Mythos (book)

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First edition
AuthorStephen Fry
PublisherMichael Joseph
Publication date

Mythos is a book written by British author Stephen Fry, published in 2017. It is a retelling of a number of ancient Greek myths selected by Fry. It was followed by Fry's 2018 book Heroes, a retelling of myths about Greek heroes,[1] as well as a play titled Mythos: A Trilogy,[2] which premiered at the Shaw Festival in Ontario, Canada, in 2018[3] and was set to tour the UK starting in August 2019.[2][3] In 2020, the third book in the series was published, Troy, concerning the Trojan War.


Fry states at the beginning of the book that no background knowledge is necessary to appreciate the stories and that "there is absolutely nothing academic or intellectual about Greek mythology; it is addictive, entertaining, approachable and astonishingly human".[4] The stories are mostly retellings of myths derived from Hesiod's Theogony, Ovid's Metamorphoses and Apuleius's The Golden Ass/Donkey.[5]


British scholar Edith Hall criticised Fry's limited selection of myths in her review for The Guardian[5] and said that the book's lack of a contents page or index means that the reader is not warned of its uncomprehensive nature.[5] She goes on however to commend Fry for putting his fame to constructive use and to say that his "distinctive voice undoubtedly adds something lively, humorous and intimate to myth's psychological dimension. People who enjoy his media personality and particular style of post‑Wodehouse English drollery are in for a treat".[5] Mythos received a rating of 4/5 in a review titled "What kind of a book is Stephen Fry's Mythos? Who knows — but it's clever and fun" in the culture section of The Telegraph.[6] The Scotsman praised the book's accessibility as well as Fry's knowledge and enthusiasm about the subject[4] but criticised the inconsistency of the book's style, saying that it shifts between being erudite and "deliberately downmarket".[4]

Stage tour[edit]

The premiere of Mythos: A Trilogy occurred at the Shaw Festival in Ontario, Canada and received positive reviews.[3][7] The UK tour was set to premiere on 19 August 2019 at the Edinburgh International Festival[2][8] and was also scheduled to be performed in Salford, Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Oxford and Gateshead.[3] The play consists of three shows performed on separate nights.[2][8] The shows were written and performed by Stephen Fry and directed by Tim Carroll.[9] They are reported to be loosely scripted[10] and involve input from the audience to help choose which stories Fry will tell on any given night.[3][10]


  1. ^ "Heroes The myths of the Ancient Greek heroes retold. #2 in the Series: Stephen Fry's Greek Myths". Penguin Books. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Harrison, Ellie (2 May 2019). "Stephen Fry announces first UK tour in 40 years". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Stephen Fry announces first tour in 40 years". BBC. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Massie, Allan (14 December 2017). "Book review: Mythos, by Stephen Fry". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Hall, Edith (22 November 2017). "Mythos review – the Greek myths get the Stephen Fry treatment". yes. The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  6. ^ "What kind of a book is Stephen Fry's Mythos? Who knows — but it's clever and fun". Yes. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  7. ^ Gengenbach, Sarah (3 May 2019). "Stephen Fry brings Mythos Trilogy to London Palladium". London Theatre Direct. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Stephen Fry announces first UK tour in 40 years". The Irish News. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  9. ^ Wood, Alex (3 May 2019). "Stephen Fry's Mythos one-man show to tour and run at The London Palladium". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  10. ^ a b Wise, Rachel. "Stephen Fry 2019 tour dates, venues and tickets". StageChat. Retrieved 13 August 2019.