The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth
A Novel (Unsworth, Barry)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

“Troy meant one thing only to the men gathered here, as it did to their commanders. Troy was a dream of wealth; and if the wind continued the dream would crumble.”

As the harsh wind holds the Greek fleet trapped in the straits at Aulis, frustration and political impotence turn into a desire for the blood of a young and innocent woman – blood that will appease the gods and allow the troops to set sail. And when Iphigeneia, Agamemnon’s beloved daughter, is brought to the coast under false pretences, and when a knife is fashioned out of the finest and most precious of materials, it looks as if the ships will soon be on their way. But can a father really go to these lengths to secure political victory, and can a daughter willingly give up her life for the worldly ambitions of her father?

Throwing off the heroic values we expect of them, Barry Unsworth’s mythic characters embrace the political ethos of the twenty-first century and speak in words we recognize as our own. The blowhard Odysseus warns the men to not “marginalize” Agamemnon and to “strike while the bronze is hot.” High-sounding principles clash with private motives, and dark comedy ensues. Here is a novel that stands the world on its head.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Barry Unsworth

See more books from this Author
Barry Unsworth (1930-2012), who won the Booker Prize for Sacred Hunger, was a Booker Prize finalist for Morality Play and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for The Ruby in Her Navel.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Nan A. Talese. 353 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Songs of the Kings

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth Hamish Hamilton £16.99, pp256 This is a novel about the power of stories to shape destiny, so it is fitting that Unsworth pursues this theme in the context of the founding story of the Western canon, The Iliad.

Oct 06 2002 | Read Full Review of The Songs of the Kings: A Nov...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth 245pp, Hamish Hamilton, £16.99 Myths exist to be continually remade.

Aug 31 2002 | Read Full Review of The Songs of the Kings: A Nov...

Reader Rating for The Songs of the Kings
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 26 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×