Erik Graff's Reviews > The Persian Boy

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
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's review
Jul 21, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: literature
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Recommended for: everyone
Read in January, 1976 — I own a copy , read count: 1

This is the second of Mary Renault's Alexander trilogy. The first, Fire from Heaven, deals with his childhood until the death of the king of Macedon, his father. The third deals with events following upon his death. The Persian Boy details his conquests from the perspective of one of his lovers, a eunuch based on an actual historical personage.

It was at about this time, while in the midst of a Mary Renault binge, that I came upon one of her contemporary novels at a bookstore near Columbia University. It was about lesbians. I was rather shocked. Although I'd read at least six of her novels by this point and although all of them had at least some portrayal of ancient Greek bisexuality, it had never, ever entered my mind that she was gay or pushing the lifestyle. Well, she was and that is probably good for anyone seeking a sympathetic reconstruction of what it may have been like to live in such a culture. It certainly slipped past my homophobic defenses and brought me to a more open-minded attitude.
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message 1: by Mary Ann (new)

Mary Ann This was the first Mary Renault I read so many years ago; I have read and liked all of her works. Actually, as I now recall, the first I read was The Bull from the Sea; I was in grade school!

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