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The Green Man [Paperback]

Henry Treece
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere Books (1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0610557521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0610557521
  • ASIN: B0000CO6QZ
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,385,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Matter of Britain 12 Oct 2009
By Hectare
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Published posthumously in 1966, this was Treece's finest exploration of aspects of the 'Matter of Britain' (as other later writers have since called such themes), despite much of the action talking place oustide of Albion. It is a stand alone adult novel that he didn't rework for children as with so many of his other historical recreations.

He was always fascinated by what he termed the 'crossroads of history', times of momentous change taking place either through invasion or the assimilation of new cultures and peoples. The Green man reworks the Hamlet story and sets it in its original time, the 6th century CE. Amleth, as our 'hero' is called, makes his physical, spiritual and dynastic journey to meet his destiny in a turbulent and violent era. On the way, he encounters an aged but still very dangerous 'King' Arthur, and a terrifying, piratical Beowulf, neither of whom conform to the normal depictions we are used to. The action is bloody, the characters strong and vivid, the prose is vigorous and poetic as one would expect given Treece's former years working as a poet.

This edition was issued on a Science Fiction imprint, with a suitably racy cover (for its year), but really it is a retelling of our history as it might have been, with a clear sense of myth and ancient beliefs. It is such a pity that none of Treece's novels or volumes of poetry are now in print. Rediscover an overlooked master.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet as you've never seen him 21 Sep 2009
By Selene
Format:Hardcover
Treece takes the tale "Amleth's Vengeance" from the 12th century "Gesta Danorum" of Saxo Grammaticus, and weaves in mythic elements of ritual kingship to create a dark, compelling story of bitter sibling rivalry, lust, murder and vengeance. Set in 6th century Jutland (modern Denmark), this is a very different version of the tragedy made famous by Shakespeare's play "Hamlet". Moving between Jutland, Arthur's Britain, and Scotland, this savage, unforgettable drama leaves few of its protagonists still standing by the time it reaches its blood-soaked finale. Treece writes with a deftly cynical irony which at times gives the story an air of black comedy, very much in keeping with the original. There's an unexpected twist at the end, based on the adage that "the meek shall inherit the Earth".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To kill, or not to kill... 30 Sep 2009
By J.K. Currie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
There is something rotten in Sixth Century Jutland, where prince Amleth cannot make up his mind how to deal with the murderers of his father. This terrific novel guest-stars a rough and ready Arthur of Britain, a brutal and sneering warlord, ineffective against the Saxon invaders, as well as a shrewd but untrustworthy Beowulf, both a far cry from their heroic stereotypes. A superb novel in every way - a cynical, darkly comic and violent tour-de-force.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREEN MAN 8 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This novel transports you back in time. Treece's language is convincing. Treece takes you there without the mawkish romance of many contemporary historical writers. On finishing it, I closed my eyes and wept a silent tear for the "Green Man". A ripping yarn in itself as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet as you've never seen him 22 Sep 2009
By Selene - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Treece takes the tale "Amleth's Vengeance" from the 12th century "Gesta Danorum" of Saxo Grammaticus, and weaves in mythic elements of ritual kingship to create a dark, compelling story of bitter sibling rivalry, lust, murder and vengeance. Set in 6th century Jutland (modern Denmark), this is a very different version of the tragedy made famous by Shakespeare's play "Hamlet". Moving between Jutland, Arthurian Britain, and Scotland, this savage, unforgettable drama leaves few of its protagonists still standing by the time it reaches its blood-soaked finale. Treece writes with a deftly cynical irony which at times gives the story an air of black comedy, very much in keeping with the original. There's an unexpected twist at the end, based on the adage that "the meek shall inherit the Earth".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet meets Beowulf and King Arthur. Blood must flow. 22 Aug 2013
By Antonius Tio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Treece writes a sardonic, literary, and action filled story of Hamlet.
If you are attempting to write or love good writing, Treece must be experienced for both. From his artful preface to the descriptions throughout, this is a neglected master craftsman who never picked the easy, popular subjects. His prose is crude, bawdy, lusty, and full of stark realities experienced by those who lived close to the elements.
It is a simple matter of historic juxtaposition to have Denmark's Amleth story fleshed out in his travels. He meets two other giants of the time and Treece reveals darkness we never suspected. Though grounded in the literary and historical roots we know, Beowulf and Arthur have nasty sides to their personalities which fit their violent period. Most of us always suspected the nastiness done in Shakespeare falls short of the "real" story. If you visit Hamlet's castle in Denmark, take note of the sanitary station which sends waste directly to the moat. I leave it to your research in The green Man to find out what or who Amleth feeds to the hogs in the dry moat.
Enjoy. Laugh. Watch where you step.
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