Costanza Casati

Författare till Clytemnestra: A Novel

4 verk 654 medlemmar 22 recensioner

Verk av Costanza Casati

Clytemnestra: A Novel (2023) 632 exemplar, 22 recensioner
Babylonia (2024) 20 exemplar
Klytaimnestra (2023) 1 exemplar


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This was the perfect book to read while exploring Greece. I loved Circe, but not every other Greek myth retelling has worked for me. This one was wonderful. The main character is fierce, ambitious, & powerful. She doesn’t shy away from pain or revenge. Though I knew the details of her story, they felt fresh, and each betrayal or loss cut like a knife. Her story covers years& I loved seeing her mature. TWs abound, but I really loved this one.
bookworm12 | 21 andra recensioner | Jul 8, 2024 |
A masterful retelling of one of the most prominent stories in Greek myth, this time from the viewpoint of a woman often portrayed as treacherous and vengeful but little more.

She takes center stage here, beautifully developed as a complex and strong woman, capable of surviving truly horrifying acts of violence, and committing more of them in turn. Casati manages to hold her firmly to heroine mold without turning away from the bitter and vengeful core of a woman who refuses to be victimized. The childhood relationship between Clytemnestra and her sister Helen is particularly well-done here. We see the characters through the years, formed by heredity and circumstance, until their ultimate actions are utterly inevitable.

This is a big book – big in scope and approaching doorstop territory at 482 pages. Casati takes 300 pages to get to the elopement of Helen and Paris, kicking off the Trojan war, and gives the last 30-some pages to “the queen’s justice” after Agamemnon comes home victorious. The war itself never takes center stage. This is Clytemnestra’s story – it is she who takes up the reins of power, ruling in her husband’s absence in a time and culture when even regent queens were expected largely to bow to the elder male councilors left behind by the departing monarchs. Most readers will sail through this mammoth tale because it is just so utterly compelling, and because the world Casati has recreated here feels totally believable.

Even those pestiferous, meddling Greek gods who figured so prominently in the classical literature arising from the era have to take a back seat to the flesh and blood characters here. Clytemnestra’s relationship with them is one of healthy skepticism, veering occasionally into outright antagonism. “Gods do not care about us. They have other concerns,” she tells another character, and privately thinks that the divine pronouncements relayed by the priests and seers have an odd tendency to mandate or support the aims of the mortals in power. As for the plethora of allegedly semi-divine offspring (her own sister being one), the hard-headed Spartan princess thinks the tales of rapacious divinity are handy excuses for otherwise inconvenient pregnancies.

Casati sticks fairly closely to the classical pattern overall here, though she does depart slightly at the conclusion, which may in fact be the weakest part of the novel. The character of Clytemnestra’s lover and partner in the brutal, bloody conclusion just never really comes together the way the other players do.

That quibble aside, this is a great big juicy read and is an amazing debut novel.
… (mer)
LyndaInOregon | 21 andra recensioner | Jun 25, 2024 |
Not as lyrical as Madeline Miller but a solid telling of a tragic queen’s life and her motivations.
mimji | 21 andra recensioner | Apr 20, 2024 |
I enjoyed reading about Clytemnestra ... but be warned there are some brutal and violent parts to the story.
ellink | 21 andra recensioner | Jan 22, 2024 |


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