Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Helen of Troy Paperback – May 29, 2007
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Unlike her past novels "Helen of Troy" feels more like a story and less like a total life history of the narrator. Not that this is bad, but even though some scenes are included this book has very little of Helen's early life or later life, focusing mainly on the war of Troy. Some of the mythological info on Helen's early life, such as her abduction by Theseus, is even left out of this novel, which acts to give it a more normal feel and make Helen an unusual, but not extraordinary woman of her time. Thus it is more of a story novel, and a bit unlike her past works.
When I read earlier this year "The Memoirs of Helen of Troy" by Amanda Elyot I said that Helen was a poor choice of narrator for her own life story. Ms. George proved me wrong in this. While Ms. Elyot's Helen was conceited and selfish, Helen in Ms. George's book is a normal woman of the time-and for all that she's beautiful, she may not be the most beautiful woman in the world. There is even doubt in this novel as to Zeus being her real father. Thus as a narrator, Helen does a great job of bringing the tragedy and beauty of Troy to life. She's a real person that it's pretty easy to identify with.
I also liked how Ms. George handled the Greek gods in this book. They were real, but elusive, changeable and not understandable by humans. They could be terribly mean and see it as kindness and acting to placate them was a large part of daily life. Ms.Read more ›
One of the problems with this book is that Helen is not a very likeable character. George tries to portray Helen as a strong woman, which she is, but she's also an incredibly selfish person who rejected her family, abandoned her daughter and her duties as queen, and caused a great many people to die...all because she was lusting over Paris. It's hard to come to terms with all that, even though George does her best to gloss over those rather huge portions in the story. As a result, the pacing of the book is rather tedious in places, and failed to capture my attention like "The Autobiography of King Henry VIII" and "Memoirs of Cleopatra." Still, George is a great storyteller, and as someone who is very interested in mythology, I enjoyed reading this new take on a classic tale. "Helen of Troy" is a worthwhile read, but I definitely prefer George's earlier works.
Helen never feels quite as "real" as George's Cleopatra, or her Henry VIII (though it was often less than pleasant to be inside Henry's head). I can't blame the author for this. Cleopatra and Henry lived lives that have been well-documented by history. With Helen, no one is sure whether she ever existed at all, and the myths that tell her story say little about who she might have been as a person. I think George did a great job using what was available to her, piecing together disparate strands of myth, drawing from what is historically known about how people lived in that period, and making Helen and her loved ones as three-dimensional as possible. I especially thought the development of Helen's relationships with Menelaus and Paris was realistic.
I also liked the treatment of the gods. For most events, George offers both a divine explanation and a mundane one. The reader is left to decide what to believe. One exception was Laocoon's death, which would be hard to explain without divine intervention!
What I wanted to see, and never did see, was a confrontation between Helen and Paris about the "most beautiful woman in the world" issue. Early in the book, Helen refuses to marry any suitor who utters that phrase. Later, Paris recounts to Helen his encounter with the three goddesses, but doesn't tell her what Aphrodite promised him. At the end of that scene, Helen reflects that she had yet to find out what he had been promised. I thought George was foreshadowing an eventual revelation, and I was waiting for the storm that would break when Helen realized Paris had chosen "the most beautiful woman in the world." That scene never came.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, great author. I have read all of her books twice. If you are looking to immerse yourself in a long novel, I highly recommendPublished 27 days ago by slashst
Wonderfully contrived novel. Feels like real history not to mention seriously romantic.Published 3 months ago by cheryl harp
Enjoyed the "new" telling of an old story. Lots of details.Published 3 months ago by Deborah C. Cartee
Good Read, really easy to get into...definitely stayed up a few late nights because I had to know what happened!!Published 4 months ago by BluMoon77