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Quicksilver [Kindle Edition]

Stephanie Spinner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $5.98
You Save: $1.01 (14%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

Hermes—also known as Mercury, Wayfinder, and Prince of Thieves—has many talents. Wearing his famed winged sandals, he does the bidding of his father Zeus, leads the dead down to Hades, and practices his favorite arts of trickery and theft. He also sees the future, travels invisibly, loves jokes, and abhors violence. And he’s an entertaining and ideal narrator on a fast-paced journey through ancient Greek mythology—from Medusa’s cave to Trojan War battlefields to the mysterious Underworld.
Stephanie Spinner brings the famous messenger—and the best-known gods and mortals of mythology—to life with high action and spare, powerful prose.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Spinner's Quiver (Knopf, 2002) was a somber and fully imagined re-creation of the myth of Atalanta. Quicksilver, as befits its subject–the god Hermes–is lighter and occasionally even silly as the author aims for the appropriate narrative voice for this multifaceted deity who escorts the dead to the underworld. In the early pages, the trickster aspect of Hermes's personality dominates as the messenger god runs errands for Zeus, the father he loves, and gets involved in the lives of the mortals and demigods whom he encounters. At times he seems almost like the wisecracking buddy on a sitcom. But as the story continues, Hermes's more serious side comes through, and his narration takes on darker tones. Because he is not generally a central figure in the myths, Spinner's Hermes is something like a tour guide, recounting the actions of others–Persephone and Demeter, Perseus, Odysseus–and commenting on their foibles, as well as offering insights into their all-too-human behavior. The author excels at portraying her subject's longing to please his father, his sense of loss when his half-brother Apollo goes too long between visits, his love for Calypso, and his deep disdain for cruelty, particularly apparent in the chapters dealing with the Trojan War. Not quite as successful as Quiver in completely inhabiting an ancient world and mind-set, Quicksilver nevertheless offers an entertaining version of several important myths and a view of divinity starkly different from the Judeo-Christian one. Offer this title alongside Bernard Evslin's Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths (Bantam, 1984), which contains masterful retellings.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-11. "It's dark and gloomy and it smells like dead sheep, but when Zeus says go to Hell, I go," says Hermes, sending Spinner's latest fictional retelling of Greek mythology off to a roaring start. Narrating in a voice that is irreverent, sophisticated, and contemporary (Hades is a "walking bad mood"), Hermes recounts his pivotal role in a variety of familiar myths. He ferries the casualties of the Trojan War to the underworld; helps broker the deal that divides Persephone's time between worlds; gives Perseus the sword to slay Medusa; and persuades Calypso to release Odysseus, among other stories. As in Quiver (2002), a novel based on the Atalanta myth, Spinner seamlessly weaves necessary background information about the cast of celestial characters into a narrative filled with thrilling action and violence that is drawn straight from the original stories. Teens will connect with Hermes' immediate, often very funny voice, and they will appreciate that the gods, despite their mighty powers, struggle with familiar human dilemmas. A rich, accessible entree into classical mythology. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 316 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0440238455
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XUBC72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Stephanie Spinner returns to the exciting world of Greek Mythology with QUICKSILVER, the story of winged messenger Hermes. Her previous novel, QUIVER, brought to life the story of the swift Atalanta.

Hermes had many roles, including bringing the dead to Hades and acting as swift winged messenger to and from the gods. He is shown almost as a young adult, trying to please his father Zeus while learning his responsibilities and principles. His mischievous side adds to the wonderful stories.

Several of Hermes's stories are described here, including how he helped King of the Underworld Hades and goddess Demeter compromise over the beautiful Kore; and a tale of the changing seasons.

Readers will especially enjoy the adventure of Perseus cutting off the head of snake-haired Medusa, which showcases the clever wit and multiple talents of Hermes.

The apple contest decided by Paris that leads to the Trojan War brings out a new side in the Messenger. He is horrified by the senseless death and the way his family of gods takes sides.

His last adventure listed here, saving Odysseus from the bewitching Calypso, brings a happy end for Hermes.

It's fun to see the classic adventures novelized. BULLFINCH'S MYTHOLOGY can offer background and more information for those who are interested, and readers also may want to see the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans for another look at Perseus's tale. But you don't have to be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy QUICKSILVER.

   --- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A better book by Stephanie Spinner! December 31, 2007
A Kid's Review
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This a hilarous book about greek myths told from the eyes of hermes! It is of couse as a said above, hilarous! I read QUIVER also by Stephanie Spinner, i found this book much funnier, and entertaing. My problem with QUIVER was that you felt like there was something importent missing and Spinner didn't make Atalanta her own, but in this book she makes hermes real almost like he is telling you the story. I liked all the storys but i did feel like she rushed through them, as if to keep the book short. I do recommened this to someone who loves greek mythology!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and clever March 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
QUICKSILVER is a collection of some of the popular Greek legends that we are so familiar with, but given with a fresh attack because they’re told from the point of view of Hermes, God of Travelers and Mischief. I liked this book because in other stories, Hermes was often in the sidelines – the spotlight being taken by more popular gods and goddesses – but in QUICKSILVER, I didn’t only get to know him better; I was inside his head. I appreciated him more as I discovered that although he likes to play pranks, he’s peace-loving (a trait not often shared by the other Olympians) and enjoys the affection of his father Zeus and brother Apollo. That’s actually my favorite aspect in the book – his relationship towards his family. It shows a different side of Hermes. That he seeks Zeus’ approval and appreciation shows that among the twelve Olympians, he’s the most ‘human’ in feelings. He also suffers from guilt and shame because of the not-so-good things he had to do before. And that sets him apart from his family. He chose not to get involved in a war even though it caused him to drift apart from his father and siblings. He’s also obedient and loyal. No wonder he’s the messenger of gods.

Stephanie Spinner did a great job in giving voice to an often-overlooked and under-appreciated Greek deity. I really enjoyed reading QUICKSILVER. It wasn’t hilariously funny, but it’s quirky and clever and shows Hermes in his best and worst.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super review from my grand daughter. September 9, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Grand daughter's summer reading assignment. She loves to read and finished the book in one sitting...speed reader, no doubt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Summer Reading Assignment August 29, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I received the book a few days after I ordered it and it was a quick read for my son
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