Ransom: A Novel
Title: Ransom: A Novel
Author: David Malouf
A tale of suffering, sorrow, and redemption, “Ransom” is a retelling 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.”
In his first novel in more than a decade, David Malouf—arguably Australia’s greatest living writer—gives us a stirring reimagination of one of the most famous passages in all of literature: Achilles’ rageful slaughter and desecration of Hector, and Priam’s attempt to ransom his son’s body in Homer’s The Iliad.
A moving 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 woeful Priam, whose son Hector killed Patroclus and was in turn savaged by Achilles. Each man’s grief must confront the other’s for surcease and resolution: a resolution more compelling to both than the demands of war. For when the wizened father and the vicious murderer of his son meet, “the past and present blend, enemies exchange places, hatred turns to understanding, youth pities age mourning youth.”
Ransom is a tour de force, incandescent in its delicate and powerful lyricism and its unstated imperative that we imagine our lives in the glow of fellow feeling.
Quote from Alberto Manguel’s review in The Australian. Please see Reviews.