Though they were originally commissioned as two slim volumes retelling the myths of the Trojan War and its aftermath, Lindsay was so possessed by the power and beauty of these ancient legends that the project developed into two full-length novels, each more than 400 pages long and each written in a what felt like a trance of inspiration in approximately four months. Both novels have been translated into many languages.
The War at Troy was written as thewar in Iraq was unfolding, and gives a powerfully dramatized and startlingly contemporary account of the origins and course of Europe’s first great war, beginning in the archetypal realm of the gods and descending into the hot broil of human passions.
The Return from Troy tells the complex story of the aftermath of the war, focussing on Odysseus as a man traumatized by the slaughter which has been unleashed by his own ingenuity, and who must undergo a mysterious series of initiatory ordeals before he is ready to return home to Ithaca.
“I found The War at Troy a triumph of retelling the ancient story of the siege and its aftermath, a readable and freshened version that keeps one turning the pages.”
“This is all expertly handled, drawing on the best of this classic tale and shaping it into a riveting page-turner well-suited to our times. In fact, some contemporary plots look pallid by comparison.”
(David Shukman, The Daily Mail)
I have just finished The Return from Troy. I was impressed by the first volume. This one is even better – much better. Much of the story was new to me. It is all completely seamless. I’m not surprised you felt emptied after finishing it.
(Keith Sagar, author of Literature and the Crime against Nature)