"In Arcadian Days: Gods, Women, and Men From Greek Myths, John Spurling retells the single and shared stories of five pairs of males and females. Mr. Spurling, an English author and playwright, has introduced substantial passages of dialogue, a narrative choice that has the effect of adding slow-building dread and pathos.”
– Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
"The novelist and playwright retells five Greek myths focused on male-female pairs, including Odysseus and Penelope, Oedipus and Antigone, and Prometheus and Pandora.”
– The New York Times
"In this last, Spurling unexpectedly makes Odysseus a first-person narrator, allowing the reader to be privy to the hero’s thoughts. This shift in perspective proves breathtakingly successful in creating suspense, especially in the penultimate scene when a tattered beggar, mocked by Penelope’s boorish suitors, picks up Odysseus’s bow and checks to be sure that it is still sound."
– Michael Dirda, Washington Post
Praise for John Spurling’s Arcadian Nights:
"Arcadian Nights is a brilliant, riveting book that leaves its competitors behind, blinking into the distance, as surely as Theseus left Ariadne.”
– The Times Literary Supplement
"Classicists and non-classicists alike will love Arcadian Nights. A great book."
– Oxford Today
"This book shines. Seamlessly interweaves personal and historical perspectives. Arcadian Nights is good fun."
– Historical Novels Review
"The Greek myths are dusted off from old college readers like Edith Hamilton's Mythology and given new life in this fantastic collection... Well-written, Arcadian Nights will be difficult to put down."
– New York Journal of Books
"Spurling is trying to do for a new century what Edith Hamilton did when she published Mythology in 1942, and what others—from Ovid to Bulfinch and Robert Graves—have also done. His best moments come when he connects these ancient stories with their settings. Spurling is in good company in reimagining these enduring tales. ”
– Washington Independent Review of Books
"John Spurling in his Arcadian tales has done for Greek mythology what Neil Gaiman did for Norse mythology"
– Hannah Lynn, author of Athena's Child