Aristophanes is inconsolable — his rival playwrights are hogging all the local attention, a pesky young wannabe poet won’t leave him alone, his actors can’t remember their lines, and his own festival sponsor seems to be conspiring against him, withholding direly needed funds for set design and, most importantly, giant phallus props. O woe, how can his latest comedy convince Athenian citizens to vote down another ten years of war against Sparta if they’re too busy scoffing at the diminutive phalluses? And why does everyone in the city-state seem to be losing their minds?
Wallowing in one inconvenience after another, Aristophanes is unaware that the Spartan and Athenian generals have unleashed Laet, the spirit of foolishness and bad decisions, to inspire chaos and war-mongering in Athens. To counteract Laet’s influence, Athena sends Bremusa, an Amazon warrior, and Metris, an endearingly airheaded nymph (their first choice was her mother Metricia, but she grew tired of all the fighting and changed back into a river).
Dashing between fantastical scenes of moody and meddlesome gods, ever-applicable political debates in the senate, backstage scrambling for the play, and glimpses of life in Ancient Greece, Martin Millar delivers another witty and comical romp for readers of all ages.
Millar is writing better than ever . . . prose brimming with confidence in this assured comic romp.
If the fact that Martin Millar’s new book is his best for years doesn’t strike you as significant, you clearly didn’t read his early novels . . .
[M]ake no mistake, it’s tough to write this directly, this simply, and yet still make your readers think anew about why war is rubbish and love is ace. A wonderful book.
Millar is frequently compared to Kurt Vonnegut, and it is an apt comparison, not just in their combination of levity and profundity, but in that the more of their work you read, the more you get out of their novels.
Through glimpses of each character’s story the reader gains a humorous view of actual figures of ancient history as well as the gods they believed meddled in their lives . . . A madcap tale reminiscent of the complex, riotous comedies Aristophanes wrote, the newest novel from Millar is complete with quirky characters, multiple perspectives, and romance and drama to boot.
Millar’s lively comic novel centers on the frantic efforts of Greek playwright Aristophanes to finally earn the respect that eluded him throughout his career . . . [H]e packs the narrative with interesting information about the era and Greek drama . . . Smart escapist reading.
This witty novel combines fantastical scenes of moody and meddlesome gods, ever-applicable political debates in the senate, backstage scrambling, and glimpses of life in ancient Greece.