Richard Matturro, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1079-6
It takes a certain hubris to rewrite Homer, but Matturro, a classical and Shakespearean scholar, brings a new and refreshing perspective to his retelling of the Trojan War. This first novel is not merely a translation of the Iliad , but a restructuring and simplification of the events that began with the flight of Helen to the great walled city with her lover, Paris (in this version, she decamps willingly). Going against the classical grain, Matturro takes us directly inside the minds of the legendary heroes involved in the nine-year siege of Troy. For example, Agamemnon voluntarily sacrifices his beloved daughter to appease the gods--not because the other generals refuse to sail without him, but, rather, to insure his own place in history. Odysseus, who conceives the final treachery of the sneak attack via the Trojan Horse, is a manipulative and most unlikable man. Helen, ultimate femme fatale, is portayed as a slender, athletic woman who finds beauty a burden and would have preferred to have been born a man. Some parts of the legend are missing, and much is changed, but Troy offers insights on the first and greatest Western epic. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
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