Book review: The Twelve Labours of Hercules

By Rodrigo Marzo

Hercules was a Greek hero that was the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Hercules had a wife and
three kids who he killed when he was possessed by Hera (Zeus’s wife). When he woke up, he
saw what he had done, so he ran to an oracle to find out about what had happened. The
oracle sent him to his cousin Eurystheus and told him to obey his cousin’s orders to do twelve
labors. As his cousin was afraid and wanted to get rid of him, he put forward missions that
were almost impossible to be done:

1. Killing the Nemean lion.
2. Executing the Lernean Hydra.
3. Capturing the Hind of Ceryneia.
4. Capturing the Erymanthian Boar.
5. Cleaning up the Augean Stables.
6. Decimating the Stymphalian Birds. (Vultures)
7. Capturing the Cretan Bull.
8. Taking the Horses of Diomedes. (Man -eating horses)
9. Bringing Hippolyte’s Belt.
10. Bringing the Cattle of Geryon.
11. Bringing the Apples of Hesperides.
12. Capturing Cerberus. (Hell’s dog)

I have read the edition published by Companhia das Letras in 2003, which was written by
Chistian Grenier and translated by Eduardo Brandão. I really like mythological stories, mainly
the Greek ones, so I enjoyed very much the book. For what I read, I can say that Hercules was
an extremely burly guy. Literally, he was huge.
I recommend this book for all Greek mythology lovers, because it explains a lot of Hercules. If
you read this book, you will know about his birth and what Zeus did to him when he was little.
You will also find out what he did with the…! Sorry I almost spoiled something! I need to stop
writing about Hercules. I’m going to finish this review, so if you want to know about Hercules,
this is the book for you!


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