Title: Aesop’s Fables
Translated by: V. S. Vernon Jones (original language – Ancient Greek)
Genre: classic, short stories, anthology, fable
Length: 239 pages
(total of 284 fables)
Aesop was a slave and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece around 620-564 BC. No writings by him exist (if they ever existed at all), yet numerous stories and tales have been credited to him and have been shared through oral tradition throughout the world. Many of these use animals as the main characters to convey deeper meanings and morals that have become ingrained in our cultural–and personal–belief systems.
It is easy to despise what you cannot get.
What made me get it and thoughts on the cover
What— I never would’ve picked up Aesop’s Fables because for some reason I thought I knew all of the fables (they’re in magazines and in many typing tests) so I figured there’s no need for reading them. However, since I’m collecting as many as I can of the Word Cloud Classic books I got this one too and eventually read it.
The cover — I’m in love with word cloud classic editions so yes, I love the cover. The orange color with the fox symbol on the spine and the engravings of nice quotes with of course the lovely endpapers. Oh, and the text of the title in the Greek style…. ahh I just love it all.
I was very wrong in thinking I knew all of the stories. It turns out that there’s more than just ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’ or ‘The Farmer and His Sons’ or ‘The Shepard’s Boy and the Wolf’ and ‘The North Wind and the Sun’. I actually counted and the ones I’ve heard of before ended up being only 17 out of the 284 fables included in this book.
Most of the stories end with a sentence that tells you directly the moral of the story, while others don’t have anything written at the end, so it’s up to you to decide on the message you get from what you just read. Though, honestly some of the morals have nothing to do with the story, I mean I’d be reading it and go: “Yeah, I see the message,” and then when I read the sentence in the end I’d be like “Wait… Is that the moral? It should be the opposite”. Anyways, the morals are phrased beautifully so that’s always a good thing.
In this edition some stories come with illustrations – by Arthur Rackham – that help to picture the situation. Most people think that Aesop’s fables are only animal fables but there are some stories that revolve around just humans or the Gods. Still, the majority are about talking animals.
When I first started reading it I told myself I’d read just 3 fables a day so I would ponder over the lessons; I stuck to that at first then I found myself reading a lot more than what I intended.
A nice collection of tales. The first fables were better than the ones toward the end (a few of them were boring and pointless). Some make you think, others make you laugh while others were just meh. 3.5/5 stars
Don’t be in a hurry to change one evil for another.