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Book Title: The Athenian Murders|
The author of the book: José Carlos Somoza
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.14 MB
Date of issue: December 5th 2002
ISBN 13: 9780349116181
Read full description of the books The Athenian Murders:Wildly original! Bizarre but hypnotic and enthralling on every page! There are two plotlines: one, the Straightforward story of murder in ancient Athens right after the Peloponnesian War in an ancient Greek manuscript by an anonymous author COUPLED WITH periodic footnotes by [never named] Translator with his comments, feelings, and reactions. He feels the strange metaphors and similes in each chapter point to SOMETHING hidden in text. Somoza uses a device he calls "eidetic imagery"--"repetition of metaphors or words which calls up images independent of the original text", but giving extra layers of meaning. Each chapter presents one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, not necessarily in order.
The "Decipherer of Enigmas", Heracles Pontor--note the similarity of name to a modern-day fictional detective [physical description is similar too]--and Diagoras, a philosophy teacher from Plato's Academy, investigate murders. The first victim, a student from the Academy, is supposedly killed by wolves while out hunting and his heart torn from his body. In some sense, the novel is also philosophical; Heracles represents REASON and Diagoras the IDEA.
The Translator becomes obsessed with finding a "key" [secret message] and finally enters the story physically; the two plotlines converge. Now the book takes a frightening turn; two more classmates of the first victim are murdered [or in one case, is it suicide?], as well as a slave. Our intrepid duo sets out to solve all four murders. There is violence and a final confrontation. The novel's a balance between Reason and the Platonic Idea: Plato's Theory of Forms. There's some of the cave allegory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory...
[cf. second paragraph]
Characterization wasn't as important as the "whodunit" and the philosophy. I liked the way the book was set up; the footnotes led me by the hand; and the symposium in Chapter 7 was most informative. Sometimes I thought Somoza had boxed himself in but manages to escape with ingenious twists. The Spanish title: La caverna de las ideas I felt expressed better the content than the bland The Athenian Murders. I recommend this book highly, but don't read it at night!
Read information about the authorJosé Carlos Somoza is a Spanish author born in Havana, Cuba. In 1960 his family moved to Spain after being exiled for political reasons. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in psychiatry, but he gave up medicine in order to be a full-time writer in 1994.
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