The Greatest "Troy" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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  1. 1. The Odyssey by Homer

    This epic poem follows the Greek hero Odysseus on his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. Along the way, he encounters many obstacles including mythical creatures, divine beings, and natural disasters. Meanwhile, back in Ithaca, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus fend off suitors vying for Penelope's hand in marriage, believing Odysseus to be dead. The story concludes with Odysseus's return, his slaughter of the suitors, and his reunion with his family.

    The 29th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Iliad by Homer

    This epic poem focuses on the final weeks of the Trojan War, a conflict between the city of Troy and the Greek city-states. The story explores themes of war, honor, wrath, and divine intervention, with a particular focus on the Greek hero Achilles, whose anger and refusal to fight have devastating consequences. The narrative also delves into the lives of the gods, their relationships with humans, and their influence on the course of events.

    The 38th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Aeneid by Virgil

    This epic poem tells the story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travels to Italy, where he becomes the ancestor of the Romans. It includes a series of prophecies about Rome's future and the deeds of heroic individuals, and is divided into two sections, the first illustrating the hero's journey and the second detailing the wars and battles that ensue as Aeneas attempts to establish a new home in Italy. The narrative is deeply imbued with themes of duty, fate, and divine intervention.

    The 75th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Ajax by Sophocles

    "Ajax" is a classic Greek tragedy that revolves around the character of Ajax, a heroic warrior in the Trojan War who falls into a state of madness and despair when he is passed over for the honor of inheriting the armor of the fallen hero, Achilles. In his fury, Ajax slaughters a flock of sheep, believing them to be his comrades. When he regains his sanity and realizes what he has done, he is filled with shame and ultimately takes his own life. The play explores themes of honor, pride, and the tragic consequences of unchecked rage.

    The 584th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Trojan Women by Euripides

    "Trojan Women" is a tragic play set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, focusing on the fate of the women of Troy. The story follows the mother of Hector, Hecuba, and her daughter-in-law, Andromache, as they grapple with the loss of their city and loved ones. They, along with other women, are destined to become slaves to the victorious Greeks. The narrative explores themes of war, suffering, and the resilience of women in the face of adversity.

    The 717th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

    The novel is a reimagining of the ancient Greek epic of the Trojan War, told from the perspective of Patroclus, an exiled young prince who becomes the beloved companion of Achilles, the greatest warrior of his age. Their deep bond and affection for one another transform into a powerful love that defies the expectations of their society and the will of the gods. As they grow into men, their fates become increasingly intertwined with the legendary conflict at Troy, where honor, sacrifice, and destiny culminate in a poignant and tragic conclusion. The story explores themes of heroism, glory, and the humanizing effects of love against the backdrop of war and the capricious whims of immortals.

    The 2121st Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Cassandra by Christa Wolf

    The novel is a retelling of the Trojan War from the perspective of Cassandra, the doomed prophetess and daughter of Priam, the king of Troy. Through her eyes, we experience the final days of the legendary city and her own tragic fate. The narrative delves into themes of power, feminism, and the role of women in history and myth, as Cassandra reflects on her life, her prophetic gift that was both a blessing and a curse, and the events leading up to the city's downfall. Her internal monologue provides a poignant and introspective examination of human nature, war, and the often-unheard voices of women in the shadow of great historical narratives.

    The 2839th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

    Set in the Midwest shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the book follows a young woman named Tassie Keltjin as she navigates her way through college life and a new job as a nanny for a sophisticated and mysterious couple who have adopted a mixed-race child. The story delves into themes of love, loss, and the complexities of racial identity, as Tassie becomes more entangled in the family's life and secrets, ultimately experiencing a tragic loss that changes her perspective on life.

    The 3666th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Hecuba by Euripides

    The tragedy centers on the sorrow and vengeance of a queen who has lost her city, her husband, and her children to war. After the fall of Troy, she becomes a slave to the Greeks and faces the ultimate horror of witnessing the sacrifice of her daughter and the brutal murder of her last surviving son. Her grief transforms into a dark quest for retribution, leading her to take justice into her own hands, which raises profound questions about morality and the limits of human suffering.

