7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Interesting & Compelling Retelling of a Classic Myth,
This review is from: Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus (Myths) (Hardcover)
`Where Three Roads Meet' is one of the Canongate Myth series a series in which modern authors take classic myths from around the world and retell them in their own way. With this novel Salley Vickers gives us the retelling of `Oedipus' the Greek legend of a man who killed his father and then married and had children with his mother, though its not quite as simple as that but I wouldn't want to take all the fun out of the plot if you haven't yet heard the tale. This myth was then used by Sigmund Freud who came up with the now famous `Oedipus Complex'. What Salley Vickers does, and its no easy task, is manage to combine the myth with the last days in Freud's life.
I had no real prior knowledge of Freud's life and so to discover that he had cancer of the mouth and the last years of his life with all the operations and horrendous pain (for it was the 1930's and medicine was not so advanced). Vickers uses this time when he was on a lot of morphine for a strange visitor to appear to him one day, almost frightening the life out of him, to tell him a tale of a place where three roads meet and a story Freud knows well but not from someone who might just have been there. With a novel like this you do need to be able to suspend your belief and go along with the tale but then if you are reading a myth in the first place that shouldn't be a problem.
What adds to the book is how the two narrators discuss the tale and all the questions it brings up of sexuality, the role of women and many of Freud's own ideas and theories. I found it all quite fascinating. I also like the way that the characters looked at words and how they originated in small asides during the tale. I enjoyed this book and I think if you are interested in the myths and love language then you will too. If you are a fan of Vickers work then don't go into it thinking it will be anything like `Miss Garnett's Angel' as the style and prose are all completely different, yet it still has that wonderful story telling quality.