ARION AND THE DOLPHIN by Vikram Seth

ARION AND THE DOLPHIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This retelling of the ancient Greek tale of Arion the musician and his dolphin friend receives fractured, confusing treatment. Axion, court warbler of the tyrant Periander, is allowed leave Corinth to attend a music festival in Sicily. After winning gold, he sails home, but meets with treachery and jumps overboard. Axion is saved by a dolphin, and helped back to his home port. Periander doesn't believe Arion's story; the poet is jailed and the dolphin dies in captivity. Periander abruptly takes Axion back to his bosom. Told as a story/song, there is enough contradictory behavior here to disenchant most readers. The crew and captain are smitten by Axion, then want to kill him; Periander is downright schizophrenic. Prose and lyric never meld, and the rhymes often feel forced: ""With you I will remain,/For if we part, we'll never meet again,/And I will die of loneliness and pain./This I maintain."" The scenery, though lush, has little Grecian fragrance.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton