Saturday, 19 July 2014

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: Possibly the Best (or the Worst) Book About Mythology You’ll Ever Read

A Review By: Amelia

Ever find yourself thinking that you’d like to learn about ancient mythology but don’t want to read thick and heavy tomes? Do you think that Loki and Thor are really awesome but thousands of years worth of long-winded weirdo Norse myths aren’t? Or perhaps you just don’t like proper prose and long to hear all the ancient myths be retold to you like a drunken buddy would. Well, if any of this applies to you, Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes is the book for you!

The book Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes is a series of shortened myths from a number of societies (Egypt, Greece, Japan, etc.) written as if a drunk person were retelling them. Yup, that’s it–that’s the book folks!

Cory O’Brien, the author of the book, is serious about mythology. At least according to him. He has a website where he posts his retold myths and apparently birds freak him out. If you go to his website ( he impresses how much he hates birds pretty quickly. Does this tell you anything about his writing style, his method, his credentials? Nope, but it does show you he has a sense of humour and that’s important since he’s written such a tongue-in-cheek book! Don’t believe me? Well, enjoy this excerpt from the Norse section from a myth titled (or re-titled rather) "Thor Gets Jacked":
                                    “… Freyja is like “Hey, Thor, what’s good?”
                                    And Thor is like
                                    “SOMEONE STOLE MY HAMMER.
                                    and Freyja is like “Shut the fuck up, man.
                                    We can solve this mystery.
                                    Loki, did you steal the hammer?”
                                    And Loki is like “Nope.”
                                    And Freyja is like “Well, I’m out of ideas.”
                                    and Loki is like “I know, right?...”
                                                                                                (page 71)

Take a good look at that excerpt, I assure you that is exactly how it is typed and formatted in the book. So, yeah, you can imagine how reading a whole book like that is. Now, that being said, despite the abuse of CAPS lock and the constant swearing (not that I’m against constant swearing myself, but it does kind of distract) I did really like this book. People who aren’t fond of blue humour (FYI, blue humour is material that’s typically considered more “adult”) probably won’t dig this book and the overall prose (if it can even be called prose) can get old real quick but, honestly, if it bothers you that much just spread your reading out over a few days and you’ll be fine.

My final thoughts on Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes is that it’s pretty good. A little strange, a little frustrating if read for long stretches of time, but pretty good nonetheless. The humour will keep you coming back and, if you’re lucky, you might even learn something about mythology!

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