A Version of Aesop’s Fables

You may know The Tortoise and the Hare and The Boy who Cried Wolf, but do you know all the other classics Aesop wrote? If not, you should. They can range from deep and interesting to depressing and boring. Keep in mind that I read Aesop’s Fables as translated by George Townsend and presented by Nathan DiYorio. Unless you get this one the fables may be told a little differently. Hopefully you will get the same deep and depressing fables that are very unique… for the first hundred or so stories.

Aesop writes many fables either using humans and anthropomorphism to explain complex topics in an entertaining way. It starts with The Lamb and The Wolf, telling us that the tyrant will always find an excuse for his actions. It wasn’t something I expected from a book of fables, but it made me interested in what they had to say. However, the novelty of deep and realistic ran thin rather quickly. With over 300 fables, a lot felt repetitive or bland.

There were some stories that made me laugh due to how depressing they are. For example, a message repeated throughout it is that you can’t change who you are, even if it will help you survive. This may be true, but it was still depressing.  You have to keep in mind that these stories were created over 2,000 years ago by a slave so you wouldn’t  expect Disney style inspirational ideas. This doesn’t make them any less pointless. Most are still relevant to today’s society.

If you ignore the messages, the stories were decent,  but possibly a little bland. There’s a small obstacle or disagreement and the main character’s learn the errors of their way. Instead of being actual characters, a lot of them are just messages for the readers. This may be a norm for fables, but I would have loved it if there was more description and character.

The only huge issue I had was that the maxim was written out added to some stories, but not to others. It didn’t feel like there was a reason why it was done as the difficulty level was even across all the stories, so the inconsistency didn’t make any sense. It was the only thing that bugged me a lot.

Despite the minor faults I had with the book, it was still a great read. People of any age can read them and apply it to their everyday life. However, I don’t recommend reading it all in one sitting. My score for this is 7.6.

Discussion Point: Do you think any fables you read as a child strongly contributed to who you are today?

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