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A Thousand Ships (2019)

por Natalie Haynes

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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1,5984911,176 (4.07)118
Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

An NPR Best Book of the Year

"Gorgeous.... With her trademark passion, wit, and fierce feminism, Natalie Haynes gives much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War."??Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, a gorgeous retelling of the Trojan War from the perspectives of the many women involved in its causes and consequences??for fans of Madeline Miller.

This is the women's war, just as much as it is the men's. They have waited long enough for their turn . . .

This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all . . .

In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.

From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war.

A woman's epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world's great tale ever told… (mais)

Adicionado recentemente porjmcwilliams, biblioteca privada, LLonaVahine, Addisones10, RoXXieSiXX, FatimaElf, virtuoso2199, Milonyyy, kennyoller
  1. 10
    Circe por Madeline Miller (jonathankws)
  2. 10
    The Iliad por Homer (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: The Trojan War told from the point of view of the women who were only background in Homer's story.
  3. 00
    The Silence of the Girls por Pat Barker (bjappleg8)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 47 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
3.5 stars ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
I have an affinity for Greek mythology that started with a single college course and a much-respected English professor and then finished as content I taught for 15 years as a high school English teacher. So I’m thrilled at any chance I get to slip back into the dramatic world of the Grecian gods and their puppeteered mortals, making this month’s book club pick a treat.

A Thousand Ships is the story of the shadowed and silenced women of the Trojan War. The mythos of Troy is a tapestry, and it’s through the women’s interconnected stories—stories we know in isolation—that when woven together create a full, albeit bloodied and tattered, picture. Each chapter is a thread of a story from one of the women’s perspective: a Grecian, a Trojan, or one of the deities with the Caliope chapters acting as the chorus, summarizing and narrating and commentating. While the title alludes to Helen, she’s barely a side character here, and although referenced and making brief appearances, I love that she’s not center stage. Instead, the arc of the novel follows women like Briseis, Chryseis, Oenone, Clytemnestra, and Andromache (these are all my favorite stories).

While I loved that the book focuses on the silenced women, I was disappointed in the Penelope chapters because she remains resigned to Odysseus’ adventures. Instead of recounting life on Ithaca through her perspective, she retells through these letters, stories and legends she’s heard through the bard—about Odysseus. It’s essentially the Cliff Notes version of The Odyssey. I wanted Penelope to come out of Odysseus’s shadow, but, to me, she remained silent.

“This is the women’s war, just as much as it is the men’s, and the poet will look upon their pain — the pain of the women who have always been relegated to the edges of the story, victims of men, survivors of men, slaves of men — and he will tell it, or he will tell nothing at all. They have waited long enough for their turn” (176). ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 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. ( )
  XavierDragnesi | Mar 31, 2024 |
I just finished this and have taken a look at a bunch of reviews, and I find myself agreeing with a lot of the negative reviews in content, if not in energy. For me this is a true three out of five, two would be too little and four would be too much.

I think this novel suffers from the classic issue of too much and not enough. For me there are just too many characters, points of view, and varying tone and quality of prose for this kind of story. It might just be my personal taste, but the hybrid epic and modern historical fiction struggles to convey the emotion, depth, and connection with the characters, ultimately being more like zoomed out epics, rather than the captivating and intimate character studies of historical fiction. I think a novel with a focus on Briseis and Chryseis would be incredible and found their chapters far and above the quality of everything else. This could have been a while series of novels focusing on the viewpoints show here and including the one Haynes actually left out that is mentioned in the afterword. Otherwise, committing to these perspectives as short stories and making this an anthology might have been more effective. I just think giving these women and their stories a chance to actually breathe and have context would be amazing. Penthesilea being given the in depth and backstory treatment of Jocasta would be incredible!

I don't mean to get so nitty gritty with this, but I think Haynes is a great writer whose knowledge and passion for this period and its characters (historical, mythological, and fictional) that has a few moments to shine here, but is incandescent in The Children of Jocasta. This being a much more focused story and emotional journey of primarily one character is so powerful and really plays to Haynes' strengths as a writer. In contrast having so much here diluted everything from the characterisation to the emotional weight and impact of the events.

I'm being so critical because I did like this book. Until recently, I have been on a painfully long DNF streak and there was never a moment I considered DNFing and would still recommend this with some caveats and generally say read The Children of Jocasta instead if you're only doing one. The book is entertaining and informative, I just think the split focus and engagement after about halfway in did leave me a little bored and zoning in and out.

Folx seem real divided on the Calliope chapters. Personally, I really enjoyed them and could have even had more perspectives of the gods (in a more focused version, as is this book cannot have any more perspectives!).

