My spirits and my reading have been good recently, but I have struggled to keep my attention fastened to one novel. In which case Aesop’s Fables was the perfect solution as I could read one or two fables at a time. I am not usually a fan of short story collections; for this reason this poor collection has been on my kindle growing dusty since I received my kindle last Christmas! Reading this though may have changed my mind for good and I have now downloaded a whole lot more short story collections to try too.
Aesop’s Fables is a collection of fables about animals, nature, and gods credited to Aesop, who is believed to have been a freed slave who lived in Ancient Greece. Apart from the fables themselves very little written evidence of Aesop the man or his life has been found. Considering this collection is believed to have been written in the 5th century BC I found it very easy to read and the style didn’t feel particularly archaic at all. Each story varied in length from a short paragraph to a page and a bit which meant I whipped through them pretty quick. They were perfect to dip in and out of before bed or when waiting for appointments.
Aesop’s Fables is probably best known for the moral messages that each fable contains. I instantly recognised ‘the boy who cried wolf’ however not every moral was as obvious. Some of the fables ended with a short moral explanation, most didn’t though so I was left to decipher them on my own which is when I noticed the age of this work. On whole I think I understood the message that each fable was representing. There was a few that due to context and cultural differences I didn’t understand. These were few and far between though so didn’t let it dampen my enjoyment of the rest of the collection.
Since childhood I have enjoyed tales of animals, nature, and gods so these fables did play straight into that. There is an element of mythology to the feel of this collection, like mythology though the stories aren’t particularly happy. As each fable is meant to represent a moral this means they often contain death, theft, abuse, lies, and other things that we aren’t meant to be doing. As much as I enjoyed reading this it certainly isn’t the happiest work I’ve read recently.
Aesop’s Fables is an interesting and easy read best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. I highly recommend to those interested in reading classic short stories. This is my 7th read towards The Classics Club. Now I have a taste for short stories myself I have moved straight on to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Have you read Aesop’s Fables? Did you enjoy it?