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A collection of 16 Greek myths, capturing all the magic of the stories for today's readers in this retelling.
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Gods and heroes get equal time in this charming introduction to Greek mythology. Andrew Sachs's relaxed narration encourages the listener to enter Pluto's dark, underground kingdom as well as Pandora's bed-chamber. Sachs uses a broad range of vocal expression and varies his style from story to story, easing the transition between tales and creating a graceful flow. His rendering of the drunken Cyclops and the dim-witted giants is really funny. This excellent recording of sixteen familiar myths will send children scurrying to the bookshelves in search of more stories of that far-off time. L.R.S. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Kirkus Reviews:
The much-honored McCaughrean (A Pack of Lies, 1989, Carnegie Medal) slyly telegraphs the philosophy behind these grand renditions in describing how Athene turns Arachne into a spider to punish the matchless weaver for her arrogance--yet Arachne's gloriously beautiful fabric depicts the gods doing ``silly things...squabbling, lazing about, and bragging. In fact she made them look just as foolish as ordinary folk.'' McCaughrean is as irreverent, and as delightfully artful, in these 17 stories and epics retold in a contemporary style enlivened with snappy dialogue, whimsical descriptions, dramatic vignettes, and ingenious embroideries and explanations (Heracles gets Atlas to take the sky back because ``These stars do prickle''; Polyphemus gobbled two of Odysseus's men, then ``spat out their belts and sandals''). Beginning with Prometheus's creation of man and concluding with his release, McCaughrean provides enough links to give a sense of complicated community. Important particulars are intact and given in some detail (King Midas's problem with donkey's ears as well as his tactile troubles), though without the more horrendous aftermaths (Jason and Medea simply ``lived together as man and wife''). A deliciously witty reminder that, as McCaughrean says, these myths ``are just too good to forget.'' Clark's lovely, lighthearted watercolors, depicting most of the characters as foolish but appealing innocents, are generously supplied on every page. A splendid offering. (Mythology. 8+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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