Troubador Still the Cicadas Sing

Released: 28/02/2015

ISBN: 9781784621650

eISBN: 9781784629519

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Still the Cicadas Sing

A Boy Comes of Age in Nazi Occupied Athens


Alkinoos, an Athenian boy, is growing up in the shadow of Parthenon, in his own innocent world. It is the 1930s and Greece is ruled by the dictator Ioannis Metaxas. In October 1940 Mussolini demands passage of his armies through Greece. Metaxas refuses and Italy declares war. The Greeks are victorious, pushing the Italians back. Seeing his Axis ally Mussolini humiliated, Hitler invades Greece. The dreamy world of Alkinoos turns into one of brutal occupation, of famine and executions. This is a story of the boy’s coming of age, of romance with the enemy, a German girl, a Circe with violet eyes. It is a story of things that are not what they seem to be. Of daring undertakings under the nose of the Gestapo, of Odyssean heroism, wiliness and wisdom… and of eventual tragedy. An ancient Hellenic world of pathos and nobleness revisited and relived. Still the Cicadas Sing is the story of a boy’s spirited survival within a world of darkness and pervading death. It is a literary novel that will take the reader on a fascinating journey in Nazi occupied Athens, blending the history of Greece of that period, a little known chapter of the War, with adolescent love, with passion and intrigue.

Historical Novel Review

This book took my breath away. Moving, honest, and surprisingly full of hope in a devastated landscape, it reads as both a deeply personal story of guilt and atonement, and a fascinating glimpse into a chapter in Greek history and culture that's as desperate as it's inspiring. Tragic and funny by turns, endearing and painfully honest, its hero Alkinoos will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. It reads as an elegy for a childhood and a generation and a country. If you buy one book this year, this should be the one.

by L. Delamere

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish, a really gripping story told in an evocative and colourful way. The novel really immerses you into Greek history, and keeps your interest right to the end with memorable characters and vivid passages. Strongly recommended.

by Amazon Review

Extraordinary, brilliant, a masterpiece. I just couldn't put it down. The story telling is superb, the language virtuoso. It is immensely moving. An illuminating window into life in Nazi-occupied Athens and beyond. I hope the author will write more.

by Amazon Review

As an offspring of Greek Diaspora parents who left Greece after the WW II and the civil war, I found the book a most compelling read. I felt like I was there transported in time,reliving all those historical events my mother narrated to me when I was a child. A wonderfully told story of a boy's coming of age in 1940s Athens.

by Helen Voutsas

As a grecophile, I’m drawn to many books with a Greek theme. I particularly like exploring the history of Greece through a good novel. Gregory Grigoriadis’ writing makes ‘Still the Cicadas Sing’ compelling reading - one of the best I’ve read for a long time - as he tells the coming of age story of Alkinoos, a teenager growing up and surviving the horrors of life in Athens during WWII.
Alkinoos is a thinker, a young philosopher, who explores events, questions the opinions and actions of others as he and his school friends and family mostly survive the starvation and humiliation inflicted on Athens by the Nazis. Eloquently written, it was a joy to read in spite of the unpalatable events so evocatively portrayed.

by Sylvia Cook

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