Books

Arcadian Nights

Arcadian Nights
John Spurling
Price: £
8.99
  • Paperback
Published: 
11 Aug 2016
ISBN: 
9780715651124
Pages: 
288
Genre: 
  • Fiction
Available from:

A vibrant, gripping and often grisly retelling of Greek myths by the author of The Ten Thousand Things, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize.

The classical Greek intellectual tradition pervades nearly every aspect of our modern Western civilization. Our logic and science, our philosophy, politics, literature, architecture, and art are all indebted to the ancient inhabitants of the small mountainous Mediterranean country. And the powerful myths of the Greeks, refined by Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, and the great Greek dramatists, still resonate at the core of our culture.

Taking as his starting point many of the famous tourist sites in the Peloponnese, where the stories are set, John Spurling, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, freshly imagines key narratives from the Greek canon, including tales of the doomed house of Atreus (notably Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks at Troy, murdered by his wife in his palace bathroom); of the god Apollo; goddess Athene; Theseus, scourge of the Minotaur; the Twelve Labors of Heracles; and Perseus, rescuer of Andromeda.

In this vibrant, gripping and often grisly retelling of the Greek myths, stories of murder, power, revenge, love, and traumatic family relationships are made new again for our time with wit and relish by a gifted author. Spurling has added scene, dialogue, and context, while always staying true to the spirit of the original myth.

Reviews

'A brilliant, riveting book that leaves its competitors behind, blinking into the distance' TLS

'An excitingly fresh take on the myths, gods and heroes of ancient Greece' The Lady

'This book shines... seamlessly interweaving personal and historical perspectives... Arcadian Nights is good fun' Historical Novels Review

'Classicists and non-classicists alike will love Arcadian Nights... a great book' Oxford Today

'In Spurling's hands myths intersect, intermingle, cross-fertilise, and emerge as unabashedly confident chronicles with their own unique traditions and personalities' Mika Provata-Carlone, Bookanista

'Lively and spellbinding... Spurling is a first-rate storyteller and this collection should delight everyone from the scholar of Greek myths to one reading them for the first time' We Love This Book

'The Greek myths are dusted off from old college readers like Edith Hamilton's Mythology and given new life in this fantastic collection... Well-written, Arcadian Nights will be difficult to put down' New York Journal of Books

'A rare book that brings new life to well-covered material, and is essential reading for mythology fans' Foreword Reviews

'Spurling's passion and enthusiasm and the best of Greek myth shine through' Julia Jenkins, Pages of Julia

'It has the sensual prose that makes the reader purr with delight & is surely destined to be one of the books of the year' Daily Mail

'Seamlessly interweaving personal and historical perspectives, discussing the people and events of prior ages as if they all led inexorably to the world of today... Arcadian Nights is good fun' Historical Novels Review

'The Greek myths are dusted off from old college readers like Edith Hamilton's Mythology and given new life in this fantastic collection... Well-written, Arcadian Nights will be difficult to put down' New York Journal of Books

John Spurling

About John Spurling

John Spurling is the author of the novels The Ragged End, After Zenda and A Book of Liszts. He is a prolific playwright, whose plays have been performed on television, radio and stage, including at the National Theatre. Spurling is a frequent reviewer and was for twelve years the art critic of the New Statesman. He lives in London and Arcadia, Greece, and is married to the biographer Hilary Spurling.

Titles by John Spurling
Other titles by John Spurling

Arcadian Nights

Arcadian Nights
Stories from the Greek Myths
John Spurling
Price: £
19.99
  • Hardback
Published: 
24 Sep 2015
ISBN: 
9780715650479
Pages: 
320
Genre: 
  • Non-Fiction
Available from:

Superhero characters such as Heracles and Perseus and legendary monsters like the Minotaur and Medusa underlie so much of modern storytelling in Western art, literature, drama and music. The classic Greek myths in which they appear, are  violent stories of murder, power, revenge, love and traumatic family relationships. Ancient in origin they may be, but they are right up to date in terms of in their portrayal of human character, temperament and emotion.

Taking as his starting point many of the famous tourist sites in the Peloponnese, where the stories took place, 'master of historical fiction' (Kirkus) John Spurling freshly imagines key narratives from the Greek canon including tales of the doomed house of Atreus (notably Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks at Troy, murdered by his wife in his palace bathroom),of the god Apollo, Theseus scourge of the minotaur, the Twelve Labours of Heracles and Perseus rescuer of Andromeda.

Inspired by the great poets and playwrights -from Homer to Euripides- this exemplary recounting for a new generation of readers young and old tells us much about human archetypes and the Greek people at the heart of Europe's economic crisis in a lively and contemporary style.

Reviews

'A brilliant, riveting book that leaves its competitors behind, blinking into the distance' TLS

'An excitingly fresh take on the myths, gods and heroes of ancient Greece' The Lady

'This book shines... seamlessly interweaving personal and historical perspectives... Arcadian Nights is good fun' Historical Novels Review

'Classicists and non-classicists alike will love Arcadian Nights... a great book' Oxford Today

'In Spurling's hands myths intersect, intermingle, cross-fertilise, and emerge as unabashedly confident chronicles with their own unique traditions and personalities' Mika Provata-Carlone, Bookanista

'Lively and spellbinding... Spurling is a first-rate storyteller and this collection should delight everyone from the scholar of Greek myths to one reading them for the first time' We Love This Book

'The Greek myths are dusted off from old college readers like Edith Hamilton's Mythology and given new life in this fantastic collection... Well-written, Arcadian Nights will be difficult to put down' New York Journal of Books

'A rare book that brings new life to well-covered material, and is essential reading for mythology fans' Foreword Reviews

'Spurling's passion and enthusiasm and the best of Greek myth shine through' Julia Jenkins, Pages of Julia

'It has the sensual prose that makes the reader purr with delight & is surely destined to be one of the books of the year' Daily Mail

'Seamlessly interweaving personal and historical perspectives, discussing the people and events of prior ages as if they all led inexorably to the world of today... Arcadian Nights is good fun' Historical Novels Review

'The Greek myths are dusted off from old college readers like Edith Hamilton's Mythology and given new life in this fantastic collection... Well-written, Arcadian Nights will be difficult to put down' New York Journal of Books

John Spurling

About John Spurling

John Spurling is the author of the novels The Ragged End, After Zenda and A Book of Liszts. He is a prolific playwright, whose plays have been performed on television, radio and stage, including at the National Theatre. Spurling is a frequent reviewer and was for twelve years the art critic of the New Statesman. He lives in London and Arcadia, Greece, and is married to the biographer Hilary Spurling.

Titles by John Spurling
Other titles by John Spurling