out of 5
Review by John
I know plenty about certain mythologies, put picked up Ken Davis' book to learn about Hindu, Buddhist, North and South American cultures. Davis is very sympathetic to cultures damaged by imperialiasm; Guns, Germs and Steel is cited at least ten times in the narrative alone, far more than any other resource on any part of the subject. It's still a very well-researched book, and each section is a solid introduction to the characters, stories and anthropological theories for the various mythologies. This is by no means a full explanation of any mythology, but each section points to several other places where you can continue your studies (did you really think he'd tell you "Everything You Need To Know?"). Having read so much Greek, Egyptian and Norse mythology, I got a sense of Davis' limitations in describing them, which carries over. He summarizes epics in paragraphs, and while he references the power of those stories, he scarcely makes you feel it. His biggest tool in expressing the gravity of mythologies is to compare them to Jewish and Christian traditions, presuming most of his readers are of or know of those religions. Thus the bitter skeptic is not going to be well-served here, but if you don't value any spiritual teachings in any way, though, why are you reading this?