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by Bernard Evslin

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up A readable, compelling retelling of this lesser-known, very gruesome tale of Theseus' cunning defeat of Procrustes (also known as Damastes and Polyphenon) and his bandit sonsBender (Sinis), Basher (Periphetes), and Shady (Cerycon). Even by mythology's standards, it is characterized by an extreme, crude violence, and it has no romance to soften it. Procrustes' particular brand of torture is stretching or trimming his victims to fit what he deems to be the perfect sized bed. This makes his ``inn'' a death chamber of sorts for his ``guests.'' In thisthe Troezian versionTheseus is a son of Poseidon and a mortal princess. Zeus pits his son Minos against Theseus in a wager with Poseidon. Fortunately, Hermes takes a liking to Theseus and lessens some of the obstacles Zeus puts in the way of his overcoming each of the monsters and rescuing Procrustes' grandson Evander, who has been sold by the four hideous monsters to an equally disgusting creaturethe Queen of the Swineto be her husband. Visually, the book is exceptional. The first letter of each chapter is illuminatedan exquisite drawing of an animal or mythological creature which plays a dominant role in that section. There are illustrations on every other pageand they are the paintings and sculptures of the masters. The reproductions of works by Picasso, Odilon Redon, Winslow Homer, and Titian are excellent. The layout of the text is very attractive, but it could lead to the mistaken conclusion that this is aimed at a younger audience than it actually is. Evslin's language here is not as elegant and poetic as in some of his other books, but it is fine and straight-forward. An excellent addition to any public or school library mythology collection. Deborah Vose, Lake Region High School, Bridgton, Maine

Product Details

Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
Monsters of Mythology Series
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 9.55(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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