In his first novel in more than a decade, award-winning author David Malouf reimagines the pivotal narrative of Homer’s Iliad—one of the most famous passages in all of literature.
This is the story of the relationship between two grieving men at war: fierce Achilles, who has lost his beloved Patroclus in the siege of Troy; and woeful Priam, whose son Hector killed Patroclus and was in turn savaged by Achilles. A moving tale of suffering, sorrow, and redemption, Ransom is incandescent in its delicate and powerful lyricism and its unstated imperative that we imagine our lives in the glow of fellow feeling.
In popular culture, Achilles has fared pretty well. Though he came from an age crowded with demigods, he has outlasted his contemporaries to become uniquely prevalent in the modern imagination. Anybody who's been devoted to a sports team knows that a season can be lost to a torn Achilles tendon (so named because Achilles learned archery from a great tutor, and their bows were made from ankle sinew), and anyone who's ever uttered a cliché is familiar with an Achilles heel (derived from the post-Homeric legend that Achilles's mother gripped his foot when she dunked him in the River Styx, thereby leaving it untouched, and unprotected, by the death-defying waters). Today, moreover, if you've ever flourished an emoticon you'll affiliate the Greek warrior with Brad Pitt, all bronzed forearms and gorgeous pout.