Songs on Bronze

Songs on Bronze A vivid uninhibited retelling of the classic Greek storiesSongs on Bronze is the first major retelling of Greek mythology in half a century a set of lively racy dramatic versions of the great myths

  • Title: Songs on Bronze
  • Author: Nigel Spivey
  • ISBN: 9780374530372
  • Page: 385
  • Format: Paperback
  • A vivid, uninhibited retelling of the classic Greek storiesSongs on Bronze is the first major retelling of Greek mythology in half a century a set of lively, racy, dramatic versions of the great myths, which, in a multicultural society, are recognized than ever as stories without equal.Most of us would like to know the Greek myths better than we do, and books like SeA vivid, uninhibited retelling of the classic Greek storiesSongs on Bronze is the first major retelling of Greek mythology in half a century a set of lively, racy, dramatic versions of the great myths, which, in a multicultural society, are recognized than ever as stories without equal.Most of us would like to know the Greek myths better than we do, and books like Seamus Heaney s Beowulf have demonstrated the power of ancient texts to enchant and enthrall us And yet the modern translations of the Greek myths have sought to instruct, to edify, or to impart a personal philosophy Songs on Bronze is different With this book, Nigel Spivey a young Cambridge classicist and rising star as a documentary host gives us the Greek myths as the spellbinding stories they are In bold, sensuous prose, he tells of Demeter and Persephone, of Jason and the Argonauts, of the wrath of Achilles and the travels of Odysseus, of Oedipus s crime and Orpheus s excursion into the underworld In his hands, these stories are revealed anew as outsize tales of love and strife, of secret compacts and open rivalries, of lust and desire.Songs on Bronze is a fresh revision of the classics that is likely to become a classic in its own right.

    One thought on “Songs on Bronze”

    1. Once upon a time, long ago, far away, there lived a young boy, aged somewhere around seven years old. At his school he had completed all those 'learning to read type books' and so he was allowed to enter the school library and select for himself a proper book to read. After wandering around the shelves for a while he finally picked out a book to read. It was called Theseus and the Minotaur. That first book was a scary introduction to reading matter! Today, over fifty years later, that old boy ha [...]

    2. As someone who has always been interested in the Greek myths, but has never really read them in any great detail, this was just the book I needed. It tells an easy-to-read and interesting version of many of the key/well-known Greek myths (from the origins of the Gods to the tragic fates of Achilles, Oedipus, and Orpheus). There were a few times where I got lost a little with some of the names (keeping track of who was who), but that is no fault of the author's. On the whole, it's well written an [...]

    3. This was an excellent book. It makes the Greek myths accessible to the average American and shows them for the awesome stories that they are. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know about the myths but hasn't the stomach to wade through Homer's version.

    4. Condensing the sprawling and multifarious myths of Ancient Greece is not a task for the timid. Spivey is anything but, and in the required brevity occasionally even achieves poetry. ‘Songs are songs and nothing more. They never change the way things are’ (p.237). Lovely!

    5. I have always wanted to be more literate about the cast of characters of the Greek pantheon. I have attempted to read The Odyssey but did not have the attention span. This book contains condensed versions of just the myths I have been wanting to get more familiar with plus a version of The Odyssey which covers the most important elements of The Trojan Wars.(You will recognize the stories from O Brother, Where Art Thou?) The length of each section is just about right for a bedtime story. The lang [...]

    6. The myths were not in fact "made real" as the title implied. As earlier reviewers have stated, these myths are lacking in detail enough to bring them to life. While the writing provides a decent overview of the myths in a non-textbook way (which those learning myths for the first time might truly appreciate) the details provided are not the ones classically taught. Menelaus, for instance, was not King of Sparta prior to marrying Helen. Helen's father, Tyndareus was, and he was faced with the cha [...]

    7. Remember those retellings of the Greek myths you read as a child? The ones that simplified the myths for a younger audience? Songs on Bronze is the adult version of those retellings. The tales are breezy (by which I mean the writing style and not the subject matter) and arranged somewhat chronologically, nicely showing how different characters and people connect across different epics and how various events relate. Being divided into short stories, Songs on Bronze is also nice to pick down and p [...]

    8. Nigel Spivey pens an interesting new take on the classic Greek Myths, bringing a novelist's aesthetic as well as a modern sensibility to some of the more famous stories from the canon: Theseus, Perseus, Oedipus, Heracles, the Trojan War and The Golden Fleece. A few of the religious myths are scattered in, namely the tale of Demeter and Persephone, and some of minor tales pop up in brief and interesting ways. If you're a purist it probably won't satisfy, but if you're a casual reader looking for [...]

