Monday, July 24, 2017

Another CAPTIVATING Guide: Three Books For The Price Of One!

Mythology: A Captivating Guide to Greek Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, and Norse Mythology (Norse Mythology - Egyptian Mythology - Greek Mythology Book 4)
Matt Clayton
Amazon Digital Services
350 pages

Author Matt Clayton has done a good job of introducing the fascinating genres of Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology. I was very impressed with his ability to keep all the facts straight, considering the diverse nature of the subject matter. Having said that, I have to temper my praise with a few observations. The author's intentions are clear; to write a CAPTIVATING guide, and I feel that he has accomplished his goal. Yet his treatment of the material is somewhat superficial. I would have liked a broader perspective. Which leads to the second observation, the material was unbalanced, particularly in the Greek section. Much time was spent on one or two particular stories, while other stories barely received any attention at all. Finally, I noticed that there were some details in some of the myths that didn't ring true with what I had read sometime earlier. For instance, the legend concerning the Titans swallowed by Cronus. In Clayton's text, Cronus regurgitates his children. The anthology that I read in high school has Zeus splitting the head of Cronus open with an axe, and the Titans escaping in this fashion. This should not be taken as a criticism of the author, because anyone with experience in these genres is aware of the issues related to textual criticism and the oral tradition underlying the preservation and transmission of the text. All in all, author Matt Clayton provides an impressive collection and representation for three extremely diverse bodies of literature.

ADDENDUM:  A closer look at the title has caused me to issue a correction, of sorts.  This is actually the FOURTH anthology that author Matt Clayton has issued concerning Greek mythology.  I’m new to reviewing Matt Clayton as an author, and have not read the previous three books on Greek myths.  My apologies, Matt!

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