Ransom

Ransom From the wells of Troy King Priam watches the body of his son Hector being dragged behind Achilles chariot in the Greek camp Maddened by grief at the death of his friend Patroclus Achilles refuse

  • Title: Ransom
  • Author: David Malouf
  • ISBN: 9781741669657
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the wells of Troy, King Priam watches the body of his son, Hector, being dragged behind Achilles chariot in the Greek camp Maddened by grief at the death of his friend, Patroclus, Achilles refuses to give up Hector s body, but King Priam is convinced there must be a way of reclaiming the body of pitting compromise against heroics, new ways against old, and of forcFrom the wells of Troy, King Priam watches the body of his son, Hector, being dragged behind Achilles chariot in the Greek camp Maddened by grief at the death of his friend, Patroclus, Achilles refuses to give up Hector s body, but King Priam is convinced there must be a way of reclaiming the body of pitting compromise against heroics, new ways against old, and of forcing the hand of fate Dressed simply and in a cart pulled by a mule, he sets off to speak to Achilles man to man and as a father

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    1 thought on “Ransom”

    1. 5★How could I give less to such an inventive interpretation of an old tale in such a beautifully written book?I was ignorant of the story of the siege of Troy (well, I’d heard of it, but didn’t know much else), and I’ve never read The Iliad (for shame!). Greeks vs Trojans. That story.No matter. If you’re as ignorant as I, you will still enjoy a re-telling of this part of by one of Australia’s best authors, David Malouf. This is a story with dreams and gods, but with very human hopes [...]

    2. 3.5 tbhthis is a retelling/elaboration/extrapolation of books 22-24 of the iliad by homer. at first, i thought it was so difficult to read. the writing was eloquent to the point where the words just seemed to swim on the page and i couldn't make sense of any of it. but eventually, i got accustomed to the writing and began to appreciate how impeccably malouf conveys the exact notion he wants to convey. he's a talented writer, although i do think he could be more succinct in many places. the way h [...]

    3. This is one of the best works of fiction I've read for a long time. Outstanding.Malouf has centred his story on the journey of Priam from embattled Troy to Achilles' tent to ransom his dead son Hector after eleven unbearable days watching Achilles drag Hector's dead body behind his chariot. Mutilated every day, the corpse is made whole again over night by the gods, pushing Achilles into further rage and outrage.Whereas the Iliad is a story of deeds and actions, this is a story of inner turmoil, [...]

    4. “We are mortals, not gods. We die. Death is in our nature. Without that fee paid in advance, the world does not come to us” (p. 184).David Malouf in Ransom (2009) re-tells Homer’s story of Priam’s ransom of the body of his son Hector from Achilles. While the Classical world focussed on the role of fate in the lives of Kings and heroes; Malouf writes of the dual role of fate and chance. The re-telling is thus addressed to us, who have forgotten perhaps both the role of fate and that of ch [...]

    5. Just brilliant!Enjoyed very sentence.There are lots of good reviews on this book.All I can add is that even though it is quite ashort book it was totally absorbing and justcouldn't put it down!

    6. I’ve never liked Achilles but the more times I read The Iliad and related material, the more I’ve come to appreciate the difficulties he faced. Do you act in the world and risk failure or the betrayal of everything you hold true? Or do you – in effect – keep your head down and hope the gods take no notice of you? (I can’t buy into the Bronze Age warrior ethic of Homer nor its modern equivalent but I can understand that fear of acting, and in that sense I have a deep sympathy for Achill [...]

    7. Έχουν γραφτεί πολλά μυθιστορήματα που βασίζονται σε διάφορα κομμάτια της Ιλιάδας ή της Οδύσσειας του Ομήρου, τα περισσότερα με μια καινούργια και διαφορετική ματιά στα γεγονότα των δυο αυτών επικών έργων. Ένα από αυτά τα μυθιστορήματα είναι και το συγκεκριμένο του Ντέιβι [...]

    8. Malouf has created a masterpiece study on loss. Focusing on King Priam of Troy and Achilles victory over Priam's eldest son, Hector, Malouf never mentions the origins of the Trojan War. Paris and Helen of Troy have no place in this story. This is a story about fatherhood, the meaning of it, and the loss of a child seen through not only the eyes of Priam and his Queen, Hecuba, but also through the eyes of a commoner, Somax, who is called upon to drive Priam to Achilles' camp in an attempt to rans [...]

