11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
skewed perspectives, beautifully crafted,
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This review is from: The Lost Books of the Odyssey (Paperback)
Zachary Mason's "Lost Books of the Odyssey" is beautifully presented, outside and in.
I didn't read the tales in order. Someone else reviewing them bemoaned the brevity of so many of the pieces, but I loved the clean, stripped sharpness of each episode. The author preserved just enough of the feel of formula and epithet of epic without labouring those characteristics. In any case, to do so might have dulled the originality of the collection, or made it seem merely some sort of pastiche.
In taking away some of the elements the ancients valued, Mr Mason adds dimensions of personality. Greek heroes are often uninteresting in their one-dimensional consistency, but Odysseus here is complex and ambiguous and (!) likeable.
I'm sure all keen readers go through spells when they read just because it's what they do, but long for a book that enraptures and engages and requires a real effort of will power to put down so that there will still be some of its joys to enjoy later. They do come along every now and again.
This is most certainly one of them.
It's not the Odyssey, nor does it try to be, but it's a tribute and an ornament to its inspiration.