Customer Reviews for

Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned

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(33)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Great Book!

This is one of my favorite books. It is great if you already know a ton about mythology or are just learning. I have reread this book for information and leisure.
It breaks down myths from many of the world's cultures in easy to chew pieces. There is also a lot of humo...
This is one of my favorite books. It is great if you already know a ton about mythology or are just learning. I have reread this book for information and leisure.
It breaks down myths from many of the world's cultures in easy to chew pieces. There is also a lot of humor to the author's writing, which keeps it from being dry or dull. One of the main reasons I enjoy this book is because you don't feel like you are reading a textbook or a scholarly piece of writing yet you are still able to learn a lot and for me the writing style helped me retain it. I would recommend this book to anyone, it is an amazing read.

posted by 3637142 on May 23, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Sure doesn't know how to organize information

I love mythology and have been reading stories for over 50 years. I have read Edith Hamilton and Bullfinch and other authors who covered other less known mythologies. I have two general complaints and one very personal complaint about the book. My biggest complaint is w...
I love mythology and have been reading stories for over 50 years. I have read Edith Hamilton and Bullfinch and other authors who covered other less known mythologies. I have two general complaints and one very personal complaint about the book. My biggest complaint is where there were so many different stories for one people such as the American Indian. They are a very diverse lot and he just tossed in stories from the different groups instead of perhaps telling the stories that were similar among the groups. My second complaint is the inclusion of a timeline of the people and some geoprahical information. I just wanted the stories and did not care that in so and so CE the people gathered in this area, later they did this, etc. It had no meaning to me in regard to the stories. I felt he was putting in as much information as possible to say "See, I really researched this!" My final personal complaint is his calling the Bible a collection of myths and suggesting that facts in the Bible were copied from early peoples myths. I am a christian and believe the Bible is fact and that the early peoples created their myths from Bible history. I would not recommend this book to others as I have read many better books on the subject. I'm glad this was a Free Fridays book and I have deleted it from my Nook.

posted by romancereaderVA on February 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2010

    Great Book!

    This is one of my favorite books. It is great if you already know a ton about mythology or are just learning. I have reread this book for information and leisure.
    It breaks down myths from many of the world's cultures in easy to chew pieces. There is also a lot of humor to the author's writing, which keeps it from being dry or dull. One of the main reasons I enjoy this book is because you don't feel like you are reading a textbook or a scholarly piece of writing yet you are still able to learn a lot and for me the writing style helped me retain it. I would recommend this book to anyone, it is an amazing read.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2006

    Mythology Hater Turned Mythology Lover

    I picked up this audiobook (although my version was 5 CD's) in order to learn more about Greek and Roman Mythology so I could better read/understand more of classical literature. I didn't expect it to be a run-through of all of the world's mythology, including Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, African, etc... The abridged version is packed and very-well written with a satiric tone. Very funny. What matched, if not bettered the book itself, was the narrator - John Lee. He is the best reader in the whole wide world. I want to speak just like him. Total crack-up. You can't not like this! The part of this book that really made mythology interesting to me, and this is something I wasn't really taught in high school or college, was that these myths actually have some historical basis. That is not to say that they are true - certainly not. But when the idea that Zeus might have been a person or that there actually was a Flood (not worldwide, but one covering most of Mesopotamia ~10,000 years ago) gets brought up, the concepts of myths as fallacy versus partial/exaggerated truth brings these stories to life. That said, these myths can and are used to study ancient cultures - and they can be surpirisingly insightful. It also completely twists your perception of the bible, the Greek epics, Gilgamesh, etc... It makes all of this irrational literature come to life. And it gives you all sorts of academic inspiration!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You probably DON'T know as much as you think!

    This book is an intersting blend of history and mythology--and really does prove that most of us don't know much about either! Each section of the book starts with a timeline of events for the part of the world being discussed (ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Americas, Pacific islands, and more) and then follows with information on the myths of each in a question-and-answer format, including a "who's who" of gods and goddesses for each region. Sprinkled throughout each section are "mythic voices", brief segments from sources as varied as the Bible, Egypt's Book of the Dead, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung that serve to renforce the primary text. Overall a fascinating book, it really is a bit too much to read in a short period of time. We listened to the audio version while driving in the car--it was well read by John Lee, though at times his British accent and slightly different pronunciations got to be a bit distracting--over about three months. Definitely recommended, though it is not for young children, as quite a bit of awkward explanations would be needed. Ancient myths are not at all G-rated!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    Broken

    As with another reviewer, I got stuck on pg 174. Using the "go to page...." to advance did no good either, it stuck on whatever page I went to. Shutting the nook down and restarting, as I was advised to do when this happened with another book, also did no good. So I deleted it thinking maybe a reload would work. I'll never know because it's no longer free! Is this going to be a problem with Free Friday books? I was thinking I might get some of the other books in the series, but now I'm no longer interested. Using nook Tablet.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Sure doesn't know how to organize information

    I love mythology and have been reading stories for over 50 years. I have read Edith Hamilton and Bullfinch and other authors who covered other less known mythologies. I have two general complaints and one very personal complaint about the book. My biggest complaint is where there were so many different stories for one people such as the American Indian. They are a very diverse lot and he just tossed in stories from the different groups instead of perhaps telling the stories that were similar among the groups. My second complaint is the inclusion of a timeline of the people and some geoprahical information. I just wanted the stories and did not care that in so and so CE the people gathered in this area, later they did this, etc. It had no meaning to me in regard to the stories. I felt he was putting in as much information as possible to say "See, I really researched this!" My final personal complaint is his calling the Bible a collection of myths and suggesting that facts in the Bible were copied from early peoples myths. I am a christian and believe the Bible is fact and that the early peoples created their myths from Bible history. I would not recommend this book to others as I have read many better books on the subject. I'm glad this was a Free Fridays book and I have deleted it from my Nook.