    9. A beautiful story that is both simple and complex. Malouf takes a portion of a well-known ancient Greek tale and fleshes it out in order to address what is basic about humanity: what it means to be mortal, to be a father, to be able to empathize with others, to be a man in the world. It also comments on what leads to that empathy: the vivid, detailed storytelling from someone seemingly simple of things seemingly mundane that ends up leaving you, the listener, the one enriched.

    10. This is without a doubt one of the best books I've read in a while. It was so damned good that I turned around and read it again as soon as I had finished reading it the first time. It doesn't take long to read, at just over 200 pages, but it packs a big wallop. Ransom, published in 2009, is Australian poet and author David Malouf's most recent offering after nearly ten years; and I have to say that it was well worth the wait.Malouf's novel takes as its inspiration a series of events that occur [...]

    11. 3 - 3.5 starsHomer’s _Iliad_ has long been considered one of the cornerstones of western literature and culture and the themes and events it presents have become part of our common language of myth and metaphor. The story and characters have been tackled by numerous writers wishing to comment or expand upon Homer’s model, or provide their own take on its events. In his novel _Ransom_, David Malouf does this as well, though he concentrates on one small, though significant, scene: Priam’s jo [...]

    12. Ransom focuses on the moment in the Iliad when King Priam retrieves his son Hector’s body from Achilles. In twenty years of teaching that part of the epic, I never survived a class without having to wipe away tears. For me, it is the single most revealing moment in literature about what it means to be human. Nothing tops it. To choose that moment for a book’s primary subject! —audacious and, it turns out, wise. As far as plot or story goes, it’s as simple a book as could be. A grieving f [...]

    13. David Malouf's Ransom is an intense and often deeply poetic retelling of books 22-24 of the Iliad that in the epic poem recount King Priam's journey to the Greek military camp to ransom Hector's body from Achilles.I clearly remember reading this episode in Homer's poem in school and being completely moved by it and Malouf's re-imagining didn't fail to provoke in me the same feeling of deep sadness at the encounter of two men equally stunned by a profound and unutterable grief.It's very easy to s [...]

    14. This book recounts the events in the last books of the Iliad in a surprisingly modern way, but it retains the power and elegance of the ancient text. I was impressed by Malouf’s ability to express the humanity of the characters and his enchanting language skills. I really liked how the author seamlessly weaved the tales of an unknown character, Somax, with the famous heroes and gods.While I loved the tender dialogue between Priam and Hecuba, I think that Malouf spent too much time narrating Pr [...]

    15. Gorgeous retelling of the poignant episode in the Iliad of Priam's seeking the body of his son, Hector, from Achilles. The plot device of a simple carter, Somax, who drives Priam to the Greek camp is added. This serves to make Priam a more human, accessible character. Novel explores simple joys, grief, sorrow and emotional pain in all classes of characters and shows these feelings are universal; on a rest stop, the carter reveals his family life and death of his own son while trying to help anot [...]

    16. Ransom by David Malouf is a brilliant re-telling of a pivotal moment in Homer’s Iliad when Priam, the aged king of Troy, journeys to the enemy camp to offer a ransom in exchange for his son’s body. What makes the event so poignant is he has to make the offer to his son’s killer, Achilles. In his skillful and detailed portrayal of Priam, Achilles, Hecuba, and Somax, Malouf performs a masterful task of fleshing out these characters, rendering them as fully rounded human beings. He depicts th [...]

    17. This novel is a new telling of a very small section of Homer's "Iliad," the one where King Priam of Troy infiltrates the camp of Achilles to plead (offer ransom) for the body of his son Hector. This is pretty much all the action of the novel - but Malouf gives an elegiac philosophical grandeur to the scene that is absolutely beautiful. We are now privy to the thoughts of Priam and Achilles, and the complexity of both men - as well as the nuances of their pain and sadnesses - make for compelling [...]

    18. I delved into this book feeling really excited but ended up quite let down. However, I must be perfectly honest and admit that there is a high chance that I only felt that way because of how devoted I am to Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles.I think that it is important to point out that Ransom revolves more around Priam's world rather than Achilles'. This is understandable once you've finished the book and gathered its main theme. Having said that, if you are looking to explore Achilles' pe [...]

    19. Okay, I'm being stingy. This is a lovely book. As one reviewer aptly noted, Malouf bears comparison to the Greek playwrights, especially Euripides, who mined the blank spaces in Homer and created new rich narratives fully respectful of their source. No doubt, this story of fathers brought low and humanized by the mortality of their sons, speaks more to me now than when I was only a son. The ancients, Homer included, don't linger in the humble emotions that modern audiences crave. So that's where [...]

