Lovers’ Legends Unbound: A Book Review

The author kindly shared a copy of this book (with accompanying CD performing a retelling of the myths included) with me for my review. It has taken a long time for me to find the appropriate space to do so.

Ganymede and Zeus, by CoreggioIn short, it is a book that retells the Greek myths that involve love between males – god and young man, etc. It does it quite well. It is an attractive book, though not full of pictures or anything like that. The performance on the CD is a great way to listen to myths, since so many of them would have been oral. The myths are totally accessible for beginning myth-heads.

In fact, I think a person not deeply versed in Greek myth already would be the ideal person to buy this since most academically inclined people will prefer the original versions. I imagine that the majority of people buying this book also happen to be gay men. However, I will say that I think people who are expanding their knowledge of myths by reading compilations and such should DEFINITELY get this, as it will emphasize an important aspect of Greek myth that is to easily “forgotten” in other compilations of Greek myths. If you’re open-minded, get it for your kids, too! I mean, it’s no more graphic and certainly no less “authentic” or important a story than any other! And getting an audio version is a wonderful way to learn the myths.

Of course, I feel it is necessary to add that this shouldn’t be the ONLY myth book on your shelf. Beginning or not, invest in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Classical Mythology. And although I haven’t come across a beginner’s compilation of women in Greek myths that I love yet, I definitely think Sue Blundell’s Women in Greek Myths and/or Sarah Pomeroy’s Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves should be read by anyone wanting a sense of what that world might have looked like for women. I know people will tell you to read Robert Graves (including me in a couple places on the main site), but now I say skip him and Hamilton and go straight to the far hipper and better cited Complete Idiot’s Guide.


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