With these novels, Pat Barker and Michael Hughes revive the long and fertile tradition of retelling Homer’s great epic poems. The Silence of The Girls and Country deliver new and original recitations of ‘The Iliad’ — the final weeks of the Trojan War — in two different but very satisfying and successful ways.
THE Stray Sod Country is a metaphor, a fable which the characters of Patrick McCabe’s new novel continually fall back on. It describes being lost in what were once reassuring surroundings, being intimidated or deceived by the very things that used to make you feel secure. It is a way of explaining things, “frightening emotions, things like depression or extreme loneliness”.