Sophia Chrysanthis is only sixteen when the German archaeologist Herr Obermann comes wooing: he wants a Greek bride who knows her Homer. Sophia passes his test, and soon she is helping to excavate the amphorae and bronze vessels at the battle site of Troy without damaging them. Obermann is very good at the art of archaeology-perhaps too good at it. The atmosphere at Troy is tense and mysterious. Sophia finds herself increasingly baffled by the past...not only the remote past that Obermann is so keen to share with her in the form of his beloved epics of the Trojan wars, but also his own, recent past-a past that he has chosen to hide from her. But she, too, is very good at the art of archaeology.
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by Peter Ackroyd
by Peter Ackroyd, Geoffrey Chaucer
"Heinrich Schliemann, nineteenth-century archaeologist, dedicated his life to excavating the ancient city of Troy. In Peter Ackroyd's intriguing novel, Schliemann is transformed into the larger-than-life figure of Heinrich Obermann, a man possessed of the same single-minded passion. However, Obermann's scholarship is questionable as he deliberately misinterprets or ignores any evidence disputing his theories. Portrayed from the perspectives of those around him--his Greek wife, Sophie (Schliemann's wife was Sophia), his Russian assistant, and an American archaeologist--Obermann emerges as a man obsessed, whose hubris becomes his undoing. Michael Maloney's performance is credible and his characters well-defined, but, as written, Obermann tends toward enthusiastic shouting. Because the narration and the conversations of others are delivered in normal tones, listening becomes problematic, requiring frequent volume adjustment. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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