A translated book, Metamorphoses by Ovid
As a young girl, I used to love reading about Greek mythology. The different Gods and Goddesses, and all of the tales of mayhem, tricksters, and romance fascinated me. Even when I was well past sandbox age, I remember constructing a giant lump of sand to be Mount Olympus, and my friends and I would sit around acting out the parts of different Goddesses during recess breaks. As I grew older, I loved reading ancient Greek literature. I never formally studied it (outside of Homer’s The Odyssey) but I am a self-taught lover of ancient mythology and lore. That’s why I snagged a copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses years ago at a used bookstore and have been waiting for so long to have the time to read it. After such a long buildup, I was so disappointed to find that I didn’t really enjoy this book at all.
Metamorphoses is a narrative poem in fifteen books and it describes the history of the world from creation up through Caesar. In essence, it is an anthology of Greek and Roman Mythology, containing over fifty stories. Theoretically, this should be awesome, but the reality of trying to cram it into a week (this is on me, I know) made it very un-awesome. There was just too much going on. As soon as I’d get really interested in one story, suddenly it had somehow bled into the next with seemingly little to no segue. This caused everything to become jumbled and confused in my mind and made it very hard to enjoy the narrative progression. There’s just a little too much “going on.” It’s not a traditional beginning-middle-end but rather a long procession of short stories somehow threaded together. I guess that’s the area I had issue with—how they are framed together. The answer (in my opinion) is that they really aren’t, which is confusing for the reader.