Book Review: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes by Cory O’Brien

zeus grants stupid wishesTitle: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes
Author: Cory O’Brien
Genre: Mythology / Humour
Date: 2013
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Pages: 304
Started: 15th November 2018
Completed: 16th November 2018
Rating: 4.5/5
Summary: All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified. Wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words.

Cory O’Brien is a Chicago-based writer and you can find out more about him on his website: You can also follow him on twitter (@bettermyths).

I found this book because it was famous on tumblr when I was younger and I had it on my TBR for years before my parents bought it for me for Christmas. I sincerely hope that my mother didn’t skim through the book before she wrapped it.

I should probably start with some warnings about this book: it’s full of sex, bad language, and violence. What else would you expect from a book about world mythology?

I loved this book. It’s just so funny and so well written. Some parts of the book are dirty and crude, so you probably shouldn’t read it on public transport like I did, but it really fits the subject of the book. Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes doesn’t just focus on Greek mythology as it ‘bastardizes’ mythology from around the world (Cory O’Brien’s phrase, not mine). I love that it conveniently skips Roman mythology as the Romans were just copycats and their mythology is intertwined with Greek mythology.

My favourite section of the book was Norse mythology because O’Brien’s representation of Loki was amazing and every single myth was just so funny. Thor is great too and I love the retelling of Thor and Loki’s cross-dressing adventure. I also really liked that the book acknowledged the misogynistic tendencies of the myths as poor Freyja is often traded for various things by Odin. I do wish that O’Brien had included some Celtic mythology in the book because Celtic mythology is so rich and varied but I suppose that the ‘mythology’ of the USA was a nice addition. I also really enjoyed the section on Judeo-Christian mythology, which focused on the Old Testament, because it highlighted the similarities between Judaism, Christianity, and older polytheistic religions. I also loved O’Brien’s representation of God because he just takes a lot of naps.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s offensive but O’Brien readily admits that he’s taking liberties with the source material and it’s all done with a great amount of humour. This book isn’t for children but if you’re an adult who doesn’t mind frank discussions of sex and a lot of four-letter words then this book could be for you.


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