Author Topic: Porpoise by Mark Haddon and other retellings of Greek myths  (Read 315 times)

2/3 of the way through this and it's by far the best book I've read this year. I'd not read anything by Haddon since The Curious Incident all those years ago but this has been getting such great reviews. It start off thrillingly, telling of a plane crash in which the only survivor is a baby named Angelica. Without spoiling the plot, the story weaves between what's happening with Angelica and also her reimagining of the story of Apollonius/ Pericles. There seems to be a vogue at the moment for updates of Greek myths, Pat Barker's Silence of the Girls and Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire being a couple that spring to mind. Think there was a couple on the recent Booker Longlist too. I've generally been put off them as I'm not remotely familiar with the source material but I might be more open to exploring some of them now. Any recommendations or suggestions of ones to swerve?

Re: Porpoise by Mark Haddon and other retellings of Greek myths
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 07:52:18 PM »
That Haddon book sounds interesting.
There's obviously something in the air. Fry is about to go on tour with his re-telling of the greek myths. The national theatre has also just commissioned Kate Tempest to do a 're-imagining' of Sophocles (shudder). The most dismal experience I've ever had at the theatre was doggerel-laureate Carol Ann Duffy's retelling of Everyman. Somehow I imagine this will be worse.

Re: Porpoise by Mark Haddon and other retellings of Greek myths
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2019, 08:55:53 PM »
Natalie Haynes has just released A Thousand Ships which is based on the Iliad. There was a thing in The Guardian about this trend...

Finished Porpoise on the train home yesterday and thought it was really great. As I said I'm generally put off these books if I've not read the original stories, a bit like I'm put off books which are allegories of something I know nothing or little about. (I put off reading The Master and Margarita for years because of this.) I guess I'm worried that I'm reading on a more superficial level without the deeper knowledge.


Re: Porpoise by Mark Haddon and other retellings of Greek myths
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 10:14:10 AM »
Currently reading The Silence of the Girls. It's so good.