JASON AND MEDEA by Matthew L. Hunter

JASON AND MEDEA

A Whirlwind of Ruin
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A brilliant retelling of this timeless classic about the insatiability of human desire.

First-time author Hunter takes the great tragedy of Medea, immortalized by Euripides, and presents it within the context of the heroic history of Jason. What results is a grippingly sympathetic narrative of these two famous figures and their often-frivolous but always daring actions. Classics lovers will recall Medea as one of the more frightening characters in Greek mythology, whose jealousy moves her to burn a rival alive and murder her own children. Hunter presents her as something more: a brilliant and powerful woman, whose cunning and resolve enable her to brutally subdue any foe, but whose romantic inexperience renders her vulnerable to Jason’s desire. Medea commits unspeakable atrocities on Jason’s behalf, and Jason thanks her with abandonment. Hunter hauntingly renders the human side of the monstrous Medea, and casts Jason as somewhat less than heroic. As the tale unfolds, reader sympathies will lie with Jason, who–sent off by his evil uncle Pelias to fetch (but hopefully never return with) the Golden Fleece–ably leads a boatful of Greece’s greatest heroes, Herakles and Orpheus among them. Many readers won’t be able to help envisioning the campy ‘60s film when considering the adventures of Jason, but these Argonauts quickly reveal their savage natures by hacking up the men of Lemnos, then exploiting their widows while awaiting favorable seas. From the moment Jason meets Medea, it’s clear that he will need her power to win the Fleece and will stop at nothing to attain it. Throughout, Hunter’s prose is lyric and probing and the action never flags.

Hollywood can’t touch the ravishing horror portrayed here. (But should they decide to try, let’s hope they consult Hunter first.

Pub Date: May 31st, 2005
ISBN: 0-595-34321-X
Program: Kirkus Indie
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