Some 5,000 years ago, Sumerian oral tradition told of Gilgamesh, a hero who traveled to the ends of the earth to capture the herb of immortality, who befriended the wildman of the hills, and who was courted for his beauty by the goddess Ishtar herself. These traditions merged finally and were recorded in cuneiform. Various translations of the Gilgamesh epic have been published during the last century or so. This new one is welcome not only because it incorporates recent finds and findings but because of the stirring simplicity of its presentation; for instance, we face the wildman Enkidu, "He of the gazelles and the wild grass, / Born in the hills," and watch his transformation into a civilized man: "He rubbed all the shaggy growth, / The hair of his body. / He anointed himself with oil, / and thus he became a man." Direct and sharp, the translation brings alive the mythic action. A witty, informative, and compelling introduction further makes this an excellent choice for libraries.