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EROMENOS: a novel of Antinous and Hadrian

EROMENOS: a novel of Antinous and Hadrian [Kindle Edition]

Melanie McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Eros and Thanatos converge in the story of a glorious youth, an untimely death, and an imperial love affair that gives rise to the last pagan god of antiquity. In this coming-of-age novel set in the second century AD, Antinous of Bithynia, a Greek youth from Asia Minor, recounts his seven-year affair with Hadrian, fourteenth emperor of Rome. In a partnership more intimate than Hadrian’s sanctioned political marriage to Sabina, Antinous captivates the most powerful ruler on earth both in life and after death.

This version of the affair between the emperor and his beloved ephebe vindicates the youth scorned by early Christian church fathers as a “shameless and scandalous boy” and “sordid and loathsome instrument of his master’s lust.” EROMENOS envisions the personal history of the young man who achieved apotheosis as a pagan god of antiquity, whose cult of worship lasted for hundreds of years—far longer than the cult of the emperor Hadrian.

About the Author

Melanie McDonald has an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas. Her work has appeared in New York Stories, Fugue, Indigenous Fiction, and online. She won a 2008 Hawthornden Fellowship in Scotland for Eromenos. She also has pursued the craft of writing in New York, Galway, Paris, and in Italy while at work on this novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983155402
  • Publisher: Seriously Good Books (11 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058W5I20
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #198,805 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Melanie McDonald received a 2008 Hawthornden Fellowship for Eromenos, her debut novel. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas and has worked as a reporter and a freelance writer. Her fiction has appeared in New York Stories, Fugue, Indigenous Fiction and other journals. An Arkansas native whose ancestors were Highland Scots, she now lives in Virginia with her husband, Kevin McDonald, author of Above the Clouds: Managing Risk in the World of Cloud Computing. She spent several months in Italy while at work on Eromenos.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eromenos 23 April 2011
The pleasures of this book begin when you first pick it up. The publishers have chosen a stunningly beautiful cover, very apt if you already know the story of Antinous and Hadrian. The book is written in the first person, and is a fictional autobiography, if there is such a thing, of the beautiful young Bithynian boy who became, first, a favourite of the emperor Hadrian, and then a god. There is very little actually known about Antinous, which gives Melanie McDonald free rein, which she uses well. She sets her story in a reasonably accurate context,using fictional characters who are well rounded and believable. It is important to remember, however, that it is fiction and not history. There is a jarring note however. Antinous is supposed to be 18 or 19 at the time of his death, and the book looks back on his life from the age of about 5. The tone tends towards the clinical, and it is difficult to decide what his real feelings are for Hadrian. Love or duty?
There are three scholarly interpretations of the cause of Antinous' death, accident, murder or suicide. McDonald makes her choice evident from the beginning, but that in no way detracts from the story. This is a beautifully written book, presented beautifully.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars leisurely memoires of an introspective catamite 24 May 2012
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is a good read, sent to me as a review copy. It evokes the atmosphere of the times, portrays the landscape of the golden age of the Roman Empire, and gives life to an interesting and complex character - the most beautiful, male sexual plaything of the Emperor Hadrian. It is beautifully written, at times poetic, with words to savor. It is also spare, almost a novella that can be read in one sitting.

All that being said, even with the tension that exists with the foreknowledge that Roman history buffs would have, the narrative is lacking in the tension and events that make a really good novel. The boy has a voice and a fate, engaged in a kind of power struggle for the love of the most powerful man in the world, at once an object like a slave but also an intelligent youth fully aware of the temporary nature of his situation as a courtier sex toy. It is well done, but not exciting. I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars romantic read 7 Jan 2014
By Ashley
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely intelligent romantic read that encourages some thought and consideration of the relationship between an emperor and a common youth.
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3.0 out of 5 stars May be worth re-reading 17 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not an easy subject to write about as our moral stance has changed. It's well written but perhaps lacks insights into the true situation that people like Antinous found themselves in as well as lacking local colour. I did not get the feel that the perspectives and views expressed were from an adolescent male particularly.
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