In Ransom, Malouf gives us a highly introspective story which is heavy on description and light on "traditional" story. While we get quite a bit of backstory and observation, primary elements seem to be dispatched with merely a passing thought. Example: the reader is treated to a wonderfully presented description of Achilles' camp, tent, etc., and Priam's observations/thoughts entering the lion's den, only to have the negotiation for Hector's body conclude relatively quickly/abruptly.
For me, this created almost an inversion of a story. Those things that I would expect to be context setting are amplified because the main objective of the build up is wrapped up sometimes in a glib paragraph.
Although I'm familiar with the basics of the story, I haven't (yet) read The Iliad. After finishing Ransom, I'm left wondering if I wouldn't have enjoyed it more if I had the background of having read The Iliad first. One reviewer says that Malouf fills in some gaps in the original story - is that what I was missing?...Continua