Book Review: Troy (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #3) by Stephen Fry

“How strange is our mortal zest for fame. Perhaps it is the only way humans can be gods. We achieve immortality not through ambrosia and ichor but through history and reputation. Through statues and epic song.”

Published in 2020 and the third book in Stephen Fry‘s Great Mythology series, Troy tells the story of the classic Greek myth centred around the Trojan war. The kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against the city of Troy, to which they will lay siege for ten whole years. It is a terrible war with casualties on all sides as well as strained relations between allies, whose consequences become tragedies.

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Book Review: Heroes (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #2) by Stephen Fry

“The heroes cleansed our world of chthonic terrors — earthborn monsters that endangered mankind and threatened to choke the rise of civilisation. So long as dragons, giants, centaurs and mutant beasts infested the air, earth and seas we could never spread out with confidence and transform the wild world into a place of safety for humanity.”

Written by Stephen Fry, Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures is a follow up to his 2017 book, Mythos, a retelling of the Greeks myths. With this latest instalment focusing on Greek heroes, the book tells the legendary tales of some of the more well-known Greek characters such as Hercules, Jason and his Argonauts, Oedipus and his infamous complex, Bellerophon and his Pegasus, and Theseus’ defeat of the Minotaur. Their adventures are battle-filled, led by bravery, unbalanced by riddles, and overflowing with the murders of both monsters and men. They are stories show what we mortals are truly capable of – at our worst and our very best – and Fry retells them in such an entertaining way that you won’t forget their names ever again.

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My 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

After doubling my goal of 10 books last year (since I went on honeymoon and managed to read a book a day!), I thought I would keep my goal to 20 books this year. However, just missed out on this target, but I was ever so close to making it.

Here’s how my 2019 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books that I read:

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Book Review: Mythos Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1 by Stephen Fry

“It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea-lions, lions, human beings and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits.”

Written by Stephen Fry, the Greek myths are retold in a brilliantly entertaining way as we learn about the greatest stories that have ever told. Passed down through millennia, the stories are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West, from the birth of the universe to the creation of humankind. Smart, funny, and informative, the stories of the Titans and Gods are ones we all recognise – from Athena’s birth from the crack in Zeus’s great head, Persephone’s trips down into the dark realm of Hades, the terrible and endless fate of Prometheus after his betrayal of Zeus, and the evil torments of Pandora’s jar. Their tales of ribaldry and revelry, warfare and worship, debauchery, love affairs and life lessons, slayings and suicides, triumphs and tragedies are told in a spellbinding way, as Fry explores them in all their rich and deeply human relevance.

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Film Review: Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows

(Published on BritScene and in Issue 5 of my publication In Retrospect)

Directed by Guy Ritchie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is the sequel to the 2009 film based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective character.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they begin investigating a series of seemingly unrelated terrorist attacks. Shortly after Watson’s wedding with Mary (Kelly Reilly), Sherlock realises that the bombings around Europe are part of a plan to foment war between France and Germany. With the help of Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) as well, the duo team up with gypsy woman Madame Simza (Noomi Rapace) to bring down the evil Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who, to make matters even more tense, has poisoned Sherlock’s ex-wife Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams).

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First Trailer & Poster for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

(Written for BritScene)

Warner Bros. Pictures has released the first trailer for Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey online today. Not only is the trailer brilliant, but there’s also a lot of British actors in this, and we already can’t wait to see it.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of a two-part series of films to be adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novel of the same name, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, returns as director and also serves as producer and co-writer.

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Brits At The Box Office: Michael Fassbender, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Kate Winslet & More!

(Weekly feature written for BritScene)

This week has seen the overall box office suffer its worst weekend since 2008, but one British movie has enjoyed robust numbers whilst another two are continuing their successful theatrical runs. There’s also some great new films set to be released over the next week that feature a number of Brits in their cast, including the Sherlock Holmes sequel, Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Mission Impossible 4 and David Fincher’s English adaptation of The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.

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9 New Clips for ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’

(Written for BritScene)

Earlier this week we gave you a first look at Stephen Fry’s character in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Well now you can see him in action, along with eight other clips for Guy Ritchie‘s detective sequel.

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law reunite as the world’s most famous detective Sherlock Holmes and side-kick Dr Watson in their latest action-packed adventure.

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