***Gilgamesh the Hero
retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
illustrated by David Parkins
January 10, 2005.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003.
About a year or so ago, I read a translation of Gilgamesh
written for adults
and carefully written to be an accurate translation. I liked this
version written for children much better. The language seemed more
poetical and fairytale-like. This one captured my imagination better.
It didn’t contain scholarly notes and purports to be a free adaptation “from
a variety of translations.” This one was fulfilling a different purpose,
and it does make a better story.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest recorded story in the world.
I admit that I am interested in it because it’s mentioned by Jean-Luc Picard
in an episode of Star Trek: Next Generation
! I’d like
to read this version to my son. It’s an epic story of friendship and
strength and adventure. It’s also an important mythological tale from
mankind’s history. This particular version makes good reading.
“It’s someone much more important than a king or a sage or a wife.
The gods are sending you a friend
Review of another book by Geraldine McCaughrean:
The Kite Rider
Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.