Achilles by Elizabeth Cook
A Novel

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This powerful, passionate, and beautifully crafted retelling of the epic tale of Achilles re-creates Homer's fated hero in a new and striking reality. Born of the Sea nymph Thetis by the mortal King Peleus, and hidden as a girl until Odysseus discovers him, Achilles becomes the Greeks' greatest warrior at Troy. Into his story comes a cast of fascinating characters—among them, Hector, Helen, Penthiseleia the Amazon Queen, and the centaur Chiron; and finally John Keats, whose writings form the basis of a meditation on the nature of identity and shared experience.

An unforgettable and deeply moving work of fiction, Achilles is also an affirmation of the story's enduring power to reach across centuries and cultures to the core of our imagination.


About Elizabeth Cook

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Elizabeth Cook has published short fiction and poetry as well as scholarly works on Renaissance literature, and has also written and presented for television and the theatre. Formerly a university lecturer, she has edited the works of John Keats. She lives London.
Published February 1, 2003 by Picador. 128 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The closing section—about Keats’s aesthetic-emotional relatedness to antiquity—is quite beautifully done, though it remains more envoi than part of the whole—and even here one’s sense of being in capable poetic hands is shaken by Cook’s curious way elsewhere in the book of resorting to absurdly b...

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The Guardian

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Achilles Elizabeth Cook Methuen £12.99, pp102 This remarkable little book is not a novel although Methuen, foxed by trying to classify it, have it on their fiction list.

Mar 04 2001 | Read Full Review of Achilles: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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With this brilliantly conceived retelling of the plight of one of Homer's heroes, British writer Cook demonstrates the same skill that has made her poetry and examinations of Renaissance literature so wonderfully memorable.

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London Review of Books

In her masterful retelling of the myth – a short, intense account of a short, intense life, closer to being a poem than a novel: if not verse, then at least prose with blood pressure – Elizabeth Cook neatly situates this passage a third of the way through the book, in a space between chapters.

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