    9. I'm not even going to finish this book, I'm sorry. I really hate to do that, but this just honestly felt like i was reading a summary of all the greek mythologies i was taught as a child, but with added dialogue. The book promised to make the myths come alive, and i expected them to be written in the form of a novel, with the greek gods and goddesses as the main characters, fleshed out with thoughts and weaknesses, but no. This was just the basic re-telling of the myths. Good for younger kids or [...]

    10. These myths were a lot of fun to read. The title of this book was a fairly accurate one. Lots of little details are added to the Greek myths to give them more dimension, making for more memorable and enjoyable myths. It's a great starter book for anybody interested in mythology, but be forewarned, there are mentions of homosexuality (Zeus and Gnaymede, for example) as well as incest and rape. But all of these things existed in the original myths) so people familiar with these myths should not be [...]

    11. I am rounding up my stars for this book, because really, it's a 1.5. It wasn't good. It wasn't "fresh" or "invigorating" or "up to date" or any of the other things it claims to be. It was badly written "he said she did and then they went and smacked stuff" writing that took all the power and joy out of what are really powerful tales.I will freely admit I only read this as I needed a speedy refresher before I went to a roleplay event, but I actually found it really wasn't that great.There are bet [...]

    12. This is a fun, easy-to-read retelling of some of the most famous Greek myths. Spivey leaves in a lot of things that were left out or glossed over in the retellings I read when I was younger. He eschews archaic language in favor of the dynamic and poetic, and as a result the stories feel very immediate. I particularly enjoyed his retelling of the Persephone myth. My only complaint is that he really did pick the most famous myths, and I would have liked to run into more obscure myths that I hadn't [...]

    13. Dreadful.I can't stand the kind of thing wherein you get Orpheus to foresee modern wars. This book just got my hackles up in how it retold the myths - I realize that saying it 'omitted' this or that element is more or less meaningless but what it chose to include, what it chose to modify and hat it chose to exclude made the stories really flat and terrible imo. Also the writing was terrible. Characters 'purring.' Odyssesus watching his 'shapely' wife walk away. Second hand embarrassment.

    14. I think this is a grat book if you have not already read the myths. It would be a good introduction to the stories. If you are already familiar with the myths and have read the unabridged versions of the stories you may find that there is a lot missing. The author mentions this in the introduction, and i admire how well he organized the book, but it's like watching Alladin after reading Arabian Nights.i phal phal.

    15. I absolutely love Greek Mythology, and Nigel Jonathan Spivey's book is a great synopsis, and hits all the highlights! It is well written, and flows smoothly from story to story. I came out of reading this book with a better understanding of Greek Mythology, and all of the great characters that played a role. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone that wants to understand Greek Mythology with a greater acumen!

    16. Okay, so I'll admit that my husband picked this up while we were at my parent's house and I stole it from him before he could finish it. Great fun, actually. Very light, soap-opera rendition of the classic Greek myths. Easy to pick up and put down as it's basically a collection of short stories.

    17. A retelling of the greek mythology in novel form. It's OK, but the modern take is more boring than the epic take. There's something about the older language forms that give the sense of antiquity. The author might have done better to put them into a more modern context. The Percy Jackson novels do this better.

    18. the only things i enjoyed about this book were the prose style (at times), the refreshing take on hades and persephone, and the last chapter featuring orpheus and eurydice's tale (a favorite of mine for years). otherwise? there are far better books out there that tell of the more well known greek myths, as well as the lesser known tales.

    19. I didn't like Edith Hamilton's "Mythology" in high school (perhaps I'd like it better now). Spivey is much easier to read than Hamilton and much more contemporary in his use of language. I would describe "Songs on Bronze" as a fun, welcoming introduction to Greek mythology. It's not Earth-shattering, but it's good.

    20. Although this book was designed for young people, I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Greek Mythology but hasn't the time or the inclination to read the Illiad or the Odyssey. As explained on the cover, it is a good attempt to make these myths real.

    21. It summed up a lot of myths without leaving out too many details. I've read it many times and I don't normally read books more than once unless they're great. I loved this one. Kudos to Nigel Spivey.

    22. Read this with my 13 year old son ( a notorious non-reader!) and we sailed through it - loved all of the stories - v well told and broken down into easy to read chapters

    23. Spivey's retelling of the myths sparkle. Give it to someone who doesn't think they like this sort of thing. Might change their mind.

    24. Spivey is not only intimately knowledgeable about his subject matter, but also a spellbinding storyteller. I can scarcely imagine a mythology collection more readable. A true gem.

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