then veer off on a tangent about another person that god came in contact with which will then veer off into a story about another person and what adventure the two had together and then finally, it will come back to the god the chapter started with. It is very confusing and makes for a frustrating read. I thoroughly enjoy mythology and I have read other books about the topic but this one I would never recommend to anyone. The only reason we gave it two stars was because at the root of it all, when you skip over the side stories and fumble over the names, the stories are very interesting and exciting.

  20. 4 out of 5

    M.G. Bianco

    In Rick Riordan's Introduction, he claims the Roger Green stories are what interested him as kid in Greek mythology, leading to his writing as an adult. I can see why. Green's retelling of the Greek myths are very good, and connected as one narrative, making the overall book easier to read. They are captivating and interesting, and excellent for youths to read for the whetting of their mythological appetites. On the other hand, as an adult, they are incomplete. It leaves out detailed descriptions In Rick Riordan's Introduction, he claims the Roger Green stories are what interested him as kid in Greek mythology, leading to his writing as an adult. I can see why. Green's retelling of the Greek myths are very good, and connected as one narrative, making the overall book easier to read. They are captivating and interesting, and excellent for youths to read for the whetting of their mythological appetites. On the other hand, as an adult, they are incomplete. It leaves out detailed descriptions of side adventures Heracles (for example) might have faced on the road to the greater adventure it is describing. It does make mention of them and the characters they involve, simply without the details. So you do get a glimpse of what the stories are and who is part of them. Overall, a good book, especially for establishing an introductory knowledge of Greek mythology. I might add that some of the adult content of the stories is also cleaned-up for the youthful audience.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vishvapani

    This has to be the best, simple account of the Greek myths. Reading and re-reading it as a child, I got to know all the main stories as real heroes, not dusty school-room exercises. Heracles is the big figure, and I guess I responded to him the way my son responds to Spiderman. There are hints of something disturbing in his tale (killing his family!) and in the Jason story, too. I also liked Prometheus and thought Zeus was pretty mean to him. And what about those gods? I found them much more int This has to be the best, simple account of the Greek myths. Reading and re-reading it as a child, I got to know all the main stories as real heroes, not dusty school-room exercises. Heracles is the big figure, and I guess I responded to him the way my son responds to Spiderman. There are hints of something disturbing in his tale (killing his family!) and in the Jason story, too. I also liked Prometheus and thought Zeus was pretty mean to him. And what about those gods? I found them much more intriguing than the God of the Bible. Rereading it now, the simple pleasure remains. Also, it's a primer in Who's Who on Greek mythology. Green weaves the minor figures into the main stories, creating a sense of richness and depth. His writing is always vivid; at times he allows himself a well-deserved element of Tennysonian lyricism. Every child should read this book. Every adult should reread it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emi Bevacqua

    We read a lot of Greek (and Roman) mythology in our house, and we love the rest of our Puffin Classics collection, of which this is a (beautiful blue) volume. However, I would advise anyone considering this to opt instead for Classic Myths to Read Aloud: The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for Children Five and Up by an Educational Expert. That educational expert is William F. Russell, Ed.D. and he has thought of everything - pronunciation guides, a helpful synopsi We read a lot of Greek (and Roman) mythology in our house, and we love the rest of our Puffin Classics collection, of which this is a (beautiful blue) volume. However, I would advise anyone considering this to opt instead for Classic Myths to Read Aloud: The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for Children Five and Up by an Educational Expert. That educational expert is William F. Russell, Ed.D. and he has thought of everything - pronunciation guides, a helpful synopsis plus "A Few Words More" for each and every selection, and he even separates them by Listening Level so he indicates which are good for age 5+, and which are better for age 8+.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Edy Gies

