Last week while in Toronto, I went to see the ROM's Mesopotamia exhibit. As part of the exhibit, they had a piece of the Epic of Gilgamesh (Tablet VI). When we got to the exhibit gift shop, in the books they had Stephen Mitchell's New English Version of Gilgamesh, which I bought and promptly started reading.
When I read a book like this for the first time, I usually skip the introduction until after I've read the actual work. I don't want to be biased when reading (and honestly just want to avoid spoilers if I'm unfamiliar with the story).
Gilgamesh is credited as the oldest recorded story. Its title character is a king who is 2/3 divine, 1/3 mortal. He goes on adventures, ultimately searching for the secret to immortality.
I'm not going to lie, when I first finished reading it, I wasn't a big fan. It was entertaining enough, but overall the story just seemed okay. So I am really glad that I went back and read the introduction at that point. The introduction made me appreciate the poem a lot more than I did after initially reading it (including the ending, where I kind of missed what exactly had happened!)
So overall, I enjoyed reading it, but mainly because of the introduction. Without that, I probably wouldn't have liked it as much.
*As of September 24/15, I am not taking any more requests from authors to read their books. I currently have too many books to read. I'll update this if/when that changes.*
I currently have 164 fiction books just sitting in my room to read (although that doesn't stop me from randomly picking books up at work or buying them on Kindle!). I've been keeping track of them on a paper list for years. This blog shares what I read as I attempt to get "the List" down to a more manageable number.
If you'd like to know what books are on the List, check out my Goodreads shelf devoted to them - it's my physical list digitized! I've also got a shelf for every book I've reviewed here on this blog.
Not everything I review here is actually on the List. Some books come from the library, some books are nonfiction (which are not included on the List), some books are on my Kindle (which have never been included on the List), and some books are given to me by friends and family.
Note: as of April 12/14, I am not going to add the *spoiler* warning I used to when I'm giving away details of books. I want to talk about the books I've read in whatever detail I'd like. So if you haven't read a book I'm reviewing, you might not want to read the review.