Book Recommendation: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes

Okay, so if you need a laugh for today, and you’re not too easily offended, this book is gold. A two of my friends and I have an interest in mythology (Norse, Greek, and Roman, Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 10.40.54 AMrespectively) and that might have been how I first came across this book. I honestly can’t remember, but I’m glad that I did. I had it saved on amazon for months before I finally got around to getting it. I wasn’t disappointed.

Just a warning, these are NOT the kinds of myths you read to entertain children. Which, really, wasn’t the point of myths and fairy-tales to begin with so…

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

Summary: “Get this:

Cronus liked to eat babies.

Narcissus probably should have just learned to masturbate.

Odin got construction discounts with bestiality.

Isis had bad taste in jewelry.

Ganesh was the very definition of an unplanned pregnancy.

And Abraham was totally cool about stabbing his kid in the face.

All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified…wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words.

Skeptical? Here are a few more gems to consider:

• Zeus once stuffed an unborn fetus inside his thigh to save its life after he exploded its mother by being too good in bed.

• The entire Egyptian universe was saved because Sekhmet just got too hammered to keep murdering everyone.

• The Hindu universe is run by a married couple who only stop murdering in order to throw sweet dance parties…on the corpses of their enemies.

• The Norse goddess Freyja once consented to a four-dwarf gangbang in exchange for one shiny necklace.

And there’s more dysfunctional goodness where that came from.”

-Summary from the book’s Amazon.com page

Genre: Humor

Author: Cory O’Brien

Publisher: TarcherPerigee

Comments: Okay, as someone who’s studied mythology on more than one occasion, I thought this book was hilarious. I can remember a trip with my best friend (the one who likes Norse mythology) to a certain large chain bookstore. We were looking through the children’s section (naturally) when we ran across a book of Norse mythology. For children. A children’s book of Norse mythology.

Um, what?

Stephanie and I stared at each other, then the book, in amazement and no small amount of horror.

“But… Loki… the horse… Sleipnir…”

The book explained that particular story by saying that Loki “made friends” with the horse.

Made friends.

Yeah, that’s one way to put it.

It made us laugh though. The complete watering down of mythology. Anyone who’s read any of the original myths knows just how sexual and, sometimes, crude the original stories can be.

This book doesn’t shy away from that. It tells it in an extremely funny way, that is, yes, crude. But the source material really isn’t any better.

The thing is though, funny and entertaining as it is, the book is accurate. The stories are told with a modern, summarized twist, but they’re the real stories.

Another thing that I love about this book is that the author doesn’t just hit the major mythologies (the Greek, Roman, and Norse that I mentioned above.) He includes early Judeo-Christian stories, Sumerian mythology, Japanese mythology, Native-American stories, African mythologies. The title “World Mythology” is actually true. Actually, Roman myths aren’t listed, but they basically stole everything, word-for-word, from the Greeks anyway, so no great loss there. Change Zeus to Jupiter, Hera to Juno, and Aphrodite to Venus, and you’ve got Roman mythology.

Though I would like to see the author’s take on some stories about the Romans. Nero and Caligula, anyone?

Also, as someone who’s had to read Gilgamesh more than once, the chapter on Gilgamesh and Enkidu is hilarious. Just the title of it cracks me up.

If you’re not easily offended, and you want something quick and funny to read, I definitely reccomend this. Definitely keep it away from kids, though.

Here’s the link on Amazon.com. (Links to the Kindle version)