Malcolm's Reviews > Lavinia

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Oct 16, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: shelf-of-wonders
Read in September, 2008

In breathing life into Lavinia, a character Vergil hardly mentioned in the Aeneid, Le Guin has captured old Rome before it was Rome, old ways of the hearth, old gods of the earth, an old language fallen into dust, and has brought them all together into a powerful and poetic novel.

If you seek the pomp and sound-bite world of today's world, today's Rome, and today's gods you may see this novel variously as flat, dull, and boring. What a pity. It is, I think, Le Guin's best novel and, by far, the best book I've read this year.

Lavinia is not only a love offering to Vergil, as the author says, but an incredible treasure in its own right. Le Guin's understated prose, perfectly in tune with the times and the world she imagines, is a wonderful whisper of out of holy springs of the natural Earth.
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