10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining cliff-notes to mythology,
This review is from: Badass: The Birth of a Legend: Spine-Crushing Tales of the Most Merciless Gods, Monsters, Heroes, Villains, and Mythical Creatures Ever Envisioned (Paperback)This is absolutely not a book intended for the serious student of mythology. One can hardly expect to understand the totality of intricacies of the characters presented in the 40 short vignette. However, this book does have many important redeeming qualities.
This book has the potential to get an otherwise uninterested reader excited about mythology. This is interesting in the sense that the book seems to be merely a vehicle for the author's comedy. I often found myself laughing at some of his more obscure references which had little to do with the character being described. However, it is a very easy book to dip into a little at a time and by placing modern myths from movies and video games next to ancient gods and heroes goads the reader to bring the same level of inquiry to them both. While the myths that he discusses (which I am familiar with) are generally accurate, the author is uncompromising in the way that he retells the stories with flamboyant and attention grabbing language. This makes him an excellent storyteller as he has to compete with television and other media that increasingly caters to the attention deficit among us. It was fun read for me as well seeing how an academic outsider reacts to many of the outlandish elements (when they are taken literally) that are present in these legends.
Most importantly, this book is entertainment, but in the hands of, say, a teenager who only knows of Rama from the summon materia, it can be an important first step to the deep well of wisdom that mythology provides. If you buy this book, I recommend that you really take some time to look through the bibliography and find some of the author's sources for more information and accuracy about the characters that grab your attention.