THE GOLDEN SHADOWS: A Recreation of Greek Legends by Leon & Edward Blishen Garfield

THE GOLDEN SHADOWS: A Recreation of Greek Legends

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The turbulent prose of Garfield & Blishen's The God Beneath the Sea (KR, 1971) is now applied with little modification to the exploits of legendary Greek heroes, especially those of Heracles. If the men chronicled here inspire a shade less extravagant treatment than did the gods of the previous book, there remains an abundance of exclamation-marked howling, straining and panting, magnificent feats of strength and equally prodigious love making. As a result the mythic significance and resonance of the adventures are somehow overshadowed, while the oversized characterization seems to invite questions on a psychological or realistic level that would not otherwise matter (would the ""implacable"" Atalanta, for example, stoop during her decisive race to pick up the golden apples?) Then too, the attempts to vivify each event can verge on self-parody -- witness Heracles' begetting as ""Alcmena moaned deep in the royal bed"" while Zeus in Amphitryon's form ""enjoyed her yet again."" However, there is no question that the present authors inject an enormous amount of high-impact drama and immediacy into the familiar material -- even including several of Heracles' labors which are recounted here with renewing vigor and sophistication. And Keeping's black and white drawings, both elegant and compelling, interact forcefully with the text, heightening such moments as Heracles' horrified realization that he has killed his sons while reinforcing unstated themes as well.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Pantheon