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The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles (Audio Book) Review by Lisa Kjeldgaard

Written by Padriac Colum
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969
Ashland, OR 97520

Planning a study of the ancient Greeks? Want your children to become familiar with the legends and characters of Greek mythology? If so, a fabulous addition to any study of Greek history and literature is the book The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles. Written in 1921 by famed Irish poet and author Padriac Colum (who also authored The Children's Homer), this Newberry Honor book tells the story of Jason and the Argonauts while also weaving in the stories of Hercules, Theseus and the Minotaur, Pandora's Box, and other Greek myths. Believed by many to be one of the greatest books on Greek mythology available, the book is written in a style that begs to be read aloud, but what if you don't desire to spend hours trudging through Greek myths aloud? Blackstone Audiobooks to the rescue!

Blackstone has produced the audio book version of The Golden Fleece, perfect for those of us who would like to listen instead of read. I received the MP3 version and was impressed that the entire book, just under nine hours of audio, fit onto one disk. It quickly loaded onto my computer and easily synced to my MP3 player. The files are tracked every ten minutes and by chapter so that you can easily get where you'd like to be. The cost of the MP3 disk is $24.95. There's also an option to download the files for $24.47--and even less expensive with a membership to, which is linked from Blackstone's website.

The first track of the audio book includes basic copyright information and then a brief biographical sketch of Padriac Colum. The reader's voice is deep and serious, fitting for the nature of the story, though at times it seemed to lack excitement.

The Golden Fleece is a story my sons are going to love when we next study the Greeks. The author's incredible use of language and these timeless tales will add much to our studies.

Product review by Lisa Kjeldgaard, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2008