Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault ****

I was really surprised by this book. It is the fictional memoirs of the eunuch that was one of Alexander the Great's closest companions & servants. Basically, it chronicles Alexander's movements across Asia Minor as he expanded his empire. But more importantly, it gives us a wonderful idea of who Alexander might have been. Mary Renault used many historical & first hand accounts to write this wonderful book, & by doing so she paints a picture of a person that was larger than life.

When you look at a map of the territory conquered by Alexander it can truly blow your mind. Add to that the fact that he never lost a battle-never-& you realize why he was worshiped as a god after his death.

Mary Renault is also the author of another book I highly recommend & have written about on this blog before: The King Must Die. She had a great talent & an obvious fascination & knowledge base of ancient Greece.

The only thing that may offend or upset some readers is her descriptions of homosexuality. I think it is amazing & so very accurate how she describes the relationships between the men in her books, & it also makes you realize that homosexuality is such a part of being human also. I'd venture to guess it's been around almost as long as human heterosexuality. It's interesting also how our current ways of thinking have colored how we view that kind of lifestyle.

I highly recommend this book!

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