Arcadian Nights: Stories from Greek Myths

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Superhero characters such as Heracles and Perseus and legendary monsters like the Minotaur and Medusa underlie so much of modern storytelling in Western art, literature, drama and music. The classic Greek myths in which they appear, are violent stories of murder, power, revenge, love and traumatic family relationships. Ancient in origin they may be, but they are right up to date in terms of in their portrayal of human character, temperament and emotion. Taking as his starting point many of the famous tourist sites in the Peloponnese, where the stories took place, 'master of historical fiction' (Kirkus) John Spurling, winner of the 2015 Walter Scott prize, 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, Theseus scourge of the minotaur, the Twelve Labours of Heracles and Perseus rescuer of Andromeda. Inspired by the great poets and playwrights -from Homer to Euripides- this exemplary recounting for a new generation of readers young and olds tells us much about human archetypes and the Greek people at the heart of Europe's economic crisis in a lively and contemporary style.