Customer Reviews for

The Power of Myth

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Filled to The Brim with Meaningful Information

It is captivating and understandable; anyone can explore and understand the concepts and themes. The Power of Myth encompasses so many themes relating to mythology. The book is brimming with in depth information, from reoccurring symbols like the serpent, the hero's jo...
It is captivating and understandable; anyone can explore and understand the concepts and themes. The Power of Myth encompasses so many themes relating to mythology. The book is brimming with in depth information, from reoccurring symbols like the serpent, the hero's journey that crops up in almost every story ever told, to the driving force of mythology and religion. This book is a complete guide to myths and their importance.
I really enjoyed the way Dr. Campbell intertwined the myths and religious stories from across the world and applied them to the way we live life. The reader also glimpses more details different religions, as Dr. Campbell occasionally tells stories from many different cultures and religions through the world and highlights similarities of these religions. To me this made the themes a lot richer and significant. Dr. Campbell also made them relevant; Star Wars even made its way into the conversation as an example of how the themes in myths aren't mythical.
This book is definitely interesting, but it's not a page turner. I found that I couldn't sit and read it for any long periods of time. This book is not for you if you lack patience or if you looking for a fast and effortless read. However, it is a worthwhile read and if you interested in the way myths are shaped and how they shape our life, or even just religion, definitely read this book, check out the DVD series, or one of Dr. Campbell's other works such as The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The Power of Myth was an incredibly meaningful and enlightening book and I strongly recommend it.

posted by 9639061 on September 8, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Not quite what I was expecting, Joseph Campbell¿s ¿The Power of

Not quite what I was expecting, Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” isn’t the book I thought it was going to be. What I expected was a page turner that would deepen my knowledge of mythology and its influence on the modern world. What I received was a written trans...
Not quite what I was expecting, Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” isn’t the book I thought it was going to be. What I expected was a page turner that would deepen my knowledge of mythology and its influence on the modern world. What I received was a written transcription of an interview between Joseph Campbell, writer and researcher of mythology, and Bill Moyers an American journalist and commentator. The basic conversation revolves around how myths have always provided values and morals to the people who believe in them. For example, in Christianity you are jugged based on the deeds you have done in life. The results of these deeds send you to a place where you will be rewarded or punished. The Christian stories are very similar to Egyptian mythology. Personally, I would have liked to have just watch the interview rather than read it and I would have preferred that they stay away from the underlying meaning of each story and delve deeply into the foundations of the myths themselves. I give “The Power of Myth” a three out of five stars mainly because I dislike the interview format and believe that the title mislead readers into thinking that they would end up learning about more myths. At the same time, I must give the book praise in that I did really like the fact that it makes you think deeply about your individual beliefs and your own culture which is something I haven‘t engaged in based on a reading experience in a long time. If you are interested in “The Power of Myth”, I would suggest that you try to find a video copy of the interview. If you can’t, realize that it is a decent read; one that is thought provoking, but will not make your top ten list. If you want to learn more about myths you should take a look at “Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths” or “The Myths, Legends, and Lore of Ireland” that tell the tails and give some extra information without getting overly philosophical.

posted by Thoronthebookguy on September 9, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2011

    Filled to The Brim with Meaningful Information

    It is captivating and understandable; anyone can explore and understand the concepts and themes. The Power of Myth encompasses so many themes relating to mythology. The book is brimming with in depth information, from reoccurring symbols like the serpent, the hero's journey that crops up in almost every story ever told, to the driving force of mythology and religion. This book is a complete guide to myths and their importance.
    I really enjoyed the way Dr. Campbell intertwined the myths and religious stories from across the world and applied them to the way we live life. The reader also glimpses more details different religions, as Dr. Campbell occasionally tells stories from many different cultures and religions through the world and highlights similarities of these religions. To me this made the themes a lot richer and significant. Dr. Campbell also made them relevant; Star Wars even made its way into the conversation as an example of how the themes in myths aren't mythical.
    This book is definitely interesting, but it's not a page turner. I found that I couldn't sit and read it for any long periods of time. This book is not for you if you lack patience or if you looking for a fast and effortless read. However, it is a worthwhile read and if you interested in the way myths are shaped and how they shape our life, or even just religion, definitely read this book, check out the DVD series, or one of Dr. Campbell's other works such as The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The Power of Myth was an incredibly meaningful and enlightening book and I strongly recommend it.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

