God Beneath the Sea

God Beneath the Sea

  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 14mm | 40.82g
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 19ill.
  • 0552520314
  • 9780552520317

Review Text

Greek myths of gods and men, from the primordial chaos to the building of Troy, are fused into one continuous narrative and retold in highly charged, turbulent prose that attempts to match the depth and grandeur of the subject. The resulting mix of searing imagery and strained rhetoric is evident in the story of Cronus: first, visited by the Furies ("Around and around the castle they flew, and their shadows seemed to scratch and scar the stones"); later, devouring his first-born son ("The Furies' words roared a gale through his head. His hands shook and madness finally seized him. He took the infant almost tenderly from the queen and thrust it, living, into his gigantic mouth"); finally, dying of Zeus's poisoned drink ("Wider and wider strained his gigantic mouth till he felt the tendons split and tear at their roots. . . . The bones of his gaping mouth were cracking and splintering as they were forced apart"). Surprisingly, perhaps because the intrinsic force of the myths can support considerable flourish, the overall effect is not one of ludicrous melodrama: the reader frequently sees the action clearly and shares the excitement. But it takes a heroic suspension of the critical faculties to sustain the pitch through two hundred pages of "maddened, bloodshot eyes," knives "dripping with rich liquid," and copulating gods emitting an "intolerable radiance." Garfield in the past has proven himself a master of lushly atmospheric language. It is unfortunate that, given material to match his gifts, he has chosen to escalate the rhetoric. (Kirkus Reviews)show more