There seems to be some real contention and hostility around the 'untold women's stories' element, which seems wild to me. Yes, contemporary and modern tellings of this story have included and/ or focused on the perspective of some of these women. No, it absolutely has not been anywhere near as much as the men. This seems to be some real gender bias going on here with a skewed perspective because some examples do exists, though absolutely not proportionally. I also think it's worth pointing out that publishing and marketing are a nightmare and decisions are made and narratives pushed that don't necessarily come from the author or that they can even do much about. This whole thing seems like a nothing burger and a case of 'being fine with it, just don't shove it down our throats'. Grow up.

There are some kinda cringy aspects that detract from the stories of these women and the feminism of it all. There are a few remarks characters make about other women that are said without context (beyond upset) that are some real internalised misogyny and deflecting animosity at the men on the innocent women -- this is absolutely a thing that happens, but I would have thought there would be some discussion or reflection on it in a book like this, but they just pass without comment and really clanged for me.

Others have mentioned the Penelope chapters largely being just her letters to her husband, discussing his exploits and kinda passively aggressively venting her frustrations. Acknowledging the misogyny inherent in this term, it kinda comes across as nagging. I say this because she has absolutely legitimate reasons for all of her negative emotions, but having them only expressed in this manner robs her of a lot of expression and extrapolation of her feelings. It it had to be epistolary, a diary could have been more effective so she could be more free, but I genuinely think seeing her go about her life, interacting with people, and following her inner monologue would have been so much better. One weird thing some people seem hung up on is her knowing what he's been up to because of the lag in communication...the whole story is literally being told by a bard who is being inspired by a muse and Penelope literally mentions the bars multiple times in her letters. That is consistent with the logic of the story. Get out of here with your Cinema Sins BS.

Although it has been shown to lack robustness and context, the Bechdel Test does give us something to at least ponder about femme characters. Obviously, the war, their families, and those acting against them are men and need to be discussed to an extent. I do think the lack of time and inner monologue for the characters does lend itself to seeming like they spend their time on the page talking or thinking about mascs. This is only really a problem as they aren't given time to breathe and explore their experiences more, but I do think it is an unfortunate result of this approach.

Look, I feel like I've said so much negative stuff, but it's truly because I largely enjoyed this book and have a huge amount of respect for Haynes and her work, so my extremely neurodivergent brain has spooled out about my luke warm response to this book. I still want to read the rest of her work and, as I said before, in light of everything discussed here, I still do recommend this book with a bit of a heads up.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author, which is something I am definitely partial to. There's something about their words coming out of their mouth that makes author narrations special. I will say that Haynes is a competent, if not top tier, narrator and the performance seems to improve over the course of the novel, especially in emotional moments. ( )
  RatGrrrl | Dec 20, 2023 |
A book that sets out to record the experience of the various Trojan women at the fall of their city. It's a mixed bag: it starts with the wife of Aeneas, and although I vaguely remembered some details about him, I didn't know what happened to her. That one has a rather abrupt ending. Then various other women are switched between, with some scenes of the survivors on the beach, waiting for the Greeks to get round to awarding them as prizes. In between, there is a narrative from Penelope's viewpoint, in an epistolary structure, and the viewpoint of Calliope, muse of epic poetry, who is rather irritated by the requests of poets.

The book stuck very much to the traditional stories of the women as I already knew them and didn't really add much. There was the interesting idea of a friendship between Briseis and Chryseis, the former giving the latter herbs to stupefy Agamemnon and therefore spare Chryseis his attentions. But after Chryseis is ransomed, although she worries beforehand about the punishment her stern father will dish out for wandering out of the city and being captured, that narrative is ended and we never see the interaction between the two, or find out what happened to her at the fall of Troy. In the legend, she and her father don't necessarily live in Troy - at least, some other adaptations have taken that line - so that would have been a new aspect to explore.

It was an overall OK read, but not an exceptional one, and I would award it 3 stars. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
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Her excellent reputation will never be lost;
the gods will create a song to delight mortals
about clever Penelope.
So unlike my wife, who did awful things...

Agamemnon, Odyssey Book 24.196-199
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For Keziah, of course
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Sing, Muse, he says, and the edge in his voice makes it clear that this is not a request.
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Because really, how many cannibalistic giants can one Greek plausibly meet as he sails the open seas? Even I, expert in your ability to create trouble, think one set is probably sufficient for your story.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

An NPR Best Book of the Year

"Gorgeous.... With her trademark passion, wit, and fierce feminism, Natalie Haynes gives much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War."??Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, a gorgeous retelling of the Trojan War from the perspectives of the many women involved in its causes and consequences??for fans of Madeline Miller.

This is the women's war, just as much as it is the men's. They have waited long enough for their turn . . .

This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all . . .

In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.

From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war.

A woman's epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world's great tale ever told

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