Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reading List: The Lost Books of the Odyssey

The Lost Books of the Odyssey
by Zachary Mason

So begins a short series on books inspired by the Homeric epics, which have fascinated me for years.  The fact that they are still popular today is a testament to their literary value, first in the complicated drama of the Trojan War and then in the long journey of Odysseus homeward.  Zachary Mason's book is another book that I discovered by sheer chance.  I wish there was as comprehensive reporting on new books as their is for new movies, music, and television.  There are many sources that cover literature, but none that cover more than a few isolated genres extensively, and mostly either from the perspective of what will be most popular among readers or among critics.  That leaves quite a lot that can be completely overlooked by the majority of readers. I realize it's a daunting task, but c'mon, books have been around for a long time now.  I think it's not too much to assume we can figure out how to keep track of them a little better than this.  But the good news is that every now and again, I do have the opportunity to stumble across exactly the books that most intrigue me, the ones that to my mind have the ability to survive the passage of time, just like the Homeric epics.  This time, the inspiration happens to be the same subject.

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