    An Influential Read

    Ever wondered why a serpent is a common theme in mythological literature, as well as religious tales? Or perhaps the real question is why characters in fiction seem to go through the same steps before the end of the story? In Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth, all questions about symbolism in mythology are addressed and answered, including how mythology aids daily life today.
    Many different aspects of myth are explored throughout the pages. Campbell goes into detail with where mythology is placed in today's society, the stories of different beliefs, the history of the hero's journey with fictional literature, as well as how people use myths in their everyday lives. Not a single topic under the general category of the influences myth has is missed.
    This book was well-liked for various reasons. The interview format doesn't skip a single word, so the information presented is very detailed and in-depth. This work is helpful if the reader would like to learn more about the symbolism behind stories involved with religions and literature, and it helps the reader to understand and appreciate the meaning and importance of those myths. The relationships between mythology and life today are recognized, as well as how important those connections are. Campbell also explains how the myths of different cultures and religions relate to each other, so to understand that everyone learns very similar stories about rites of passage and growing up, no matter what beliefs they grew up around. This connection is meaningful to those who want to understand more about religions and how they intertwine with one another. Myth is also shown to be extremely helpful in modern lives today, to help us live through obstacles. Mythology is displayed as a useful guide in life throughout many different cultures.
    However, the book also had its downfalls. This would not be the best choice for a reader who would rather keep the symbols and structures of myth a mystery to them so they can infer that information for themselves. Also, if the reader would rather read a story or something with a plot, this is not the book for them. This book merely explains those plots of other myths, which is no simple feat either. This book was written to inform rather than for pleasure reading, but it is an excellent book to have on the shelf for reference.
    Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth was a powerful read and will most likely be read again. I'd give this non-fiction novel four stars out of five, and five stars for how meaningful and educational it was.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Got Well Into an Influential/ Inspirational Read The Power of My

    Got Well Into an Influential/ Inspirational Read
    The Power of Myth showed the values and symbols how myths from different religions and cultures represent and relate to reality. A hero’s journey end is not important or his identity with figures or powers, rather the wisdom and the power to serve others.The trials of a hero itself are designed to test the hero’s courage, knowledge, and importantly a heroic transformation of consciousness. A hero’s adventure is written by someone who may have experienced similar elements; he must overcome powers of the darkness similar to an individual should persevere hardships of his or her daily lives and not change. Otherwise, Campbell said an individual’s journey is also following one’s bliss. Furthermore, Campbell clarified a myth’s plot shouldn’t be taken literally but metaphorically. According to Campbell’s interpretation, heaven is a place of consciousness instead of a literal place and reincarnation is a realization of an individual's capability and development in his or her life. Philosophically, myths are based on personal experiences: experiences on love, suffering spiritually, and oneself which all are the feelings of rapture being alive.
    I enjoyed this read because of Campbell’s complex outlook on myths.The book dragged on a few bits and pieces here and there but purposely to emphasize key themes and their significance in society’s presence. The interviewer was Bill Moyers and he didn't ask stupid questions but made insightful remarks and questions. At many points I was indulged in reading more and related to the book. Campbell’s theories and interpretations intrigued me and made me think. The only mythology I recognized before was Greek mythology because I was so oblivious. I didn’t realize myths were always around me but that may because I’m not that bright, but now I sort of geek out. I was inspired most by Campbell’s motif, experiences of in one’s life, telling me the happiness of love and the torture, or sadness from sufferings give me the feeling of being alive. Nonetheless, Campbell inspired me to follow my bliss to reach the happiness that is my adventure. The book does not have a plot so it was hard for me. Anyone looking in for a long, specific, detailed reading on philosophy of being alive or for analyzation of myths should read this book. The reader will learn about similarities and differences between myths and reality.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Expand your Knowledge of Myths and how they affect everyday life

    This book is written in interview style.The questions are good and the answers are fantastic. We can all learn a lot from Myths... great book if you want to expand your knowledge.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful text about Mythology and the "rules" of this genre.

