David Nelson's Reviews > The Rage of Achilles

The Rage of Achilles by Terence Hawkins
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's review
Mar 11, 2010

really liked it
Read in February, 2010

Even if I were previously unacquainted with Hawkins's work, I'd be hot to recommend his first novel,The Rage of Achilles--a quick, antic, and faithful retelling of the Iliad. While The Rage of Achilles retains many of the Iliad's strengths--especially its epic scope--it offers a great deal more visceral coherence than the original, translating the ancient--and somewhat sterile--motivations (a stolen bride, a poor distribution of spoils, complicated intra-Achaeans politics, etc.) into their real bleeding, sweating, cursing, stinking human motivations. Further, Hawkins has expanded on the Iliad's genius by widening the social breadth of the narrative, which here embrace nobles, commoners, and slaves, not just men and gods.

Enthusiastically recommended to readers who like sex and fighting (of which there is much; if there are functionally literate teens in your life who have fallen under the misapprehension that the Iliad sucks, consider placing this not-even-remotely-work-or-child-safe book in their grubby, hormonal hands).
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