Friday, February 18, 2011

"Gary Corby, you have my apologies"

I loved this from a recent review of THE PERICLES COMMISSION:

I have to admit, having studied Greek and Latin at college, I grabbed this book off the shelf the second I saw it.  But I also have to admit, my hopes were not high.  I was convinced that I would spend the whole time complaining and finding fault.  

Well, Gary Corby, you have my apologies.  The book is well-researched, and the author seamlessly weaves in facts about Athens—the history, culture, and politics—without becoming tedious.  

Moreover, he manages to strike an excellent balance between creating this authentic setting and making the narrator and plot entertaining enough to satisfy and fascinate his modern audience.  

Some readers may dislike the modern voice the author has given to his narrator, but I believe this is one of the book’s greatest strengths.  Athens was the essence of modernity in its time, continually pushing forward, so to give Nicolaos a voice that is modern in both language and tone is appropriate.

And what’s more—it’s funny.

10 comments:

Josin L. McQuein said...

Sadly, my library doesn't have this book yet :-(

Travis Erwin said...

I've been meaning to buy this since it came out. Now that I have a nook I don't have to wait so with your reminder I just bought it for my e-reader.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Darn straight it's funny!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Pericles Commission, plus I learned a few things about ancient Athens I hadn't realized before. My husband's excited to read it in a couple weeks when we go on a much-needed vacation.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Australians are taking over hollywood too. Happy weekend!

ryan field said...

I love books like this where the author uses a modern voice well...in spite of the know-it-all history police lurking all over the web these days.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks everyone for the lovely thoughts!

The voice question seems to interest a lot of people. Here's my logic: I'm writing in modern, everyday English, what was spoken 2,500 years ago in modern, everyday Attic Greek. The book's therefore an accurate "translation" of what Nico actually said. What would be inaccurate is if I had my characters speak in Faux Mediaeval!

Beth said...

This looks great! I'm a fan of the Falco novels (Lindsey Davis) and the Ruso series (Ruth Downie), so I'm primed to like this one, too. I'll order a copy asap.

JS said...

I really loved the dialogue, Gary Corby!

As a badge-wearing member of the "history police" (if by that ryan field meant "people who are bothered by glaring anachronisms that jolt them out of the story") I thought the way you combined the strong historical background with the noir detective voice was fantastic.

Getting history right is important. Getting characters right is even more important. Doing both is the goal for which we should all strive.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks JS & Beth!

I do try very hard not to break history! Which doesn't stop me stretching probability from time to time.

There's quite a lovely little sub-genre growing up, of mysteries set in the ancient world. Another author you might try, if you like noir voice, is Kelli Stanley.

Janet Reid said...

Kelli Stanley is the cat's pjs....oh wait did they have pjs back in DCCCIV-DCCCM?**




**extra bonus points if you know why this is NOT written LI- IIIC