    I absolutely loved this book. The author's retelling of the Greek myths is exactly what I've been looking for to share with my middle school students. I also like that the author was a friends of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Oh, to be in that book discussion group! This particular edition has an introduction by Rick Riodrdan in which he explains that this is the first book he read about mythology as a kid and it made him dream of being a Hero. I want my kids to see that without classic literature the I absolutely loved this book. The author's retelling of the Greek myths is exactly what I've been looking for to share with my middle school students. I also like that the author was a friends of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Oh, to be in that book discussion group! This particular edition has an introduction by Rick Riodrdan in which he explains that this is the first book he read about mythology as a kid and it made him dream of being a Hero. I want my kids to see that without classic literature their contemporary favorites wouldn't exist. This book is a great one for that.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    4/5 Stars It's probably worth pointing out I am completely obsessed with Greek mythology at the moment, even if I am relatively new to it. So I picked this book up, looking for a more simple rebelling of some of the greatest legends. I loved the whole book, start to finish and the chapters and explanations were very well thought through. My only problem was at times the plots went to fast, bits were skipped or glossed over, and it was perhaps a tiny bit too simple for me, a 16 year old, classics 4/5 Stars It's probably worth pointing out I am completely obsessed with Greek mythology at the moment, even if I am relatively new to it. So I picked this book up, looking for a more simple rebelling of some of the greatest legends. I loved the whole book, start to finish and the chapters and explanations were very well thought through. My only problem was at times the plots went to fast, bits were skipped or glossed over, and it was perhaps a tiny bit too simple for me, a 16 year old, classics civilisation student. But then again, it is a children's book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Medusa LeStrange

    My favorite thing about this telling of the myths was that they've been structured into a single continuous story without straying too far from the source material. While I'm a bit sad about how some of my favorite myths were only mentioned off-hand rather than told in full detail (like Hades and Persephone's relationship, the cursing of Medusa, Orpheus and Eurydice) I understand it was necessary for the narrative. My favorite thing about this telling of the myths was that they've been structured into a single continuous story without straying too far from the source material. While I'm a bit sad about how some of my favorite myths were only mentioned off-hand rather than told in full detail (like Hades and Persephone's relationship, the cursing of Medusa, Orpheus and Eurydice) I understand it was necessary for the narrative.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chantelle

    Excellent, It gives a general overview of Greek Mythology from the coming of the immortals to the battle of the giants. Ideal for an introduction..

