It’s Monday, What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted over at Book Journey. I thought I’d join in with this meme as a way to be more consistent with my posting schedule, the idea is to post regularly. As I treat this blog as a book journal I thought it might be nice to have this kind of information documented.
Ransom by David Malouf
A reimagination of one of the most famous stories in all of literature-Achilles’s slaughter and desecration of Hector, and Priam’s attempt to ransom his son’s body in Homer’s The Iliad – Ransom is the first novel in more than a decade from David Malouf, arguably Australia’s greatest living writer.
A novel of suffering, sorrow, and redemption, Ransom tells the story of the relationship between two grieving men at war: fierce Achilles, who has lost his beloved Patroclus in the siege of Troy; and Priam, king of Troy, whose son Hector killed Patroclus and was in turn savaged by Achilles. Each man’s grief demands a confrontation with the other’s if it is to be resolved: a resolution more compelling to both than the demands of war. And when the aged father and the murderer of his son meet, “the past and present blend, enemies exchange places, hatred turns to understanding, youth pities age mourning youth.” (The Australian)
Ransom is a tour de force, incandescent in its delicate and powerful lyricism and in its unstated imperative to imagine our lives in light of fellow feeling.
Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives by Daisy Hay
Young Romantics tells the story of the interlinked lives of the young English Romantic poets from an entirely fresh perspective–celebrating their extreme youth and outsize yearning for friendship as well as their individuality and political radicalism. The book focuses on the network of writers and readers who gathered around Percy Bysshe Shelley and the campaigning journalist Leigh Hunt. They included Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, as well as a host of fascinating lesser-known figures: Mary Shelley’s stepsister and Byron’s mistress, Claire Clairmont; Hunt’s botanist sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kent; the musician Vincent Novello; the painters Benjamin Haydon and Joseph Severn; and writers such as Charles and Mary Lamb, Thomas Love Peacock, and William Hazlitt. They were characterized by talent, idealism, and youthful ardor, and these qualities shaped and informed their politically oppositional stances. “In firm, clear, often elegant prose, [Daisy Hay] narrates the main events in the lives of her subjects from 1813, when they began to coalesce around Hunt in London, till 1822″ (Ben Downing, “The New York Times Book Review”).
Young Romantics is an enthralling tale of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and friendship played out against a backdrop of political turbulence and intense literary creativity. “Hay’s account of the passionate and messy lives of her Romantics is vivid, picturesque, and finely told” (Richard Eder, “The Boston Globe”)
Check out my reading stats from last week thanks to Literally.
What Are You Reading?