The vibrant retelling of the central Greek myths by acclaimed novelist John Spurling, author of The Ten Thousand Things, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The classical Greek intellectual tradition pervades nearly every aspect of our modern Western civilization. Our logic and science, our philosophy, politics, literature, architecture, and art are all indebted to the ancient inhabitants of the small mountainous Mediterranean country. And the powerful myths of the Greeks, refined by Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, and the great Greek dramatists, still resonate at the core of our culture. Taking as his starting point many of the famous tourist sites in the Peloponnese, where the stories are set, John Spurling, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, freshly imagines key narratives from the Greek canon, including tales of the doomed house of Atreus (notably Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks at Troy, murdered by his wife in his palace bathroom); of the god Apollo; goddess Athene; Theseus, scourge of the Minotaur; the Twelve Labors of Heracles; and Perseus, rescuer of Andromeda.
In this vibrant, gripping and often grisly retelling of the Greek myths, stories of murder, power, revenge, love, and traumatic family relationships are made new again for our time with wit and relish by a gifted author. Spurling has added scene, dialogue, and context, while always staying true to the spirit of the original myth.
John Spurling is the author of The Ten Thousand Things, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott Prize. His other novels include The Ragged End, After Zenda and A Book of Liszts. He is a prolific playwright, whose plays have been performed on television, radio and stage, including at the National Theatre. Spurling is a frequent reviewer and was for twelve years the art critic of the New Statesman. He lives in London and Arcadia, Greece, and is married to the biographer Hilary Spurling.