Ransom by David Malouf (2009)
Found on the Adult Fiction shelves at MALOUF
I am a big fan of The Iliad. It is a miracle and astonishes me every time I read it. Homer’s poetry still begs to be read out loud. That is why Malouf’s book is so startling. He has taken something entirely ancient and beautiful and made it his own, with a poetic prose than humanizes and brings new consciousness to the last book of the Iliad.
This is my second reading. Reading this, I felt I was there, in the tamarisk grove, with my feet in the cool water, eating buckwheat buttermilk pancakes (gluten-free!) and listening to the humble yet gorgeous Somax talking about his daughter-in-law’s cooking technique. And I was Priam, as his curiosity and interest, dead inside protocol and form for so long, was awakened by the simple veracity of his companion.
Malouf speaks to all of us today, and offers a lesson to the leaders of our government to “Try something new”. “ ‘I believe’, he says, ‘that the thing that is needed to cut this knot we are all tied in is something that has never before been done or thought of. Something impossible. Something new.’ ” Yeah, like meeting each other as human being to human being and speaking from what connects us rather than what separates us.
This is a beautiful, human book. I fell in love with Somax and his little Beauty. I am in love with Malouf’s writing. I have no idea what that stupid woman Chimamanda Adiche was talking about on the First Tuesday Book Club when she said this book had no plot. Is she nuts? She has gone way down in my estimation…clueless.
This is lick–the-pages stuff, that speaks to what is so simple and human in all of us and that brings dignity to all of life; love. The Iliad never had it so good.
My rating: 5 out of 5
Reviewed by : Wendy