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1873111,005 (4.53)2
Nyligt tilføjet afprivat bibliotek, souci, literarylifelines, richardnewquist, aoife, unwinm, baspal, hootowl1978, Robbie350

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Thank you to Chronicle Books for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I don't adore "Troy" as much as "Mythos" and "Heroes," because the first and second books in the trilogy are so much funnier—the footnotes, in particular.

Fry provides some witty footnotes and asides, but in "Troy," Cassandra provides most of the chuckles. She pops up in so many unlikely places, howling her prophecies in the city, on the beach, on the roads, etc., and being ignored by everyone within earshot in fulfillment of her curse, that the reader wonders: who is tending the temple of Athena?

"Troy" is nevertheless the greatest accomplishment of the trilogy. In "Troy" Stephen Fry writes a ten-year siege and war, and does so with stunning aplomb. Sometimes Fry explains in the footnotes which version of the myths he has chosen, and why. He even pokes fun at the difficulty of the whole enterprise, imploring the reader not to get her Ajaxes and Antigones confused. As with the first two books, the illustrations are terrific, although I will have to wait until the finished version to read the captions; my ARC came without. The Glossary is also invaluable with all of the characters to keep straight, and Fry addresses the question at the end of how much of this is actual history.

Long expositions of sieges and wars bore me to tears, with the exception of some of those written by Bernard Cornwell. I will never make it through "Les Miserables." However, I was enthralled throughout every single paragraph of this retelling. Here is the Trojan War, with the heroes and antiheroes (some of them the same person), the interfering denizens of Mount Olympus. Fry makes sure he goes back far enough in mythology that every major player is fully understood: you know the connection between Heracles and Priam, for instance. In fleshing out these ancient characters, Fry makes it visceral, does not shy away from emotions, and spills rivers of blood. The story of the Trojan Horse alone is so well done that you can smell the sweat.

If anyone is out-writing Madeline Miller at retelling mythology right now, in a time when a lot of authors are throwing their hats into the ring, it is Fry, the undisputed master of the turn of phrase. He may be the greatest raconteur alive today, which shines through in his writing, and his contribution to mythology is sure to endure. Easily the most spectacular thing about this trilogy? Fry reads the audiobooks. ( )
  jillrhudy | Apr 28, 2021 |
Stephen Fry’s Troy builds upon the work he began in his previous two books, Mythos and Heroes, collecting the various elements of Greek mythology, history, archaeology and more to tell the whole story of the Trojan War, beginning with the events that slowly foreshadowed the war in such a way as to make it seem inevitable. Where Homer’s Iliad tells a fraction of the story, Fry intends for his account to inform the modern reader, balancing the various different accounts, choosing those that offer narrative cohesion though making those choices clear in footnotes. He uses somewhat modern dialogue, the better to make the actors understandable to his reader. In fact, when reading this, one cannot help but imagine an exceptional classics or history teacher covering these events over a series of lectures in order to help explain the full scope of the Trojan War to their students.

Fry catalogues the necessary backstory leading up to the Trojan War, pointing out that Homer’s Iliad only begins 10 years into the conflict (on page 184 of Fry’s account) and ends prior to its ends (pg. 251 of Fry’s account). Fry concludes with two appendices. He examines the nature of myth and its relationship to history in the first, while the second looks at Homer and the storytelling tradition surrounding him. Fry describes the difficulty in telling histories of the Heroic Age as a fight between “the need to present a detailed dynastic chronology, filled with consistent relationships, backgrounds and genealogies” and “the need to present the mysteries of a poetical world of myth and miracle whose characteristics and histories should never be expected to travel obediently along the rails of cause and effect” (pg. 336). Following this, Fry discusses the history of written tradition in Greece, Homer’s place in literary history, and subsequent attempts to discover the historical accuracy of his work.

He explains the various relationships of the large cast, both moral and divine, with notes to where he previously covered further details of unrelated stories in Mythos and Heroes. Fry’s work resembles Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology in that he presents a modern retelling of the stories essential to the mythological history of Troy and that he does so in a way that both uses modern vernacular while keeping the quintessential and most quotable elements of the stories intact. In that, Fry contributes to the long tradition of retelling these stories for education and for entertainment. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Mar 5, 2021 |
Fry is the best, honestly. His wit, warmth, and expert storytelling make this book an absolute joy.
5/5, wasn’t expecting anything less. ( )
1 stem tetiana.90 | Dec 2, 2020 |
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