November 2, 2009
The story of the sacking of Troy has been told so often you would think there would be nothing new to tell, but it all depends on from whose angle the story is told. In this book, each major character – Paris, Hector, Achilles, Priam, Menelaus, Helen and a whole cast of others – all have a chance to narrate a part of the story from their point of view. As a result, it is impossible to choose your own preferred hero or bad guy. You end up being sympathetic to them all, meaning it‘s well-nigh impossible to choose sides between Argos and Troy.
The most tender love story in this version is not Paris and Helen, but Achilles and Patroclus, his boyhood friend and ultimately his constant companion and lover. Although there is little salacious detail in this tale, the intensity of their love is very obvious, particularly when Patroclus is killed. Suprisingly, his death is the cause of Achilles’ death, and it was not on the battlefield as we have been led to believe.
The book is really a story of the long, tedious and blood-filled 10 years of the war on the plains in front of the city of Troy. I was surprised to read all the many battles, subterfuges, and individuals tales of heroism that comprised the real war of Troy. All we usually hear about is the story of The Horse, and of Achilles‘ tendon. So this story is worth the telling, and worth the reading. Like the movie Titanic, you all know the ending, but the road to the end is quite a tale, with a number of surprising twists thrown in to keep your attention.
October 18, 2009
This is a blog by a reader, for readers. The mini-reviews I will be posting are for the Pajiba.com Cannonball Read challenge, which promotes reading and raises money for the college fund of A.A., a toddler who lost his mom to cancer in 2008. Here are the rules: read 52 books in one year and post 3-5 paragraph reviews on your blog, so game-master Nicole can keep track of your progress. Books can be fiction or non-fiction of 150 pages or more. The contest runs from November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010. For every reader who completes the challenge, Pajiba will donate $$ to A.A.’s trust (the only cost to participants is their time). To get started, email Nicole at nfuscia at gmail dot com, so she knows to add your blog to her list and keep track of your entries.