Wednesday, August 19, 2009


David Malouf's book, Ransom, retells part of the Iliad. Achilles has killed Hector and Hector's father, Priam, king of Troy decides to approach Achilles man-to-man and plead for his son's body in order to give him a proper burial. The book tells the story of this journey and the meeting of the two men.

The book has been described as 'lyrical', and I found it really pleasurable to read. The writing appears effortless and flows so well. I reached the end of the book struck by the beauty and tragedy of the story, having seen so much in such a short, simple picture.

I have never read the classics, as such, but feel inspired to try. We went to see 'Antigone' last year and it had a similar feeling about it. Life, death, betrayal, heroism presented with a certain transparency and urgency. Reactions are visceral and powerful, love is forceful and the gods involved as participants in the drama of life and kingdoms.

This book is definitely worth reading.

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