    20. “Often, in the lapse of light in the chamber where he sits nodding, or in a leisure hour beside the fishpond in his garden, one or other of the gods will materialise, jelly-like, out of the radiant vacancy. An old, dreamlike passivity in him that he no longer finds it necessary to resist will dissolve the boundary between what is solid and tangible in the world around him – mulberry leaves afloat on their shadows, the knobbly extrusions on the trunk of a pine – and the weightless medium in [...]

    21. I recently re-read this remarkable novel. The title refers to the treasure that King Priam brings to Achilles to redeem the body of his son, Hector. Achilles has killed Hector in revenge for the death of his beloved companion, Patroclus. In his violent grief and rage, Achilles has violated the rules of war by galloping his horses in front of the walls of Troy, day after day, pulling the body of Hector behind his chariot. This is far more than a re-telling of these scenes from the Iliad. Malouf h [...]

    22. MortalsDavid Malouf, who first visited the classical world near the start of his career with An Imaginary Life (1978), about the poet Ovid, now returns to it with his latest novel Ransom, a retelling of the last book of The Iliad. This short book, its small beautiful pages fitting easily into the hand, is nonetheless vast in scale, fully worthy of its original. Malouf writes as a poet, beginning with Homeric grandeur, but moving towards simple humanity. He strikes the heroic tone early in descri [...]

    23. What a wonderful book! David Malouf is more well-known for his novels than his poetry, but it is as a poet he started his literary life, and a poet he remains, as this gem of a novel shows. The story is based on the section of the Iliad in which Patroclus is killed, Achilles kills Hector and drags his body before the walls of Troy, and ends when Priam reclaims Hector's body from Achilles.This book though, is about human feeling - rage, grief, and love. There is a strong undercurrent in the book [...]

    24. The Price PaidThere are those who love this short novel, and there are those who say ‘Might as well read the Iliad’. Does Malouf add anything to Homer in his ‘re-imagining’ of Iliad Book 24? For anyone who knows the Iliad the opening and theme of Ransom present no problems: Achilles has killed Hector in revenge for his killing Patroclus, Achilles’ closest companion; Achilles causes daily abuse to the corpse of Hector, but each night the gods restore the body. Achilles has had his reven [...]

    25. 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 [...]

    26. This novel is an expansion of the beautiful climactic scene at the end of the Iliad where the Trojan king Priam crosses enemy lines to appeal to the Greek hero Achilles for the body of the Trojan prince Hector. After killing Hector, Achilles makes a serious breach of decorum by dragging the body of Hector behind his chariot rather than allowing the Trojans to perform the proper ceremonial rites for their greatest hero. Priam takes the unprecedented action of going directly to his son's killer to [...]

    27. Ransom is a retelling of part of The Iliad, the part after Achilles kills Hector when Priam, mourning his son’s death and anticipating the brutal conquest of his city, must decide how to reconcile a king’s duty with that of a father’s. Malouf, a prize-winning Australian novelist, does a superb job of recreating the mythic world of the heroes and gods of pre-historic Greece while at the same time humanizing the super-sized men and women of Troy and its besiegers.Priam and an elderly cart ma [...]

    28. Malouf's novel takes as its inspiration a series of events that occur near the end of Homer's The Iliad: the death of Achilles' friend Patrocolus (Book 16), Achilles' killing of Hector (Book 22), the funeral of Patroclus (Book 23), and Priam's late-night visit to Achilles to beg for the return of his son's body (Book 24).This compact novel, with its Homericly noble prose, is surprsingly powerful. It is not the story of the gods and goddesses, but the story of humans and human failings and feelin [...]

    29. Most people fasten on this book as an interesting retelling of the story of the combat of Achilles and Hector and the ransoming of Hector's body by his father King Priam. I was not so crazy about it from that perspective; I prefer Homer and from the point of view of simple narrative, I did not see anything in here that was better than Homer's account in The Iliad. What impressed me about this book was something entirely different, the humanizing, almost the contextualization of a king. We see Pr [...]

    30. Anyone who knows me would know I’d love this book. Homer is the cornerstone of my idea of literature, perhaps of being a person. I’ve long admired the fine Australian writer David Maloof. In the Iliad after Achilles has killed Hector and is desecrating his corpse daily, his father, Priam, loads a wagon with treasure and accompanied only by a herald drives alone into the Greek camp and begs the return of his son’s body for appropriate burial. Achilles is moved to compassion. This is Maloof [...]

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