    A wonderfully written book about Mythology and the "rules" of this genre as well as the reasoning of Myth/Fable. Further, the ideologies of Myth are expounded all thoroughly by Campbell. This is great for knowledge, but more apt for one who is learning to write, especially in this genre. Many tips about the rules or the foundations of a powerful Myth. Campbell also mentions Buddhism and some tenets of Plato too. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    The power of myth is a book that encompasses the idea of myth's

    The power of myth is a book that encompasses the idea of myth's role in human society. I believe that Campbell puts forth a interesting point that myth is a large part of our lives through religion and morals as well as an insight into the hardships and events that we live through. I like how he takes the myths and explains his view on why we have myth. He looks as symbolism as part of myth and the one i like the most is the United States seal on the dollar bill. He says that the eye at the apex represents god but the government as god governing over the people from above seeing all things. indicating that the best governments know what goes on and how each action affects people. He gives us his input on what he thinks makes myth important and its. However, It is a slightly boring in writing style because the whole book is dialoged between him and Bill Moyers . Losing interest is fairly easy with this book but there are many intriguing points he makes. A theology/philosophy major might like this because it has to look at Campbell's reasons why myths are important and the effects of myth on him. This book was based on a Pbs tv program  and is mostly just interview dialogue so therefore this should not be a movie. It wouldn't be a very exciting movie as it is anyway.
    Andrew T

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  • Posted September 21, 2012

    Power of the Myth was an amazingly interesting book highlighting

    Power of the Myth was an amazingly interesting book highlighting things that make you really think about life in general and how much a myth is in our day to day lives. The author broke down a lot of things that people need help with in life. This book is more of a self help book to let you understand what’s happening to you. Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers ask questions that you may have never thought of in a million years. They hit on points that have you question a lot of things. The book is extremely easy to read because it’s all in dialogue so its a pretty fast read. My favourite part of this book was when Joseph Campbell went off on how people try so hard to get other to people to like them. Also a huge thing was how married is really important. In myths the husband usually cheats on his unspecting with so when Campbell brought that up it just makes you go wided eyed because the world today is a lot of cheating. Another part of the book was how to honour the mother in mythology the mother is earth the sky is a mother everything is a mother but now a days in religion we honour the father, so it just got me to think about the partriracle world today. In all I really enjoyed the book it was quite good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    So. Much. Information. To. Process. Picking up The Power of Myth

    So. Much. Information. To. Process. Picking up The Power of Myth I definitely did not expect a 287 page interview between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers but on the contrary it kept the information in its most pure form which I did in fact enjoy. I found myself not being able to read this for long periods of time, one I couldn't process the information fast enough and two it could not keep my attention due to it being in an interview format. After reading this book I continuously found myself referencing back to it in the books I had read and into my daily life. I acquired a much greater knowledge of myself, the world and how mythology has shaped many of the things we do in our daily lives. I can predict in about a year or so I will pick this book back up again and re-read it to find all the information and thought provoking ideas that I had missed out on the first time. I’m sorry to say but if what you’re expecting out of this book is a page turner that would deepen you’re knowledge of mythology, it’s probably not the book for you. If you still want the knowledge of what Joseph Campbell has to say you will manage to make it through this book and once you do expect your view on everything to drastically change.

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    Can't we all just get along? This book tells us about the simila

    Can't we all just get along? This book tells us about the similarities between myths and religions of all places and times. It gets to the truth of the myths hiding behind the masks of culture and history. It is a collection of an interview series with Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell in the eighties, so it's in the format of a question and answer session-no, correction, it's more like a discussion. This book helps you to understand what lies at the heart of human experience. However Campbell seems to sneer at Christianity often. But if you are spiritual or religious, as I am, rather than undermining your faith it can enrich it.

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    Posted May 21, 2009

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    Posted October 7, 2011

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted June 10, 2009

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