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The Silence of the Girls

Auteur(s): Pat Barker
Narrateur(s): Kristin Atherton, Michael Fox
Durée: 10 h et 44 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 évaluations)

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Description

Shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award 2018

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, read by Kristin Atherton and Michael Fox.  

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Regeneration and one of our greatest contemporary writers on war comes a reimagining of the most famous conflict in literature - the legendary Trojan War.

The great city of Troy is under siege as Greek heroes Achilles and Agamemnon wage bloody war over a stolen woman. In the Greek camp, another woman is watching and waiting: Briseis. She was a queen of this land until Achilles sacked her city and murdered her husband and sons. Now she is Achilles' concubine: a prize of battle.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women backstage in this war - the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead - all of them voiceless in history. But, though no one knows it yet, they are just 10 weeks away from the death of Achilles and the fall of Troy, an end to this long and bitter conflict. Briseis will see it all - and she will bear witness.

©2018 Pat Barker (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

The female perspective, usually missing

It was interesting to hear a female perspective on the Trojan War told from the voice of Briseis, a former Trojan queen who's city was sacked and became a slave/prize to Achilles.

The story begins with how Briseis rose to become a queen of her city, and talks about life in the palace. When the Greeks invade the shores of Troy, and Briseis is captured after her city is destroyed and her husband and brothers are killed, she is taken as Achilles' prize among the spoils of war. The rest of the story is told through her eyes. Sometimes there are chapters where a male perspective (Achilles) is offered, but that is not the focal point.

After reading the Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller last year, I felt this book was a nice supplement to that one. This re-telling focuses on the plight of women who generally suffer abuses and sexual violence after they are taken prisoner. Some women fare better than others. I thought it was a fresh perspective, often not used in literature and barely mentioned in the classic epic the Illiad.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

A Must-Listen!

I couldn't stop listening to this book! Wow. It was so well written. It was intelligent: you can tell this author knows the story of the Iliad and Trojan War backwards and forwards. The prose was so engrossing, so lyrical. The two narrators were both fantastic. I was imagining everything being described, down to smell of salt and feeling of hot sand. It was chilling and brutal in its matter of fact descriptions of the reality of war and sexual slavery and how we like to put a palatable sheen on HIStory. This book feels like a voice in the wilderness crying out to be heard. It's an ancient story but it reflects our modern times so eerily. The narrative choice to give Briseis an active first person narration and the male characters third person, more passive voice was brilliant. This is not their story, that one has been told before a thousand times. This one belongs to the girls, to the women forgotten in the sands of time.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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A novel for our times

I'm not sure I have the temerity to write a 'review' of Pat Barker's work. She is an 'author-heroine' of mine ever since I read her Regeneration trilogy. But this book is so moving and her heroine so strong a woman that I wanted to add my two cents to the accolades accorded to this story. Briseis is a survivor like so many woman, throughout history and in our world today, have been called to be survivors of patriarchy. Women who are treated as chattel and abused without consequences for the abusers. Briseis keeps her dignity and her compassion as she is so treated and yet does not banish the memories of the cruelties done to her in order to adjust to her new circumstances. There is both hope and sadness in her survival--hope because survival always lets us hope for a better world, and there is sadness, because when we look around us, many women still suffer a similar fate. As always, Barker's language and imagery remain vivid, long after the book is finished.

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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If you love Homer and a female perspective

I loved this book right from the beginning. The only thing I would change would be the amount of times Pat vividly described smells - all totally unappealing. I understood that it was a foul place after the first few descriptions and would have preferred more information on scenery and character appearances.

Either way, the main character is very like-able and I quite enjoyed how she portrayed the realities of what it would have been like to be a female captive in Agamemon's camp. I'm a lover of any portrayal of the Trojan war and this was especially well done!

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
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Ancient Greeks speaking British slang

why would you write a story set in ancient Greece using heavy Britiah slang. I am certain that the ancient Greeks didnt say things like 'bloody hell" and "me mum...". The reader's child voice is shrill and annoying.

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  • A
  • 2019-02-05

too modern of a mindset

I get what the author was trying to do with bringing a newer and feminine perspective to the Trojan War, but I find that it did not work for me. Briseis sounded like a modern person commenting on an ancient world. a world which was much harsher for sure, but everyone who was socialized in that world would not necessarily realize the problems of slavery, and gender rights. especially with the fact that she was okay being sold as a bride and having her own slaves before the fall of her city.

2 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente