Thursday, May 17, 2012

A few weeks ago I read Ransom by David Malouf. Ransom is a retelling of the part of the Trojan war during which Priam travels to the Greek camp to ransom Hector's body. And you know how I love a retelling. 

Malouf's writing style is exactly how I would want mine to be if I ever wrote a novel. I don't know what that says to anyone else, but it's a thought that struck me as I was reading. He brings us into the minds of Achilles and Priam so we gain a new understanding and appreciation for why they act the way they do. I think that it would be a really great companion piece to The Iliad for when kids read it for the first time in school.

The characterization of both Achilles and Priam, as well as some of the other smaller characters, is incredibly developed. The Iliad gives a fair amount of information about Achilles and what he decides, but Malouf gets us inside his head and shows us the desolation and frustration he feels. Malouf also takes us beyond the wall and into Priam's mind and history to understand why an elderly king would shed his noble exterior and venture into enemy camps to plead for his slain son's body. 

I'd certainly recommend this book. I really like Malouf's style and I'm looking forward to reading more of his books.

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