I can still recall when I read von Daniken's first book, Chariots of the Gods. I was at a very impressionable age, and found the concept of mythology actually being the root of extraterrestrial visits in our distant past to be incredibly exciting. As I've grown older, and hopefully wiser, I still enjoy visiting this concept on a regular basis because of the works of people like von Daniken, Sitchen and others. They too have grown older and wiser and Odyssey of the Gods clearly demonstrates how added years of research can open up entirely new possibilities for mankind's origins.
In a wonderfully self effacing style, von Daniken takes us on a tour of the wonderful world of Greek mythology and how it's origins suggest that the Greek gods were in fact alien invaders who arrived on Earth thousands of years ago. Using substantial archaeological evidence (which is clearly annotated throughout the book - a treat in itself), the author shares his analysis and interpretation of the works of Plato and Aristotle as well as famous epics such as the Iliad, the Odyssey and Jason and the Golden Fleece.
Von Daniken proposes that the Gods of Mount Olympus were in fact aliens that not only overran the Earth, but also performed genetic experimentation on humans, and then interbred with the Greek civilization to form creatures such as as centaurs (a race of creatures fabled to be half man and half horse and to live in the mountains of Thessaly) and cyclops (a race of giants in Greek mythology with a single eye in the middle of the forehead). One can't help but wonder if the demi-god Hercules was in fact a hybrid, having been born of the god Zeus and a mortal mother.
Several of the most intriguing topics he covers are:
Religious sites such as the Oracle of Delphi as being actual places where the aliens were in contact with man, and possibly even refueling stations for alien aircrafts.
Jason and the Argonauts' "search for the Golden Fleece" (my personal favorite portion of this book) was actually a search for an essential part of a spacecraft.
Speculations about the lost city of Atlantis - when did it exist, where was it located, and how could an island kingdom of such greatness simply disappear from the face of the earth?
Homer's possible encounters with UFOs.
Even if you have a passing interest in the concept of humanity's ancient connections, I recommend reading Odyssey of the Gods. But do remember to have a copy of Bullfinch's Mythology beside you as a helpful companion to Erich von Daniken's tour of Ancient Greece.