Monday, 11 November 2013

Helen of Troy, by Margaret George

1 star

I love Greek mythology and think the fall of Troy is easily one of the most powerful myths around. Prior to reading this I would never have believed that anyone could tell it in such a way as to make it utterly boring, but sadly Margaret George has proved me wrong.

Telling the story of Helen of Troy, the face that started it all, it's clear that Ms George put in rather a lot of research. It's just a shame that, while remembering to add in details like what sort of cups people might have drunk from, she didn't bring any real storytelling talent to the table. A tale that should have been pulsing with passion, instead I felt nothing. Even during the parts that would normally have me weeping like a bereaved child (the death of Hector, and Priam's pleas for his son's body to be returned) or cursing furiously (anything to do with that shit Achilles) I found it all strangely lacking.

As for Helen, considering this is all told through her eyes, it seems that even though she's the main character she's not much more than an insipid, passive nincompoop, hardly the sort of person that thousands of men would give up their lives and bring ruin to kingdoms over, and the 600 odd-pages in her company were a slow torture.

If you're after something that really brings the story of Troy to life you could do much better - I'd recommend David Gemmell'sTroy series instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment