It seems that an educated man is expected be well versed in Greek mythology, at least in the western world. For me, however, the impression has been that it is just a long list of names of gods, half gods, creatures and people doing strange things for no obvious reasons. Stephen Fry’s book Mythos then seems to be a convenient way for me to reach the status of educated.
In Mythos Fry has collected a set of his favourite stories from the Greek traditions and retells them in a very good mood, keeping in line with the book’s subtitle The Greek Myths Retold. There are however no new interpretations; the stories are simply told once more. This was good news to me, because it turned out that I actually knew almost all stories from before, and therefore can consider myself pre-educated.
The book is rather useless as a reference book, because it jumps quite generously in time and tend to organise the stories in a loosely thematic manner. It makes the book feel like a session of the author telling anecdotes in the order they occur to him. And since the author is Stephen Fry, it is a very entertaining session. The selection of stories is certainly not complete, many constellations in the night sky are absent from the book, and it is also a bit unbalanced where some are significantly more fleshed out than others. Mythos is thus a bit messy to read, but it is an entertaining mess.