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The Walled Orchard (The Walled Orchard #1-2)

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  208 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
'Witty, ironic ... and achieves a deeply felt authenticity' NEW YORK TIMES
Paperback, 608 pages
Published April 5th 2001 by Abacus (first published 1990)
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The Dante Club by Matthew PearlThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaPossession by A.S. ByattArthur & George by Julian BarnesThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Authors in Historical Fiction
56th out of 153 books — 70 voters
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/r/PrintSF Recommends Fantasy Novels
80th out of 102 books — 34 voters


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Community Reviews

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Rich
May 25, 2015 Rich rated it it was amazing
Of one of K. J. Parker's stories I observed that it is about the problems caused by both love and war, and in fact that theme runs through a number of his stories, including most obviously the Engineer Trilogy. And that theme is utterly central to The Walled Orchard, which I consider Tom Holt's masterpiece, both in the correct sense (the work that proved his ability as a master craftsman), and in the more common contemporary sense: his best and deepest story. K. J. Parker is of course Tom Holt, ...more
Liviu
May 30, 2010 Liviu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream, read_2010
Finding out absolutely by chance about the historical fiction of the comic fantasist Thomas Holt - the author extra in Blonde Bombshell is very intriguing and made me explore his website - I just got all 5 and will read them in-between sff

Walled Orchard (originally in two volumes, but I read the omnibus) is another superb one after Meadowland featuring the same trademark matter of fact style and dark irony; Athens in its Golden Age and the disaster of the Sicilian Expedition

Historical sf at its
...more
Susan Price
Mar 18, 2012 Susan Price rated it it was amazing
I love Tom Holt's fantasies, but this historical novel is one of the best I've ever read. Its analysis of the 'democracy' of ancient Athens is a comment on our own times, and it's scathingly funny. Also eerie. Just wonderful.
Matthew Cooper
Feb 07, 2014 Matthew Cooper rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books. A perfect mix of comedy and pathos with an anti-hero who I can relate to. Eupolis is a comedy playwright who seems to be confounded at every turn by vicissitudes of fate which lead him into a number of tragic situations. Despite his bad luck he retains his positive attitude. Through this character we learn so much about the human desire for success, the futility of war, the idiocy of politics and more. It is also a really easy read, and that is a compliment. Everything ...more
Rebester
Feb 05, 2012 Rebester rated it really liked it
I may be biased because I love Greek History, but this is definitely one of the most interesting Tom Holt books I've ever read. The main characters are incredibly real, gritty, and immensely entertaining. And it has one of the best final lines I've ever read. I really enjoyed it - and there's a high probability of re-reading in the future which shows a deep favourite. I had no idea Tom Holt wrote books like this, and I am deeply impressed also by the level of research, and ironic analysis of sai ...more
Batsap
Dec 21, 2012 Batsap rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, favorites
I don't know much about the Ancient Greeks and have never had any particular interest in learning more about them, but I loved this book. It was so compellingly written that I often found it easy to forget that I was reading fiction and felt as though I was reading an actual memoir. The character Eupolis and his supporting cast felt well-rounded and real. I especially loved Phaedra, she was funny and sweet and sad and exasperating all at the same time.
The book starts out being just a humorous s
...more
Anthony Addis
Nov 12, 2015 Anthony Addis rated it really liked it
This is a great historical novel. Funny and gritty all at the same time. I could definitely see KJ Parker's style in there, particularly in the battle and other action scenes.
Patrick Bättig
Feb 25, 2015 Patrick Bättig rated it really liked it
Geschichte eines Komödienschreibers im alten Athen und seine Hassliebe zu seiner Stadt
Chris Northern
May 16, 2013 Chris Northern rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction based in ancient Athens. A bit of a departure from Tom Holt's excellent novels of mythical humour.

Not that this book is without some smiles but the humour tends more toward dark irony. Well worth the read.
Milan
Jul 03, 2013 Milan rated it it was amazing
I usually never write reviews...but this book made me do it...wonderful mix of historical character and comedy..really enjoyed..should give a try atleast once
Kiakiagp14
May 10, 2013 Kiakiagp14 rated it really liked it
interesting style, describing history on a humorous take of a contemporary participant.
MB (What she read)
War is hell. Even legendary war.

This is a sequel to Goatsong.
Ron
Feb 28, 2009 Ron rated it really liked it
very funny
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Tom Holt (Thomas Charles Louis Holt; born September 13, 1961) is a British novelist.
He was born in London, the son of novelist Hazel Holt, and was educated at Westminster School, Wadham College, Oxford, and The College of Law, London.
Holt's works include mythopoeic novels which parody or take as their theme various aspects of mythology, history or literature and develop them in new and often humor
...more
More about Tom Holt...

Other Books in the Series

The Walled Orchard (2 books)
  • Goatsong: A Novel of Ancient Athens (The Walled Orchard #1)
  • The Walled Orchard (The Walled Orchard #2)

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