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Wise Lord Of The Sky: Persian Myth * Tony Allan (isbn 0705436330)

I bought the Dutch translation this book on a “mega-book-manifestation”. I don’t know about other countries, but in the Netherlands (and for example Germany) we have cheap bookshops that sell overstocks, books that ran out of the ‘fixed price time’, reprints and the like. We call them “white bookshops” or “book-discount”. Since a few years there are such sales in massive halls for a few days. On one of the biggest of these I ran into this book. It is a real ‘white bookshop book’, meant for a large audience that isn’t looking for highly informative books, but cheaper books with a lot of images and a large size (‘look books’ instead of ‘read books’). Over the years these mass-productions got better, so once a while I run into one that appeals to me too. When I saw this one, the first thought that popped into my head was that I not only didn’t have a book with Persian myths yet, but I didn’t know of any either. At first sight the book looked a little cheap as described above. Still, in it there are myths about the creation of the world, the origin of good and evil, the first man, etc. Mostly from the pre-Zoroastrian time too. The myths are retold; readable, but of course you don’t get the original atmosphere. Still the texts are very interesting and you can see much similarities with later “Indo-European” mythology. Further in the book the stories are mostly hero-epics from the “Shah Name”, an 11th century writing which title means “Book Of Kings” by the poet Firdawsi/Ferdosi. “Wise Lord of The Sky” has a good index, bibliographical information and a short dictionary, so all in all not a bad buy! The Amazon version is $ 10,- for 144 10.25×9.5 inch pages, so… <10/9/04>

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