The Fall of Troy

Peter Ackroyd

Nominated for The Prix Medicis 2008

The Fall of Troy

‘Archaeology is not a science,’ Obermann says. ‘It is an art.’ Obermann is very good at the art of archaeology. Obsessive and intuitive, he is a romantic visionary. Ackroyd brings Troy electrifyingly to life in this dazzling work which, like the ancient epics so loved by Obermann, is in part accurate and in part fantastic. It tells stories about the deaths of heroes; stories that blur the boundaries between truth and fiction, stories of mistakes, human folly and the temptation to cover up.

‘However you read The Fall of Troy – as a love story and mystery told in Homeric style, or as a deeper meditation on the relationship between reality and imagination – Ackroyd the novelist re-emerges triumphantly.’ The Times

‘It is Peter Ackroyd’s remarkable achievement, in this complex and fascinating novel, to take a figure who was already a legend in his own lifetime, and recreate him as a creature of myth. Provoking, unsettling, ingenious – and a delight to read.’ Barry Unsworth, The Guardian

‘This is Ackroyd’s most exuberant novel for years.’ Daily Mail

‘Engaging, disturbing, intellectually complex.’ The New York Times Book Review

‘Engaging . . . sly, witty. . . . [A] novel that meditates on literature and idealism and the uses and misuses of both.’ Los Angeles Times

‘The Fall of Troy is a clever variation on the story of the excavation of the city in the 1850s.…There is another layer, however, to this tale of fakes, falsehood and deception. For Ackroyd is playing throughout his novel with the status of his own narrative as a work of fiction…there are unsettling surprises as the story dances between pure Ackroyd and the fantasies of Schliemann, and a treacherous middle-ground in between.…Peter Ackroyd’s invention trumps even Schliemann’s mendacity.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘[Ackroyd’s] evocation of the landscape, the weather and the conditions of the Hissarlik dig are brilliant, and his minor characters…are deftly brought to life. Above all, he manages to suggest, in a book which is less slight than it may appear, that men who meddle with the gods do so at their peril.’ Sunday Telegraph


  • Chatto & Windus UK
  • Nan A Talese USA
  • Meulenhoff NL
  • Diigisi Greece
  • Editions Philippe Rey France
  • Yapi Kredi Turkey
  • Record Brazil
  • Teorema Portugal
  • Edhasa World Spanish
  • Media Serbia
  • Olga Morozova Russia

Material: finished copies (215pp)