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The Talisman of Troy: A Novel Paperback – 15 Oct 2004

2.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (15 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330426532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330426534
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,342,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is professor of classical archaeology at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan. He has published nine works of fiction, including the 'Alexander' trilogy, which has been translated into 24 languages in 38 countries. He has written and hosted documentaries on the ancient world and has written screenplays for cinema and television.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 16 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Having read and enjoyed all of Manfredi’s previous work, I found myself slightly disappointed with this latest offering. To be fair, there is much to enjoy in this book. Manfredi’s writing paints a vivid and compelling picture of the ancient world while his battle scenes are as ferocious and breathless as ever. The problem with this book is simply that it is too short. In trying to describe the fate of the legendary Greek heroes of the Trojan War, Manfredi could easily have filled all of the space used in his excellent Alexander trilogy. Instead, he attempts to tell a long and complicated story in one relatively short volume. Inevitably, the plot becomes extremely complex and while some periods of the story are told in rich detail, others are skimmed over with little more than a cursory explanation. The ending of the book is also extremely abrupt and one is left with the impression that, in writing The Talisman of Troy, Manfredi becomes almost as lost as his hero, Diomedes. If you enjoyed Manfredi’s earlier work then this is worth a look, but let’s hope that a bit more space and better editing will signal a return to form with his next effort.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 25 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover
Manfredi is a prolific author of historical novels, including books written focusing on Alexander the Great, and many books on the Greek heroic age and the heroes written of by Homer and ancient authors.

This book was first published in 1994, and is also published under the title `Heroes'. In it, Manfredi has addressed the tales of the heroes who left Troy after the fall of the city and the death of Paris and Priam. The Trojan War was over, and it remained only for the survivors of Troy to flee with Aeneas, and for the heroes of the Greek and allied armies to return home. But for many of those heroes, the journey home was as arduous as the War had been, and many faced terrible danges on the way, and death on their return.

The book features largely the story of Diomedes, son of Tydeus and King of Argos. On his return home he finds that his queen, Aigialeia is seeking to kill him and his returning warriors for her own purposes and he flees again with his warriors to find safety elsewhere. In the meantime, we read of the tales of Menelaus, reunited with his queen Helen; Agamemnon, who returned home to be betrayes by his wife Clytemnestra; Nestor, who returned home to safety and old age. Over the years the heroes struggled to find sanctuary, many suffering the torments of the gods for their actions at Troy and after. And linked to them all is the talisman of Troy, the tale of a great power that many seek. The lands are racked with unrest, ill omens, invasions by the Sea Peoples. And the next generation seek their own revenge - Electra, Orestes, Pyrrhus.
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By A Customer on 8 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was dissappointed more with this book not only because of its lethargic pace but also because I expected more from the author. Manfredi guides you through the trials of Diomedes. After attempting to build up these trials into what you would hope to be an exciting extavagant climax Manfredi leaves you unsatisfied and a feeling of being cheated out of the ending you feel you deserve. The other side of the story following Menelaus and other Homeric characters is far more interesting and its unfortunate Manfredi didn't base his tale on that.
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Format: Hardcover
An anticlimax to say the least, i have read all of his translated novels, but this is by far the biggest letdown.
The whole book appeared to be leading up to a pivitol moment, and it just never arrives. I cannot put into words what a dissapointing attempt this is. "The Spartan" and the Alexander Trilogy are in my opinion very good, i really enjoyed them. But this, I just thought that it was not good at all. Do not buy this; buy any of his other books, except maybe the "Last Legion".
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Format: Hardcover
Having read Manfredi's other works including the excellent Alexander The Great trilogy I was left rather cold and quite frankly bored by his whole take on the events following the fall of Troy. The plot doesn't flow - indeed there doesn't seem to be one, the action is poorly scripted and the writing doesn't create any empathy or understanding of the central character Diomedes.
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Format: Paperback
While I have read engaging and enlightening historical novels, I would not count this among them, because the author's attempt to infuse the text with pathos in the style of the Illiad and the Odyssey fails to convince.
I had trouble feeling for the hero Diomedes, whose story serves to carry the plot, but elicits hardly any of the emotion which has kept these myths present as the archetypes of drama to this day.
I can't judge the historical relevance of the author's conjecture, but conjecture is not why I take issue with the text: it's simply written by numbers and finishing it was a chore.
The ending felt like an afterthought - rushed, as if the only criterion had been to stay within a page limit.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not as good as his other books that are really good reads. Boring narrative for the Talisman of Troy. Told in the style of the Homeric Heroes. Just goes on and on and on. No substance to the characters.
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