Arcadian Nights is a brilliant, riveting book that leaves its competitors behind, blinking into the distance, as surely as Theseus left Ariadne.
Spurling uses direct speech and descriptive detail to bring his characters alive in the most extraordinary way. So we are given the gore of the Thyestean banquet and the excitement of Theseus vanquishing the Minotaur and of Heracles' Labours, but we are also emotionally engaged by the heroes' psychological depth.'
Helen Morales, Argyropoulos Professor of Hellenic Studies at the University of California, TLS
In Spurling's hands myths intersect, intermingle, cross-fertilise, and emerge as unabashedly confident chronicles with their own unique traditions and personalities.
In Arcadian Nights, John Spurling revisits many of these crucial Greek myths, bringing them to new life.
From the terrace of his house in Arcadia on the coast of the Peloponnese, Spurling re-imagines the stories of Agamemnon, Theseus, Herakles, Perseus and the god Apollo.
Here also are the Medusa, Medea Phaedra, the Minotaur and the goddess Athene.
Where details of certain stories have been lost to time, he's infused them with his own; where discrepancy and obscurity cloud the narratives, Spurling has added scene, dialogue and context, while always staying true
to the spirit of the original myth.
The result is a vibrant collection of gripping and sometimes grisly stories made fresh again for our time.