Ransom by David Malouf is a brilliant re-telling of a pivotal moment in Homer's Iliad when Priam, the aged king of Troy, journeys to the enemy camp to offer a ransom in exchange for his son's body. What makes the event so poignant is he has to make the offer to his son's killer, Achilles.
In his skillful and detailed portrayal of Priam, Achilles, Hecuba, and Somax, Malouf performs a masterful taks of fleshing out these characters, rendering them as fully rounded human beings. He depicts them with tenderness, compassion, empathy, and a sensitivity to detail that is mesmerizing. This remarkable novel, told in lyrical prose, touches us at the core of our humanity. It is one of the best novels I have read in a long time.