I read this book in very small pieces which made it seem somewhat disjointed. I should have read it more in just one or two sittings to get the flow of what Armstrong was writing about. For the last chapter, I did read it that way and it really sunk in a lot more. In some ways it reminded me of Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth which explores why we need myths in our lives. Armstrong discusses literature in the last section (probably because this is part of a series of retellings of myths) and I wanted to quote two sentences that I think really sum up both the power of mythology and of literature: "A novel, like a myth, teaches us to see the world differently; it shows us how to look into our own hearts and to see our world from a perspective that goes beyond our own self-interest. If professional religious leaders cannot instruct us in mythical lore, our artists and creative writers can perhaps step into this priestly role and bring fresh insight to our lost and damaged world."
This is a great summary of the history of mythology. I enjoyed the overview, and am looking for some more detailed books to follow with. I especially liked the last chapter "The Great Western Transformation" which discusses the place of myth in our modern society and religious teachings. A favorite quote, related to the modern era in which we live: "It has been writers and artists, rather than religious leaders, who have stepped into the vacuum and attempted to reacquaint us with the mythological wisdom of the past." How true, how true. I really enjoyed this short but information filled volume.