Review: Brand New Ancients – Kate Tempest

31 - Brand New Ancients

Rating – 3*

At just 48 pages this is possibly the shortest book I have ever read, or rather listened to. I’ve previously read Hold Your Own, and adored it. The experience of reading that is what pushed this higher up my to read. Because it’s so short, and I’m no expert on poetry, this is a very hard thing to review for me.

Brand New Ancients is a poem in the style of those epics crafted by Homer and Ovid, and listening to it was an absolute joy. The trouble I have had with poetry in the past is finding the rhythm and listening to it took all of that out of the equation, it was read how it was intended to be. It is lyrical, there is beat to it and it as just incredible. Some of it is made to be simply read as written, but so much of it is sung or rapped and it just fits so, so perfectly with the tone of the story.

In a nutshell, the idea of this poem is that the mythical is still present in our modern lives, that gods live within us. It centres around the interconnected lives of about 10 people, and how she makes all of these characters have voices and individuality in a mere 47 pages is simply incredible.

However, for me this just wasn’t as good as Hold Your Own. Don’t get me wrong, it is incredible, it just wasn’t as good. If I had read this, I would probably have only given it 1 or 2 stars, but the simple act of listening to it boosted it considerably. I’d definitely recommend giving this a go because it’s a pretty fantastic hour of listening!

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