December 22, 2005


The eldest Llama-ette's interest in Greek mythology continues unsated. This evening, I found myself reading a somewhat different take on things:


Go For The Gold, Atalanta! by Kate Mullen et al.

Apparently part of a "Myth-O-Mania" series, this book purports to be a retelling of the story of Atalanta and Methalion from the point of view of Hades, who claims that the generally accepted version is a fabrication put forth by Zeus to make himself look better.

Well, "Fractured Fairy Tales" it ain't.

In fact, the book appears to be something closer to Yuppie mythology - Hades tells the story while sipping on a "mocha-nectar-latte" while Queen Persephone chats with Artemis on her cell phone. Also, the language is very up to date - the Caledonian Boar, who has morphed into a professional wrestler, breaks out in rap at one point. On top of this, a certain amount of Grrrrl Power seems evident in the early chapters, as Persephone shames Hades into helping her with Spring because the Goddesses work much harder than the lazy Gods and he owes her.

I suppose the idea behind all of this, apart from injecting some p.c. flava, is to put the story into terms that kids can "relate to" on the theory that this will get the kids more interested in the subject. But I'm suspicious of how much good this might do - at the gel's age, I used to love stories of this sort precisely because they took me out of my normal experiences and into strange, new worlds.

Well anyway, the verdict is still out on this. The Llama-ette seems to be enjoying the story, in large part because she knows the original well enough to see the humor in the retelling. Anybody else out there have any experience with this series and/or thoughts about it?

Posted by Robert at December 22, 2005 10:05 PM | TrackBack

stick to the originals! They are classic for a reason.

Don't know her age, but if she likes mythology, there is a great new translation of Beowulf by Seamus somebody-or-another. Though Grendel may be a bit much if she is too young.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at December 23, 2005 02:46 AM