I received a complimentary copy of METAMORPHICA by Zachary Mason from Farrar Straus and Giroux. This novel popped onto my radar while I was searching through Greek mythology titles.
This is my first book by Zachary Mason.
Metamorphica by Zachary Mason
Overview – Spoiler Alert: Low
In the tradition of Zachary Mason’s bestselling first novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey – where he recast episodes from Homer’s masterpiece – Metamorphica now reimagines Ovid’s epic poem of endless transformation, Metamorphoses. Just as the Roman poet reinvigorated the Greek Classical legends 700 years after Homer, so Mason now gives us a radical and exciting renovation of those myths, 2,000 years after Ovid.
It retells the great stories of Narcissus, Orpheus, Persephone, Icarus, Midas, Medea and Actaeon, and strings them together like the stars in constellations – with even Ovid himself entering the narrative. It’s as though the ancient mythologies had been rewritten by Borges or Calvino – or artificial intelligence – and brought glimmering back into our world. Metamorphica re-engages with the elemental power of the ancient shape-changing gods by keeping their essences while rewriting their stories. It is this extraordinary narrative approach that is so thrilling; we watch as the author extracts more and more out of the original legend – adding infinite perspectives to narratives we thought we knew. Mason understands that the great myths are parables – always in flux, always relevant – always throwing shards of light from the morning of the world.
– Synopsis taken from the book.
Review – Spoiler Alert: Low
Metamorphica is a collection of short stories based on the myths found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Though not all myths are included, Mason shares a wide variety of mythical characters and stories . Some characters are more popularly known, such as Athena, Icarus and Orpheus, and others I was meeting for the first time. Each myth was briefly introduced at the beginning of the story, and then we delve into the authors retelling.
While I have not read every single original myth that was retold – I thoroughly enjoyed Mason’s interpretation, and fresh perspective. I enjoyed his writing style, and how he preserved the important traits of a character while changing the rest and craft his own story.
I will definitely be picking up his other books after reading this one.
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Have you read METAMORPHICA? Is it on your TBR?
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