Continuing to work my way through the Bronze age of Ancient Greece in historical fiction novels, I've just finished Robert Graves look at Jason and Argonauts in The Golden Fleece (1944).
From a modern perspective the book is a little tricky to read as the cadence of the prose worked differently than modern text, so it took some time to get comfortably into the reading. Past that, the book has a massive amount of background information on early religion and mythology, that at times was a little too detailed for me (moving much closer to his nonfiction book The White Goddess, 1948), but once the crew of the Argonaut gets moving the story began to work quite nicely as a series of adventures including Jason, Hercules and Orpheus, all of which had nice character moments throughout.
Unlike Mary Renault or Steven Pressfield's work on the story of Theseus, Graves story is quite omfortable including gods and magic throughout, sticking closer to the mythology than focusing on the "story-behind-the-story" format of the books I've read so far on the list.
Although I didn't enjoy it as my as his earlier work (Goodbye to All That, 1929, I Claudius 1934, and Claudius the God 1935), I did find the story rewarding and am looking forward to the next on the list The Iliad, by Homer.
1 month ago