23-05-15

Martin Millar: The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies

the goddess.jpg

I did not know who Martin Millar was, but he is apparently well known in the UK for his earlier works. I picked this book randomly up in a bookshop, and having studied ancient Greek (a long time ago...) the name of Aristophanes, the famous Athens playwright of Peace, struck me and awakened my interest. Reading a half page made me also feel good and happy, and though it did not strike me as a literary masterwork I bought it, in the expectation of some fun in reading it.

It did. The book is a charmer, it's funny, original, light, with a happy ending (you know from the beginning this book is not going to try to hurt you), and well, and it makes very nice reading. It has just enough depth to be interesting too and not too shallow, and it's a book I would give to my 17-year old daughter.

The story plays in 421BC and Athens and Sparta are at war. The Gods, whose power is diminishing, intervene, with Athena for peace, helped by a fierce Amazon and a very very nice nymph, and with Laet, bringer of discord, as paid instrument to stop peace and lengthen the war. An unsuccesful lyric poet, Luxos, a philosopher, Socrates, a historic warrior from Crete and a chorus of giant phalluses complete the scene for a witty fantasy. Good to read before you go to sleep, or on a terrace in Greece, accompanied by a nice light white wine or a rosé.

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