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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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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Makes learning fun

    This book was written in a way that makes learning fun. Loved it!!

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This book is packed with facts about every type of mythology worldwide. The selling point is that Mr. Davis tells the tale in a very interesting often humorous manner. Non-fiction has never been my friend, but I entend to read more of Mr. Davis' works for knowledge and entertainment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Simplistic and inaccurate

    Once again, Mr. Davis has written a popular book which shows he doesn't know much. There are a number of inaccuracies in the myths he recounts, particularly among the Greek myths. He also falls short in his vocabulary - he uses words that "don't mean what he thinks they mean." Regarding the first criticism, when recounting the myth of Jason and the Argo, he fails to mention that Jason was able to defeat the armed warriors in the field he plowed with fire-breathing oxen by throwing a rock in their midst, causing them to fight each other. In his recounting of the Labors of Hercules, under labor 7, the Cretan Bull, he recounts that Hercules brought the bull back to Greece and released it, where it was later killed by Theseus. He then says this conflicts with the tale of Theseus and the Minotaur. Wrong. The Minotaur and the sacred Cretan bull were not the same creature, and Theseus did kill both. In fact, the Minotaur was the half-human, half-bull son of the Cretan bull and King Minos's wife Pasiphae. And that is a myth Mr. Davis apparently missed. I find these types of inaccuracies in all his books, all the time. Mr. Davis needs to do more in-depth work before he writes these books.

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    Definately a must read for mythology lovers!

    I am not even thru with the whole book and I have enjoyed the read. I have always been fasinated with mythology and now, to have it properly explained is fantastic! To see the traces of every belief system set down in this manner is wonderful! I can not get enough! Thank you for putting it together in such a way that even those who never thought about it can thoroughly grasp it and follow it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Amazig author!

    This is an excellent overview of history, complete with timelines before every section, of the rise of civilizations all over the world. He puts everything in focus regarding the belief systems of practically everyone. I was highly impressed with his research: 30 pages in the Bibliography and 50 pages of footnotes. Quite a lot to take on unless you are a history buff. Great as a quick reference. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome, Informative, FUN Read

    I haven't finished this book yet, but highly recommend it! It's got a fun easy style of writing and has weird tidbit of information not taught in school. Good for anyone wanting more knowledge of mythology. I'm going to read more in this series!

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    A thoughtful review of Mythology across cultures and religions. Where does Mythology and religion intersect?

    A thoughtful review of Mythology across cultures and religions. Where does Mythology and religion intersect?

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Good collection of historical myths

    This is a great book! I am very pleased -- it was offered free, and the author took the time to create a very complete overview using many historical phases and the mythological beings of each. It was a nice touch the amount of comprehensive material on all the different gods; Greek, Roman, the ones that 'crossed over' through different cultures..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Highly recommend!

    This is a great reference book to mythology.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Highly enjoyable, dispels myths about myths

    Very fun read, material was well researched and informative.

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    Posted February 13, 2012

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