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The Song Of Troy [Hardcover]

Colleen McCullough
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 April 1998

The tragic and terrible drama of the war between Greeks and Trojans, the long siege of Troy, and the impact of one woman's beauty on the fate of two nations, is played out again in this dazzling novel based on Homer's Iliad.

Here is the enchanting Helen, who we first meet as a spoiled teenager and whose passion for the handsome, reckless Paris leads to the betrayal of her husband, King Menelaus, and the fall of the House of Troy. Here is powerful King Agamemnon with his terrifyingly ambitious wife Klytemnestra and his soothsaying mistress Kassandra. We meet Odysseus, doomed to wander the Aegean for twenty long years; brave Achilles, who is haunted by the mad shade of his mother; the heroes Hektor and Ajax, and many more.

Chapter by chapter the narrative is handed from one character to another as the long years of siege, bloody battles, love and death unfold and the gods exact their retribution. With extraordinary vividness Colleen McCullough engages our sympathy for each character and gives this ancient saga a contemporary sense of urgency and excitement.

An unputdownable read and the best possible way to introduce a new generation of readers to one of the greatest stories ever told.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens; 1st Edition UK edition (27 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752814133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752814131
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,046,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

The tale of the Trojan War brilliantly retold by the author of THE THORN BIRDS. Does for Greek Mythology what SOPHIES WORLD did for Western philosophy.

About the Author

Colleen McCullough is the author of THE THORN BIRDS, which was published 20 years ago, and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. She has also written a sequence of novels on the life and times of Julius Caesar. She lives in Australia.

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First Sentence
There never was a city like Troy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Troy...The Trojan War...Helen...Paris. These words and names are alive in our culture, yet many of us know relatively little about them and how they fit together. Colleen McCullogh has penned an easily readable and thoroughly enjoyable account of the whole affair...from it's earliest beginnings and background...to it's final conclusion (and beyond )that will enthrall and entertain those totally familiar with it, totally unfamiliar with it and those simply looking for a rousing tale. The characters...and there are many...come alive as they narrate their own chapters, which illuminate the story from many different points of view. If you love action and battle, it's there in glory-ous and gory-ous detail. If you love romance, this timeless romance is one for the ages..yet, new angles on the characters, their temperament and motivations are uncovered that make them quite human and quite modern. I was genuinely sorry to finish this book and, having read "Caesar" from the author's Masters of Rome series in the past, am now highly motivated to read "The First Man in Rome", the first of the series, to begin a new adventure with a true "Master of Fiction", Colleen McCullough.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically written and researched story! 24 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
When I read this book, I was totally mesmerised from page one. It is totally addictive and completely enthralling. McCullough writes with a true understanding of the facts as well as the emotions surrounding the Trojan War. The characters are brilliantly captured especially Achilles - who I fell in love with from the start! This is not a love story at all, as many people mistakenly believe the story of Troy to be. This book is not to be missed.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to love, hard to hate! 20 July 2001
Format:Paperback
I still can't make up my mind whether I absolutely loved or absolutely hated this book, but I have given it four stars because there is no doubt that it is a masterful telling of one of my favourite stories of all time. McCullough certainly sets the scene wonderfully, and the telling of the story through alternating narrators is simply inspired and works like a charm. However, being a tremendous fan of Homer's Iliad, there were things in it that didn't sit quite right with me, and I'm sure I would have liked this book a whole lot more if Homer was not so dear to my heart! Basically, McCullough puts a very plausible and therefore fascinating historical perspective on one of the most enduring Greek Myths - that of the Trojan War - so as you read the book you really get a sense that this is how it could actually have happened, i.e. the war started over trading blockades and not Helen, quite simple explanations for happenings that are usually attributed to the hand of the gods etc. etc. I won't give away her slant on things, but to me I found it a great shame that she neglected to have the interplay between the gods and mortals - surely the crux of Greek Mythology - as a feature in the story at all, and how she completely overhauls some of the greatest moments of the Myth. However, if you can cut yourself off from the traditional tellings of the story, forget the hocus pocus and read it as if reading an account of something that truly happened, there is much to enjoy here. Although I couldn't quite stomach some of the great changes McCullough has made to the essence of an already great tale, her brilliant storytelling more than helps her get away with it and for that reason it should not get less than four stars. Interesting, bold, but somewhat controversial!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I am a grade 10 English and World History teacher in Washington state in the United States. While vacationing in Canada I came across The Song of Troy and knew immediately upon opening the cover that this is a book I can use with students to make the Trojan War alive and human. The emotions and actions of Helen, Paris, Acilles, Agamemnon, and a sly and somewhat sinister Odysseus, are narrrated in first person point of view, and blend historical "knowns" with emotional speculation. A great read!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars trully amazing 8 April 2000
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was years ago that I read (parts) of the 'Iliad' in school. My brother, who studied latin and classic Greek in highschool gave this book to me (to read - I had to give it back). This is an amazing adaptation of the original story, bringing ancient heroes back to life. And having them tell their own story - brilliant !
She brought Heroes back to life, heroes with their small human side and flaws without deminishing their grandure. I've always loved history, and this book shows how the real cause for the Troyan war was economic rather than a kidnapped Helen (though i admitingly like the romantic idea of the latter)
A must read, a must have...
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and epic tale of the battle of Troy 21 Aug 2002
Format:Paperback
I am a devoted Coleen McCullough's reader, and especially the Master of Rome books are my favourite. Thus when I learned about her novel telling the epic history of Illiad I picked it up instantly. It is a very interesting book that I would recommend to anyone, especially given that in the schools they no longer teach Homer to students, and the thorough knowledge of legends and Gods of Ancient Greece can prove valuable. But even if you know the story by heart, you will be enthralled. What I enjoyed most was that I could see the epic struggle of Troy from so many points of view; every chapter has it own protagonist, be it Achilles, Agamemnon, Helen, Priam, Nestor, Odyseus,or so many others. You are allowed the liberty of choosing your own favourite hero/heroine. And besides, the book does not only retell the Illiad. Far from it. The actual war of Troy begins halfway through the story, for first we learn he reasons of Greek attack. In overall, even though I still prefer reading about Marius or Ceasar to Odyseus and Achilles, I truly enjoyed the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another good read.
Published 6 days ago by wales9x2
4.0 out of 5 stars Love history love this
Again a book full of facts, history and action. The story never really slowed down pulling you along through every page and every twist. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Tony R
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not a patch on the Thorn Birds
Published 7 days ago by Barbara Holt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good historical fiction of battle for Troy
Published 8 days ago by Micheal
1.0 out of 5 stars Good for Greek names.
Too many names, not enough development of characters and little chance to develop empathy with any of them.
Published 8 days ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Massively enjoyed this book! A brilliant historical writer and an excellent and compelling storyline. A must read! Read more
Published 10 days ago by Joanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant telling of the old tale
You really don't have to struggle with translations from Greek. The knowledge is all here, and you easily become involved with the characters, the action and the tensions. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Fred Everett
5.0 out of 5 stars New slant on Helen of Troy
I really enjoyed this book for a holiday read. Historically fairly accurate and interestingly thought out giving main characters each a turn as narrator.
Published 28 days ago by James Naismith
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed it
It may not be the Iliad, but if Classics are not your thing, this is good. The story is told by the different protagonists and brings the old tale to life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K and M
5.0 out of 5 stars The Song of Troy
Wonderful book! Love Colleen McCullouch's writing! A book you must read; I promise you will enjoy it! Go for it!
Published 1 month ago by Lindsey Salomon
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