Ransom - David Malouf

After reading a succession of great books, my luck finally ran out with Ransom. Damn.

 

So, I love the story of the Iliad. Haven't actually read the original story, tbh, but nonetheless I am quite fond of the story. So when I discovered Ransom, my hopes were high. Unfortunately I was let down. The problem with Ransom is that it's too long. It takes a rather poignant moment from the original story and tries to expand upon it, but ultimately the expanding takes away from the poignancy. And the scene between Priam and Achilles really is a sad, poignant, beautiful moment. It has been done well, such as in the retelling Song of Achilles. But in Ransom, I feel let down

 

The writing is beautiful at times but most of the time it falls into purple prose territory. And that is what took away most from the story. The purple prose writing detracts rather than adds.

 

There's a lot of focus on Priam's driver Somax. Why? He's really irrelevant and adds nothing to the story.

 

There's a lot of build up in the beginning but when the central moment finally arrives? I felt let down. It was underwhelming.

 

Tl;dr version- Ultimately I feel disappointed and I would not recommend this. I don't regret spending time reading this but it was underwhelming and there are so many other books you could be reading. If you're looking for retellings of the Iliad, I recommend Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which I loved.