  27. 5 out of 5

    Holland

    REALLY EDUCATIONAL PERCY JACKSON

  28. 4 out of 5

    Narwhal

    Greek myth, ya I know her .. B-) A comprehensive retelling of the heroic age, weaving isolated stories into an integrated whole. The most perfect primer. Simple unadorned language and short chapters. This is the stuff. Copped it from my brother. He was the one who discovered that Roger Lancelyn Green was part of the Inklings, and someone who encouraged Lewis to publish his Narnia chronicles, which btw Tolkien disdained. Also Rick Riordan wrote the introduction to this. Apparently this is a pretty Greek myth, ya I know her .. B-) A comprehensive retelling of the heroic age, weaving isolated stories into an integrated whole. The most perfect primer. Simple unadorned language and short chapters. This is the stuff. Copped it from my brother. He was the one who discovered that Roger Lancelyn Green was part of the Inklings, and someone who encouraged Lewis to publish his Narnia chronicles, which btw Tolkien disdained. Also Rick Riordan wrote the introduction to this. Apparently this is a pretty well known book. Greek myth has been consistently relevant in western literary tradition. But the drift I'm getting is that the myth is not strictly associated with western Europe (Greece, Italy), as there are some mix-ins with Egypt and many of the stories are associated with Asia minor, modern day Turkey. It is such a lesson in worldbuilding, except this wasn't used as literary device, it was the literal worldview and religion of one of the biggest empires ever. When the Apostle Paul was walking around Corinth and his route around the Mediterranean, he was passing by temples dedicated to Athena and Apollo. I think it's no mistake that something about Greek myth builds such worlds and incites our fascination. It is an interpretation of the world that is at once poetic and literal; the most obvious example I can think of is the god Helios driving the chariot of the sun across the sky every day being the explanation for sunrise and sunset. Greek myth directly personifies nature into gods. Maybe it's another way to say pantheism. But when I think of pantheism, I don't think of all the different gods of earth, sun, wind, etc. and their stories among one another and mortals (I also need to study these other religions). Greek myth to me seems rich because of the extensive stories that I associate with it. And here, I got to read a comprehensive chronicle of it. The stories reminded me of the drama of Shakespeare plays; it's surprisingly raw and morbid at turns, very passionate, etc... I read Greek myth comics when I was a kid and some of that stuff definitely wasn't edifying for me to read as an 8 year old lol. Something I gained more nuance about is the relationship between mortals and immortals in Greek myth. I used to think immortals were kind of siloed in their power and while they had affairs with mortals, I kind of forgot about the role of mortals in these stories. Which is precisely the story of the heroes. And although many of the gods have fits, are cunning, lowkey unreliable, they also have pity on mortals. The Titan Prometheus is the closest I can think of a god who selflessly cared for humans. I really appreciated Roger Green for writing so efficiently, because I just really needed the background. But even within such simple language, Green has a gift for storytelling, and illuminates some striking and exciting concepts. I think another facet of Greek myth and worldbuilding is that it's literally what we conjure up as kids, whether dark or light; palaces under the sea, a labyrinth with a minotaur, golden apples guarded by a dragon, etc... a world infused with supernatural magic. Greek myth also gives stories that are tied to reality, in terms of natural landmarks and the names of bodies of water, which really does infuse the magic back into the land and lived reality. Infuses poetry into daily life in a sense. Here are 3 quotes that show what I mean: 'He (Zeus) led the way out of the cottage, and scarcely had they left it when it began to grow and change as they watched it. The rough sticks which held up the roof turned into columns of white marble; the thatch grew yellower and yellower until it shone with pure gold, and the dark earthen floor grew hard and smooth with many-coloured mosaic.' (50) I saw this metamorphosis in my head. 'All was desolation: houses lay in ruins beneath the waters, the corn rotted and turned black, and the fishes swam in and out among the branches of the trees. Only the Sea-peoples, the Nymphs and the Dolphins, were happy, swimming about among the mountain tops, and diving down to explore drowned cities beneath the waves.' (52-53) I mean come on!! Who hasn't imagined underwater kingdoms as a kid *-* 'Zeus...ordered Helios to keep the Sun-chariot at home, and Selene the Moon-chariot also, that there might be no light on the earth save the feeble glimmer of the stars. In this strange, unnatural twilight Heracles found the herb; and when the sun rose again the great battle began.' (254-255). *-* I can't wait to level up and actually read through the whole Lightning Thief series... that series was so good!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Puzzle Factory

