peteg's blog - noise - books - 2009 06 30 Malouf Ransom

David Malouf: Ransom

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The major problem with David Malouf is that I feel I am committing great sins of cliche, repetition and irreverence by even attempting to appraise his work. Could anyone summarise the ambit of this work any better than by calling it "a reimagining of a great scene of the Iliad"? Simply, I cannot.

Somewhat like the obvious reference point earlier in his career, viz An Imaginary Life, the book starts slowly and is fixated on character; the plot provides some opportunity for interaction but the preference is rumination. Scenery is sketched with incredible economy. Part IV makes it all worthwhile.