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by David Malouf

David Malouf shines new light on Homer’s Iliad, adding twists and reflections, as well as flashes of earthy humour, to surprise and enchant. In this exquisite gem of a novel, Achilles is maddened by grief at the death of his friend Patroclus. From the walls of Troy, King Priam watches the body of his son, Hector, being dragged behind Achilles’ chariot. There must be a way, he thinks, of reclaiming the body – of pitting compromise against heroics, new ways against the old, and of forcing the hand of fate. Dressed simply and in a cart pulled by a mule, an old man sets off for the Greek camp …

Lyrical, immediate and heartbreaking Malouf’s fable engraves the epic themes of the Trojan war onto a perfect miniature – themes of war and heroics, hubris and humanity, chance and fate, the bonds between soldiers, fathers and sons, all newly burnished and brilliantly recast for our times.

‘This tender novel lingers . . . long and hauntingly’ New York Times Book Review
Ransom, his first novel in 10 years it must be said at once is a masterpiece, exquisitely written, pithy and wise and overwhelmingly moving, constructed with invisible, successful craft that leaves the reader wondering how in the world it had been done. … fiction, in Malouf’s hands, becomes the art of rendering the world coherent. For this we must be grateful.” – Alberto Manguel, Australian Literary Review
“I thought I’d just dip back into Ransom and read a couple of pages. I didn’t get out of there again. The way he caresses you, he just he caresses you and surprises you. It’s still one of the great moments in writing in this country in the last 50 years. There’s a moment in Ransom, where you just sit up and go, ‘God! I can’t.’ I love surprise. I love surprise. And it has one of the great surprises in it.” – David Marr, First Tuesday Book Club

“… lithe, graceful and deeply moving tale … These pages of Ransom are nothing short of magical. Malouf’s prose is delicate, marvellously alert to the natural world and endowed with a quality that has one name only: wisdom. There is something Shakespearean about this section: not the Shakespeare of the great speeches but those quiet moments …when time stands still and the nature of life is mysteriously disclosed.” – Andrew Riemer, The Sydney Morning Herald


01 January, 2009

About David Malouf

David Malouf is the internationally acclaimed author of novels including Ransom, The Great World (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award), Remembering Babylon (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), An Imaginary Life, Conversations at Curlow CreekDream StuffEvery Move You Make and his autobiographical classic 12 Edmondstone Street. His Collected Stories won the 2008 Australia-Asia Literary Award. His latest book is A First Place (2014). In 2008 Malouf was the Scottish Arts' Council Muriel Spark International Fellow. He was born in 1934 and was brought up in Brisbane.

Other books by David Malouf