Monday, March 6, 2017

Review of José Carlos Somoza's "The Athenian Murders"

By most part this novel was very interesting to read.
Story covers two time periods: 4th century Athens and much later period, I am not exactly sure whether it is present time or far in the future.
The novel begins with translation and analysis of ancient Greek novel of unknown author that is carried out by a narrator-translator.  
As narrator translates chapter after chapter he becomes more intrigued and obsessed with what he believes is a hidden message of the novel. The novel itself is a story set in 4th century BC Athens. At this time, Athens is ruled by oligarchy imposed on Athens by Sparta following its defeat in Pelopennesian War.
The novel opens with discovery of a dead body of a young Athenian man. Two people, one private investigator and another philosopher, work together to uncover mystery behind this and other similar murders.
In the end, the story resolution and its explanations is a little bit unconvincing and confusing. However, I would still recommend this novel. First it describes Athenian culture at the middle of 4th century. Second, it analysis and contrasts both  philosophical and practical approach to life.
posted by David

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