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” The ancient world feels new again in Terence Hawkins’ The Rage of Achilles, a raw, idiomatic retelling of the Iliad with a searching assay of human consciousness. Unique and invigorating.”—Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye
In The Rage of Achilles, Terence Hawkins re-imagines the Iliad as a novel and a Trojan War that really happened. Though he adopts Homer’s characters, those fabled warriors are no more noble than the scared, tired grunts they command, exhausted and bitter after ten years of brutal Bronze Age warfare. And however savage the fighting, over all hangs the terrible truth that the objective of combat is not glory, but the enslavement of the defeated.
This realism extends to the gods themselves. Informed by Julian Jaynes’ groundbreaking theory of the bicameral mind—the basis of HBO’s “Westworld”—The Rage of Achilles takes place in a world in which the modern human consciousness struggles painfully to be born. The gods are only the hallucinations of men and women desperate to be told what to do in a terrifying and confusing world.
Told in taut, elegant prose that captures both the Homeric lyric and military grit, The Rage of Achilles is a fast-moving take on literature’s foundational epic.
Praise for The Rage of Achilles
“Hawkins’ tale moves with the force of a cyclone. . . It will be impossible not to be entertained and moved by this rendering of the age-old story.”—Historical Novels Review
“The Rage of Achilles is that rare thing–a genuinely fresh take on a classic text. Terence Hawkins’ modern retelling of “The Iliad” has the paradoxical, invigorating effect of making Homer’s epic feel oddly familiar, and of highlighting its deep strangeness at the same time.” –Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Leftovers
“Hawkins provides much new insight on the tale . . . and turns something ancient into a new read, worthy of a second viewing. The Rage of Achilles is a fine spin on Homer’s classical tale, a highly recommended read.”— Midwest Book Review
“Hawkins’ novel explores war with all its smells, terrors, and blood. It is the kind of heart-pumping, edge-of-your-seat book that readers long for and diligently seek.”—History and Women