    The 4169th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Andromache by Euripides

    The play centers on the plight of Andromache, a Trojan widow and the former wife of Hector, who is now a slave to the Greek conqueror Neoptolemus. She struggles to protect her son from the murderous intentions of Neoptolemus' new wife, Hermione, and her father, Menelaus. Andromache seeks sanctuary at the shrine of Thetis, as she confronts the harsh realities of her reduced status and the political machinations of her enemies. The play examines themes of power, revenge, and the fates of women in a world ravaged by war, ultimately leading to an intervention by the god Peleus, which prevents further bloodshed and resolves the immediate conflict.

    The 4169th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Tiger At The Gates by Jean Giraudoux

    "Tiger at the Gates" is a play that presents a pacifist perspective on the Trojan War, focusing on the character of Hector, a Trojan military leader who foresees the destruction that war with Greece will bring. Despite his efforts to avoid conflict through diplomacy and reason, he is met with ridicule and pressure from his fellow Trojans, who are eager for battle and glory. The narrative explores themes of fate, individual versus collective responsibility, and the tragic consequences of war, as Hector's attempts to maintain peace ultimately fail, leading to the inevitable fall of Troy.

    The 5302nd Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Legs by William Kennedy

    "Legs" is a fictional biography of the notorious gangster Jack 'Legs' Diamond, set in the Prohibition era. The narrative, told from the perspective of Marcus Gorman, a lawyer and friend to Diamond, explores the gangster's life, his criminal activities, his relationships, and his untimely death. The book provides a vivid portrayal of the Jazz Age, offering a deep exploration of the criminal underworld of that time.

    The 5838th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. Andromache by Jean Racine

    The play is a tragic drama set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, focusing on the fate of Andromache, the widow of the Trojan hero Hector, who is now a captive of Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles. Pyrrhus is torn between his obsessive love for Andromache, who remains faithful to the memory of her slain husband, and his betrothal to Hermione, the daughter of the Spartan king Menelaus. The play explores themes of love, duty, and vengeance as Andromache struggles to protect her son, the last heir of the Trojan line, amidst the dangerous political machinations of the Greek victors, leading to a series of tragic events fueled by jealousy, pride, and the inescapable grip of fate.

    The 6978th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. Helen by Euripides

    The play is a unique twist on the story of Helen of Troy, presenting an alternate version where Helen never actually went to Troy but was instead whisked away to Egypt by the gods while a phantom took her place, leading to the infamous Trojan War. In Egypt, the real Helen waits for her husband, Menelaus, to find her, while fending off the advances of the Egyptian king who desires her. When Menelaus finally arrives, he and Helen must concoct a plan to escape together, challenging the audience's perception of the myths surrounding Helen's beauty and the war fought in her name.

    The 7191st Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. Achilles by Elizabeth Cook

    This lyrical novel reimagines the life of the legendary Greek hero Achilles, focusing on his deep bond with Patroclus and his fateful role in the Trojan War. The narrative delves into themes of love, fate, and the human condition, exploring Achilles' journey from his divine origins to his mortal end. The book interweaves myth with a poetic sensibility, offering a fresh perspective on an ancient tale that highlights the timeless nature of human emotions and the inescapable pull of destiny.

    The 8394th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

    The novel is a retelling of the Trojan War from the perspective of Briseis, a queen turned slave to the legendary Achilles. It explores the brutal realities and hardships endured by women during wartime, often silenced in traditional narratives. The book delves into themes of power, survival, and the female experience in a male-dominated world, offering a fresh, feminist perspective on a classic tale.

    The 9830th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. War Music by Christopher Logue

    "War Music" is a modernist adaptation of Homer's "Iliad," retelling the epic tale of the Trojan War in contemporary language. The narrative focuses on the final weeks of the ten-year war, highlighting the intense conflict between the Greek hero Achilles and the Trojan prince Hector. The book features vivid and imaginative descriptions of battles, and the characters are portrayed with psychological depth, making the ancient story accessible and engaging for modern readers.

    The 10686th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download