Warrawong Book Talk

For our meeting in June we discussed Ransom by David Malouf a book suggested by one of the group.The book weaves a story around the lives of Achilles and Hector as found in Homer’s The Iliad.  It is a retelling of the story of Priam, the king of Troy, going to his enemy Achilles to ask for the body of his son Hector so that he is able to give it a proper burial.  We all felt that this was a beautifully written book. In this story Priam sheds his kingly identity and takes on another to acheive his objective. He was the centre of his world but on this journey, dressed in a plain white robe, with a cart full of treasure, and  with Somax at his side we felt he became a new person as he reflected on his life and his relationships with his family. He became more human. We enjoyed their journey together. As for Somax when he returned no one would believe his stories and some of us lked that ending while others did not. There were those in the group who did not like the way Malouf had taken a very small section of the Iliad and woven his own, to some of us unbelievable, story around it. This was the problem we found too with Geraldine Brook’s character of Mr March in the book March.  Ratings for Ransom ranged from 4-7 and the book scored an overall rating of 6.


3 thoughts on “Warrawong Book Talk

  1. How very tiresome it is for important writers like David Malouf to have to endure the fact that a group of amateur readers “did not like the way Malouf had taken a very small section of the Iliad” and made it is own.

    Dearies, read about mythopoetics before you make such judgments, or go back to reading Danielle Steel novels.

  2. I do believe that our group of well educated people should be free to make such a comment. We all believed it to be a beautifully written book but it is not necessary that we all feel the same way about the content of the book.
    Book Group Coordinator

  3. I confess to being a Malouf fan, but I am puzzled by Anthony’s term ‘amateur readers’. What is an amateur reader, someone who doesn’t get paid for reading? That would include at least 90% of us I’m sure! And even David Malouf would go down the gurgler if that chunk of consumer opinions didn’t matter (and that does include book club ‘dearies’).

    If it just takes a high opinion of David Malouf to become a ‘professional’ reader, then there is trouble in paradise!

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