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Summary

A very accessable guide that fills the gap between academic analysis and less-critical retellings of the myths and legends. Marytn Whittock provides an accessible overview while also assessing the current state of research regarding the origins and significance of the myths. Since all records of the myths first occur in the early medieval period, the focus is on the survival of pre-Christian mythology and the interactions of the early Christian writers with these myths.

A wide-ranging and enthralling introduction to Celtic mythology, from the Irish gods before gods, the Fomorians, to the children of Llyr, the sea deity; from the hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill, whose exploits are chronicled in the Fenian Cycle, to Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster; and from the Welsh heroes of the Mabinogion to Arthur, King of Britain, though the mythical, Welsh version who predates the medieval legends.

©2013 Martyn Whittock (P)2014 Audible Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good read gone south!

I'm not sure if the author or the narrator decided to stress certain words, but it got on my nerves. But I persevered and finished the book as its contents were interesting. I don't know if I could change anything with out looking at the printed version.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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pitiful

When the book starts in an a apologetic preamble for Christianity I find myself both talked at and to. The narrator's smearing and condisending tone do not help immerse me into the mythological world they are attempting to convey and/nor enlighten us readers on. Avoid this book if you are looking for a retelling and constructive dissertation on Celtic mythology.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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interesting

this book leaves lots of room for further reading. will need to re read some parts as stores are quite complex.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Murray
  • 11-08-14

Terrible

I have been listening to Audible books for a long time and never reviewed before. I am only breaking the habit to warn anyone thinking of buying this book. This is an out and out academic book with a strong authors opinion from the beginning about the non existence of Celts with warning after warning not to assume that Celts ever existed as we understand them. One warning would have been enough and then maybe some of the subject mentioned in the title would have been nice. I just could not get through the first chapter. Terrible.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Melanie
  • 31-12-14

Nothing to see here

Would you try another book from Martyn Whittock and/or Christopher Oxford?

This author has obvious and limiting academic prejudices which interfere completely with the subject matter. I could not care less about whether or not group X can be definitely included or excluded under the umbrella of 'Celts". I am here for the stories - which are not here to be had. I did NOT punish myself by enduring the entire book - after suffering through chapter 1, I skipped and sampled, and never hit upon an actual story, just derisive commentary how that story was not representative of the beliefs of yaddah yaddah - useless if one does not know the details of the story in question. Since those details are what I was hoping for in the first place - this book and this author serve no purpose for me.

What do you think your next listen will be?

A better studied and chosen book of Celtic myth. I still want to know the stories, but have had enough academic smug superiority, thank you.

What didn’t you like about Christopher Oxford’s performance?

His voice is soothing...and when presenting dry, academic material, completely passionless and boring. He is bored, I am bored.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

If this book were a manufacturer's cents-off coupon, I would redeem it for just about anything else. However, I am beginning to think that keeping it as a buffer against insomnia might be the silver lining in this cloud. If I cannot return it, I will play it at night and let it bore me off to dreamland.

Any additional comments?

This book is meant for the political/philosophical/academic Celt among us. Not the story telling, fairy tale seeking, curious myth fan.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 19-05-15

Very good if you like that sort of thing

This book is not for the Casually curious. It is very detailed and academic. But comprehensive and very good. The Narrator has obviously practiced it and is familiar with the material. I highly recommend this book if you are a serious student of folklore

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ky
  • 18-07-18

In depth

I thought this would be a telling of the myths as stories. It was more about the background and origins

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  • Veronica Peterson
  • 12-04-15

reads like a text book

there are some interesting facts in this book. but it reminded me of a college elective who's title sounded much more interesting than the actual class. dry, dense, and fragmented.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful