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Book Pink BrattyJedi
Posted on Sunday 13 July 2008 at 4:33 pm

I'm the god of everything nobody else wants to do.


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I made a post on Tuesday asking about Greek gods and promised a follow up by Friday at the absolute latest. Remind me not to make those kinds of promises in the future. I've got very good excuses for why this is later than promised (hay fever acting up and making me sick, my dad collapsing, and subbing for another teacher), but since I almost always have really good excuses it might be better just to avoid the whole specific date and excuses issue.

Anywho, for those who are wondering, my favorite Greek god has always been Hermes. I generally like the trickster god in any mythology and Hermes just seemed cool. How many other gods were outsmarting their big brother when just a few hours/days (depending on the version) old? What got me started thinking about the Greek pantheon was a book I read recently called Gods Behaving Badly. It is about the Olympians living in modern London. They're still the gods and carry on as usual with the slight problem that they're losing their powers and no one believes in them anymore so basically the world is falling apart around their ears. The book is hilarious and a quick, light read that I recommend to anyone who likes old myths and funny stories.

I admit one of the things I liked about the book is the treatment of Hermes. If the author had gotten my favorite god "wrong" in my eyes, I might have liked it less but she did an awesome job with him (the post title is a quote from him)! When I realized that my enjoyment hinged in part on favortism, I began to wonder how big a geek I was for having a favorite Greek god. Those of you who responded to my little quiz made me feel a bit better. I suspect the average person doesn't have a favorite, but if my flisters do, that means I'm only being my usual geeky self and haven't crossed over into some weird super geekdom. :-)

Also, after I read the book, I skimmed a few reviews people left on GoodReads. Sometimes I wonder at people. How can you seriously claim to be a fan of the old Greek myths and then chastise a writer riffing on them for including incest and telling a story that gets a bit ribald in places? Seriously!? Did these people read any of the old myths?
Still croupy
Feeling: Still croupy
Exploring: Desk
Listening: Bon Jovi - Stick to Your Guns

Comments:

train_lindz
train_lindz at 8:42 pm on 13 July 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I will check this book out! I'm a huge Greek mythology geek - my minor was in classical studies.

I'm an Athena girl myself ;) Strong, powerful, brillant and she sprung out of Zeus' forehead. Nothing says kick ass like that.

Although I've always had a soft spot for Dionysus as well ever since I took Theatre History...
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 8:48 pm on 13 July 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I really want to go back and reread some of the old myths but it is tough finding a good version. I checked out a couple of kids' books from the library and didn't really like any of them. They made the stories so boring. I wonder if my sister still has the ones we read as kids...

Dionysus is excellent in Gods Behaving badly. Athena, not so much, in my opinion.
train_lindz
train_lindz at 9:36 pm on 13 July 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I have one called Classical Myth (imaginative, no?) that is really good - though, it's still a textbook which makes it rather dry in places.

Just read your entry again, I can't believe people were complaing about the incest, etc on Good Reads. Did they read the original myths before? Zeus and Hera, brother and sister. Aphrodite and Hephaestus? Same. Any human/god sex? Beasiality involved. How could they have been shocked? That's the way the story goes? Get a life people :) If it bothers you that much, don't read it and then bitch about it later on the internet ;)
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 9:56 pm on 13 July 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Everybody always says to go with Edith Hamilton's Mythology for the basic classic stories. I tried it years ago and I don't think I liked her writing style at the time. Maybe I should give it another go.

I really don't get the incest gripe! The book doesn't even dwell on the brother/sister pairs. The only references to incest that I remember are once there is a mention of him being her nephew when Aphrodite and Apollo are having sex and in a kind of funny moment Eros says something about there being so many candidates for his father and Aphrodite tells him he knows good and well his cousin Ares is his dad. That's tame compared to the myths! Someone else mentioned in a review that there were too many characters and why did she have to include gods no one ever heard of like Dionysus, Hephaestus, and Demeter because it just confuses readers. I wanted to scream when I saw that. That annoyed me even more than the multiple reviewers complaining about the amount of sex in general, the spiteful, hedonistic, and emotional nature of the gods who should have more beautiful souls or some such nonsense, and the lack of respect for Jesus. What is really frustrating is that almost every one of the reviews began with a comment along the lines of "I know this is about the Greek gods and this stuff is important to those old stories but..."


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