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The Songs of the Kings Paperback – 25 Sep 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, 25 Sep 2003
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140260927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140260922
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,445,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Incandescent...One of the three most important British novelists at work today...It is impossible to read [this novel] without feeling an immediacy both unbearable and profound, as if this week's headlines were being incised into the conscience and the heart...Unsworth has combined several versions of the Iphigenia myth to set up an entrancing, frightening mystery." -- Richard Eder "Detail so precise you can almost smell the cook fires...Almost magical capacity for literary time travel." -- Neil Gordon "Elegant, profound, and wonder-provoking...Unsworth's writing is unrivaled, he gets better and better, and his versatility is breathtaking. His novels are close to perfect in an imperfect literary world." -- Ruth Rendell "Intellectually agile, thrillingly stylish...The Songs of the Kings effortlessly proves that modern life is the stuff of ancient myth." "A beautifully measured entertainment given gravity by how accurately it reflects the present political zeal to control the media." "Unsworth's story never falters." "Brilliantly told. This short, sharp tale deserves to be on the shelves of revisionists and purists alike." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Barry Unsworth is the author of many novels, including Pascali's Island, Morality Play, Sacred Hunger and Losing Nelson. He lives in Italy.


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By A Customer on 9 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
In his latest work Barry Unsworth, challenges all the preconceptions that one may have had about the events leading up to the Trojan War. His portrayal of the fragile command of Agammenon is brillant, something nobody has ever touched on before, the vainglorious Achilles, is a perfect representation of the man who went on to sulk, before the walls of Troy becasue hi commander in chief stole his women. Putting a modern twist on this anceint tale is a work of genius, all the spin and manipulation that is so often associated with modern politics, is used here, by Unsworth to great effect. Homeric in his tale telling, a throughly enjoyable read for all. Highly recommnedable.
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By Graham R. Hill VINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Greek myths are still read and referred to today because of the eternal themes contained in them. Unsworth's genius is to retell this myth with gloriously anachronistic dialogue and totally modern modes of thought, but within a specifically bronze age setting. He expertly draws vivid characters from the two Ajaxes inadvertantly inventing the Olympic games to Oddysseus scheming, Iago-like, as much for the fun of it as for the end result. And on top of that he makes one genuinely interested in what will happen at the end of a story that is several thousand years old and with which most readers will be familiar.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Agamemnon's army are waiting for the wind to change so they can sail for Troy. The novel follows Odyseus' s machinations, and Iphigenia's progress to meet her fate in a story that strips away the heroism and glory of the Iliad. If I say it adds a political dimension, that makes it sound dull, which it certainly isn't (it's worth reading for the Ajaxs' double act alone). However Unsworth does suggest what might motivate all those leaders to want to fight the Trojans.
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