    I remember first reading Tales of the Greek Heroes in middle school. I think the main purpose was to give us enough of an understanding of the Greek gods and classical heroes to be able to recognize references we would encounter as we continued our educational journeys through the literary canon. Green’s version of the Greek myths provides an enjoyable and easy read, with a focus on the masculine gods and heroes, including Zeus, Hermes, Apollo, Prometheus, Dionysus, Perseus, Theseus, Jason & the I remember first reading Tales of the Greek Heroes in middle school. I think the main purpose was to give us enough of an understanding of the Greek gods and classical heroes to be able to recognize references we would encounter as we continued our educational journeys through the literary canon. Green’s version of the Greek myths provides an enjoyable and easy read, with a focus on the masculine gods and heroes, including Zeus, Hermes, Apollo, Prometheus, Dionysus, Perseus, Theseus, Jason & the Argonauts, and a significant portion of the stories centering around Heracles. We learned about how Prometheus taught man all the “arts and crafts of life”, including how to make fire. We learned that as punishment for man, Zeus made the first woman, Pandora, who opened a golden box thereby unleashing “all the evil” upon mankind. We learned that everyone should be kind to strangers, wanderers and beggars, because they might be Zeus and Hermes in disguise testing mankind before flooding the earth. We learned that although Zeus had an immortal and jealous wife, Hera, he regularly took human or animal form, and then seduced and impregnated human women. And we learned that at one’s birth, three daughters of Zeus, the Fates, spun the thread of each of our lives determining not the details of our lives, but the conditions and parameters in which we would make our future choices. Because Heracles appears in more than half of Green’s stories, we get to know him throughout his life, from birth, through youth, to the trials and adventures of adulthood, and finally to his death and raising to Olympus. We watch him face challenges, confront enemies, work with friends, and make the day-to-day choices of a man, albeit with super-strength, and in this way amongst the various characters cataloged in the Tales, Heracles provides the richest portrait of masculinity in both its ideals and its foibles.... In Heracles’ story, he chose Virtue’s path of toil and suffering without any hesitation. One might say, he was, after all, born to be a hero —his mother was the grand-daughter of the hero Gorgon-slayer Perseus and his father was Zeus —so, was there ever really a choice here? Some would even go so far to argue, that really, there isn’t ever a real choice.... So why even pretend that there is a real choice set when it comes to our lives? Why pretend that each of us has a choice between even the four simple options presented to Heracles? Aren’t some of us just born to be heroes, some to be hedonists, some to be robbers, and some to be cow-herds? And can’t you tell who is who based in large part on who our parents were and where we were born? Hasn’t this been precisely one of the justifications we make as a society (consciously or not) for offering whole swaths of the population such a limited set of choices to begin with?... Full text: Heroes and Explorers: Tales of The Greek Heroes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Final Frontier Books

    Read my full review on my blog, Final Frontier Books! So, why should you read this book? If you’re fascinated by any form of mythology, this is a great introduction to basic Greek mythology, in chronological order! My Opinion Before I read this book, I was already pretty familiar with Greek mythology, but I didn't know where the myths sat in relation to each other (chronologically), and I found it quite illuminating to have them presented to me in that way. (Knowing that Perseus was Heracles' grandf Read my full review on my blog, Final Frontier Books! So, why should you read this book? If you’re fascinated by any form of mythology, this is a great introduction to basic Greek mythology, in chronological order! My Opinion Before I read this book, I was already pretty familiar with Greek mythology, but I didn't know where the myths sat in relation to each other (chronologically), and I found it quite illuminating to have them presented to me in that way. (Knowing that Perseus was Heracles' grandfather, and that Heracles was a crew member of the Argo, which existed a generation before the Trojan War, makes the myths so much easier to place!) I was just as enthralled reading this collection, despite all the stories already being familiar to me, because the reality of myths changing throughout the ages became especially prominent as I read and contested one fact or another, then read up different versions on the internet. For example, what happened to Ariadne? Did Theseus abandon her on Naxos on purpose? Did Dionysus kidnap her and take her to be his wife? And how did she die? It was very interesting using this book as a starting point for research. And, of course, reading the myths as an artist was particularly inspiring. Myths are just amazing because in one small page, you could have the equivalent of a novella's worth of story material if you wrote it out in detail. That's how it seems like there's a never-ending stream of books and movies set within these myths, because combined with the fact that they can change, even now, the story possibilities within them are pretty endless. I enjoyed reading this collection, and I enjoyed thinking about its content and doing my own research about questions it raised even more. This little book swallowed a deceptive amount of my time! The only thing that irked was a feature of the society at the time, not a failing of the author himself: I found it disturbing how Heracles, the ultimate Greek hero, was more violent and aggressive than all the other heroes, and also how it seemed there was a woman who committed suicide in every myth, which sends the message that women cannot live without a man to validate them. If you're reading this with a little girl, it might be worth discussing a more feminist perspective; as in questioning who would have written these myths (men benefiting from a patriarchal society) and why women were depicted in that fashion.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.