    5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Interesting book. It would be even better if I could get past page 174 without having it get stuck.

    During the section on Aphrodite, the book keeps going back and forth between two pages when I try to continue. Do not buy this book for the Nook Color if you would like to read all of it.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Good book marred by poor Nook conversion

    I was surprised at how good the content of this book was: a thorough overview of world mythology, well-researched, accessible without sacrificing too much scholarship. I found the headings in the forms of questions contrived and not particularly effective or useful, but it's excusable for the sake of series consistency.
    Considering this was a Free Friday selection, I was surprised at how poor the conversion to a Nook format was. There are at least two places at which the pagination gets stuck in a loop that is almost impossible to overcome. One is around page 174, in the overview of the Greek pantheon. Direct accessing of pages and a great deal of stubbornness eventually makes it possible to see the text.
    I've had so many problems with pagination and page-turning with my Nook Color since the last firmware update that I impulsively bought a Kindle Fire when it was on a 1-day sale for $139. Between the pagination issues and the for-Nook-Tablet-only apps, I'm starting to feel as if B&N is deliberately sabotaging its older products. Perhaps Amazon will do better.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    A captivating read...unexpected

    The moment I opened the book and started to read I was hooked...although mythology is great storytelling they are not usually a preference of mine to read, this may change my mind. Great pick I highly recomend the reading style is fast and captivating.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Why is this the featured free Friday book, but costs $10.99?  Ar

    Why is this the featured free Friday book, but costs $10.99?  Are the free Fidays only going to last for part of the day now?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    for the curious

    Understandable, easy to read and engaging. This will broadly introduce mythology, for readers of wizards and dragons lit this will give a basic understanding for the foundations of most modern fantasy fiction. It will also fill in the blanks for the person who feels lost when anyone begins mentioning the mythose of greco/roman western thought. You will feel informed as well as entertained

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    I highly recommend it!

    Well written, masterfully presented, entertaining AND informing. Having earned a Bachelor's degree in History, a Master's in Theology and a Ph.D. In Psychology I opened the book wondering what could it possibly contained that I hadn't brushed upon before. Kenneth Davis did it! He found new, reminded old and combined all in an outstanding enjoyable read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    read it but have a few grains of salt ready

    Good factual information but saturated with overly formed opinions. The author's own personal world view (enlightened modern-day researcher and author). Would have been much more useful if author had "immersed" himself in each realm of mythology, telling each one from the perspective of a believer. Instead, he tries to intertwine one myth to another because of the mere appearance of similarity. He over-steps conclusions, allowing his own modern world view to dictate how one societies myths is predicated upon those that came before. His disdain for biblical accounts oozes throughout other creation myths.

    It's kind of a double-edged sword. On one side, I feel like I learned a lot. On top of mythology there's a significant history lesson to be gained as well. You get an idea of how societies "thought".
    Which answers a lot of "why would they do that?" questions regarding historical events. On the other side, the author takes just that extra step to far from factual conclusions. I just found myself rolling my eyes at opinions. It's as if he needs to prove to the reader that he's smarter and unfooled by all these silly cultural myths.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2013

    Not free.  So much for free Friday selections.

    Not free.  So much for free Friday selections.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    I think everyone will enjoy it.

    I knew some of this and learned a few new things. Worth the money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Interesting but confusing review

    This book covers so much territory that it becomes confusing. However, it is methodically arranged which makes it easier to follow. It is unfortunate that the author has included much misinformation regarding the Bible and its development. It seems he looks to prove his viewpoint rather than researching latest facts. That said, it is still interesting to see the similarities and differences from various cultures as reflected in their deities.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Disappointed

    The author spent so much time giving his opinions and comparing religions that after reading 100 pages and getting nowhere learning anything worthwhile I abandoned the book. I found the author to be sanctimonious about any current belief system, throwing all beliefs under the giant umbrella of dismissable myths. I still don't know much about mythology.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Recommend

    I've forgotten most of what I learnd in high school about mythology. This book remindeed me of all the wonderful stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Very interesting.

    Haven't finished it but am enjoying many of the interesting notes. Thoroughly enjoying the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Save your time

    I was very excited about this book but found it a huge disappointment. It seemed the author would go on for pages before ever telling you anything. I felt like it was much more about stretchng it to fill pages than actually content. I abandoned it and deleted from my library about half way through. I hope for others the last half got better but wasn't willing to invest any more time to find out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    STUPID BOOK!!!!!!!!

    The book was great until I got to the Greek chapter.

    DO NOT GET THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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