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Publisher's Summary

In his first novel in more than a decade, award-winning author David Malouf reimagines the pivotal narrative of Homer's Iliad - one of the most famous passages in all of literature. This is 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. A moving tale of suffering, sorrow, and redemption, Ransom is incandescent in its delicate and powerful lyricism and its unstated imperative that we imagine our lives in the glow of fellow feeling.

©2009 David Malouf (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Ransom

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Ponderous narration, tortured prose

This novel fails at every level to capture the drama of Priam's ransom of the body of his son, Hector, from Achilles as told in Homer's Iliad. The narration is ponderous, heavy and clunky. While Simon Vance has a great deal of talent as a narrator, this was a poor choice for this novel where a more sympathetic, kindly voice would have been a better fit. However, many details of the story told so beautifully and movingly in the Iliad are omitted in this retelling while others are invented. Briseis, who plays a part in these scenes in the Iliad, and who serves as a reminder for the sequence of actions which brings these two men together in the camp of Achilles, makes no appearance here. It is an unfortunate omission. Instead, the muleteer and the mules, who drive the cart carrying the treasure Priam brings to ransom his son and to carry his body back to the citadel of Troy, are elevated to a place of importance. The role of the gods is almost completely omitted.

The only detail which rescues this from a total loss is that the author has included the part of the Iliou Persis where the murderous Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, murders Priam even though Priam has sought refuge at the altar of Zeus. It is a most ironic note to this brief but important scene in the Iliad when two enemies find the courage to hold a short truce which allows them to share a moment of common humanity.

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Enjoyable

An interesting take on a small snippet of the Trojan War. The story was written with a very poetic style, but its repetitive imagery might grate on some people. The narration was magnificent.

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Loved it

I loved the book. Remarkable narrator. Please audible, more recorded books written by David Malouf

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Simply wonderful!

A moving story

Easy to picture and feel the journey into Achilles's camp.
Silvia P.