Monday, May 9, 2011
The Lost Books of the Odyssey, by Zachary Mason
I was wary of this book because I had read a review that said it was sort of glib, but I didn't find it to be that at all. The premise is that the author found these lost books of the Odyssey, which are variations on stories from the Iliad and the Odyssey, in no particular order, and in my opinion, it works really well for the first half of the book. There are some interesting, dreamlike variations that deal with fate and storytelling and one or two that reminded me of Stephen Millhauser stories (which is the highest praise I can give something). At around the halfway point Mason loses steam, and some of the stories become repetitive and others seem to not fit as well with the rest. A bunch of stories also sort of felt like descriptions of the game "Mist." In sum, the first half is great, the second half isn't as good.