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Natalie Haynes

Autor(a) de A Thousand Ships

11+ Works 4,385 Membros 141 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Natalie Haynes

Obras por Natalie Haynes

Associated Works

Marple: Twelve New Stories (2022) — Contribuidor — 497 exemplares
The Atheist's Guide to Christmas (2009) — Contribuidor — 356 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Birmingham, England, UK
Cambridge University (Christ's College)



I am in conflict with myself about what I feel for this book. On the one hand, it's good to have a cast of strong women largely taking hold of the action: an updated take on the story of Medusa and Perseus: he comes out of things pretty badly. On the other hand, though I was as a child brought up on the Greek myths and know them pretty well, there was such a cast of characters that I had to keep referring back to the dramatis personae to remind me of who was related to whom. And I wasn't keen on the slightly flippant tone in which the book was told. I also found that the book's habit of jumping from character to character as the story unfolded meant I didn't really get to know or care about any of them. I'd have liked a bit more focus on Medusa herself. She is after all Our Heroine. I like Haynes' re-interpretation of the Medusa myth quite a lot. I'm just not all that keen on the actual telling… (mais)
Margaret09 | 21 outras críticas | Apr 15, 2024 |
I must admit I struggled with this book. As a lover of historical fiction, I'm generally quite open to re-tellings of Greek history, especially when 'history' in this case is quasi-myth, but I felt this book had all the right intentions and great ideas, but was poorly executed.

The main issue I had was the lack of flow throughout the book. While the premise was to show the Trojan War through the eyes of the female characters rather than male, this would have been done a lot better if there was more of a sense of chronology to the way it was told. The constant flitting between different viewpoints and characters meant that the only ones I felt I could truly appreciate and engage with were the Trojan Women. For the others, most of the time you barely spent enough time to understand their position before it was onto the next viewpoint, never to return. This was a shame, because there were very poignant moments in the midst of all the jumping around, which did not get to shine properly due to abrupt transitions and the lack of focus.

I have to say I was also put off somewhat by the unapologetic modern feminist tone that pervades the voices and the perspective of a lot of the characters. While it's obvious that the women's story of the Trojan War is bound to highlight and reinterpret the ways that women would have experienced and reacted to the various situations that they came across, this can be done in a way that does not make every male character seem either guilty, violent or downright despicable. In some places, I felt the perspectives were quite clever and convincing (Andromache's story comes to mind) but more often than not, it felt like the need to push a feminist agenda detracted from the quality of the story telling and, together with the episodic structure, made some of the viewpoints feel emotionally shallow and unimaginative.

A Thousand Ships has quite an ambitious scope and a very interesting premise, and at some points it lives up to that, but overall I feel it falls short of what it set out to achieve.
… (mais)
XavierDragnesi | 46 outras críticas | Mar 31, 2024 |
Extremely accessible account of women in Greek mythology even for one as ignorant on the subject as I. I enjoyed googling the artwork Haynes references as I went along as well. Nice selection for Women's History month.
elifra | 26 outras críticas | Mar 25, 2024 |



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