Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

Pretty great, if thickly laid on in spots, THE PORPOISE re-imagines the different historical versions of the Antiochus/Pericles myth, centering on a family broken apart by a mother's dead, a father's violent abuse of their daughter, and the daughter attempts to flee her fate.  Throw in an adventurous young man who attempts to save her, and you've got plots and settings for days.

Haddon is ambitious and writes beautifully, so that many times I didn't know where I was, or which version of the myth I was in, and it mostly didn't matter.

The Shakespeare chapter, though stunningly rendered, seems a bit out of place, relating as it does the story of Shakespeare and his dissolute Pericles co-author, the pimp and playwright George Wilkins, reuniting after their deaths for a boat trip to nowhere.

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