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I was greatly looking forward to re-reading this book for a book club and I was somewhat letdown. I am a bit of a student of mythology so I was quite excited to find a book that purported to draw on the work of Joseph Campbell, C.G. Jung, and Mircea Eliade. I found this book useful as a broad survey of censored myths. It is an easy and enjoyable read. I was disturbed, by some of the sloppiness. Just starting the book I soon found some embarrassing errors.

Page 6
MARS - the Mars bar was not directly named for the Roman god. “The Mars Bar was first created in 1936 and has become an instantly recognisable worldwide brand. However, in the United States, it is known as Milky Way. In the U.S., the Mars name was used until 2000 for a different bar, now known as Snickers Almond. (The worldwide Milky Way bar is known as 3 Musketeers in Canada and the U.S.; there is no longer a "Mars Bar" on the U.S. market.)” Further, it was named in 1936. Mars had been a hot topic since the publication of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds in 1898". The reddish interior of the bar sort of resembles the planet Mars, the flavour being out of this world. Source(s):www.spiritus-temporis.com/ & www.mars.com/

London - The name Londinium is thought to be pre-Roman (and possibly pre-Celtic) in origin, although there has been no consensus on what it means. It was common practice for Romans to adopt native names for new settlements. A common theory is that the name derives from a hypothetical Celtic place name, Londinion which may have been derived from the personal name Londinos, from the word lond, meaning 'wild'. The Celts themselves did not call it Londinium or any name attributed to Lugh (unlike Lyons in France).en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology_of_Lo...

Jupiter – Though similar to the Greece God Zeus, through the eventual assimilation of Greek gods by the Romans. They are quite different (see www.nowpublic.com/culture/zeus-or-jup... point could be argued as a splitting hairs piece.

Page 11
"... the Egyptian year consisted of 13 lunar months of 30 days each, or 360 days."
Actually, 13 lunar months (30 days) are 390 days, 12 months of 30 days is 360 days, 13 lunar months (28 days) is 364 days.

Page 71
Apsu is described as the "sky god." No, An (or Anu) was the sky god, Apsu was the creature representing the freshwater abyss.

And the list on errors unfortunately goes on. One could say that the information/research was not available in the 1990 to catch these errors. Unfortunately, most of the data I quote was around since the 1980’s. This is a shame because this ambitious undertaking and useful comparison is marred by this careless – an error that makes one unsure of what can be trusted.

I would get a proof-reader & an independent researcher to revisit the book and re-release it with better footnotes; uncensored myths (or admit they are tone-down for wider reading and/or general acceptance); readdress the compound errors of using Graves & Frazer as cornerstones in the beginning formulation of his premise (actually his lack of original content throughout this book as he large portions of the book are "cut and paste" from Mircea Eliade, C.G. Jung, and Joseph Campbell) and add a few more "voices" to the discussion.

One merit, he includes information on Indian, Hawaiian, Aztec, Iranian, African, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Polynesian, and North American myths. If you have an interest in these less studied myths, then this book would be a strong starting point. As for myself, I feel that these myths have less an impact on our general culture and psychology, though are extremely relevant to global consciousness and the Neo-Pagan Movement.

So, this book has its strengths though it is quite weak both faith & thought-wise. It could be a good general interest book for particular people who want no depth. I wouldn’t call it an invaluable text but as a high school text, or as a very broad introduction to a non-scholar, I think it would decent starter book.

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Book info

PublisherBallantine Books
Release date 01.10.1994
Pages count368
File size2.8 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
Book rating4.51 (489 votes)
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