Ransom by David Malouf
(For review from Pantheon - Knopf - Doubleday)
Ransom delves into the story of Trojans from a different perspective. Achilles the great warrior and Hector, son of Priam, Prince of Troy were locked in a grave battle in which Achilles was the eventual winner. Denying Hector the right of proper burial, Achilles ties Hector's body to his chariot and drags it across the plain in the horrified sight of his family and countryman. Not only once but for 11 days in succession.
David Malouf takes up the story of old, King Priam from this point. He is grief stricken and unable to function. But, he is given a vision from the gods that allows Priam to come up with a plan to "ransom" Hector's body from Achilles. Not as a King but as a man and a father, Priam embarks on a journey with a common carter and two little mules, into the mighty sea of Greek warriors assembled by the great King Agememnon. How will the story unfold? Will Achilles yield easily or was there more to this story? What of the lowly carter, is his story finished?
David Malouf is a very gifted, Australian writer. This is his first novel in ten years and it was highly anticipated and definitely lived up to it's hype. The story of the Trojan war and the great warriors Achilles and Hector have been immortalized in many ways but the story to my knowledge has never been told from this perspective. I found it refreshing and interesting. The character of Priam in my opinion had been overlooked before, but Malouf's gift for prose has brought Priam to life.
I loved the way Malouf was able to relate the plan for the 'ransom' of Hector's body back to the experiences of Priam when he was a young boy, in this war torn country. I think that many people who have scene the movie, Troy with Brad Pitt were probably under the assumption that Priam only had two sons, Hector and Paris. Malouf, relates the story in a very different way and we the readers are able to see how much it cost, Priam to go to Achilles.
I loved this novel very much and highly recommend it to my readers!
Ransom is available now from your favorite bookseller.
I give this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!