Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weren't you reading some books or something?

I was really excited for my Man Booker challenge the afternoon I rooted out all of the relevant books from my collection.  I asked my husband to pick a number from 1 to 20.  He said 18, and that meant my first book was Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault.

She wrote this right around 1970, and it was considered in 2010 for the "Lost Booker."  Rule changes at that time meant that a year's worth of published books weren't eligible for any Booker prize.  In 2010, the committee revisited 1970, nominated books and chose one.  Not this book.  But, I don't have the winner, and I've heard wonderful things about this one.  

Fire from Heaven is the first in a trilogy that follows the life of Alexander the Great.  Alexander as a small child until the assassination of his father, Philip of Macedon.  

Surprisingly, given my anticipation, I am finding this one hard to ease into, more problems than usual falling into the flow.  Now, 150+ pages in, sometimes I think I have it by the tail, and then I lose it again.  

It's been a long time (since Creation by Gore Vidal as a teenager) that I've read actual or fictionalized history of the ancient world.  So I'm lacking context, and this is a detailed book.

This far in, a few passages have caught the eye of my mind, enough to keep me going.  In most good books, the plot matters, but the insights along the way make or break the experience.  Renault's doing fine here, so onward we go.

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