Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Hercules by Jeanette Winterson

Author – Jeanette Winterson
Publishing Year – 2005
Genre – Greek Mythology, Re-tellings
Pages – 151
My Rating – ⅕

Verdict: Absolute garbage, very disappointing.


I picked up the Weight by Jeanette Winterson after reading The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood which is in the same Myth series. I had high hopes from the book because The Penelopiad had been a big success and I was really looking forward to reading more in the same genre, but it turned out to be a tremendous disappointment.  There are a few things that you absolutely should not do when you are re-telling a myth, and Jeanette Winterson doggedly does every one of them.

While Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson both write simply; Atwood chooses her words so carefully and with such staggering effect and Winterson’s writing is pretentious and rubbish. She leaves loose ends in sentences and lightly touches upon sketchy analogies to make them appear more enigmatic, but the overall outcome is pretentious single-liners which don’t form a cohesive prose. Re-telling a myth is a difficult task – the myths have to be respected, the words and the story have to be rich, layered and beautifully weaved forming worlds of associating between both the new and the old stories. Winterson reduces early heroes to sex-fiends and patches up the old mythical story with incongruous dialogues and plot twists like Laika the dog who gives the brooding Atlas company. Absolutely terrible slapdash writing, completely incongruous plot, nothing in the book worked except it’s very short length. I am so angry and disappointed.


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