The Porpoise – Mark Haddon – 10.08.20

I have enjoyed other books by Mark Haddon, so was looking forward to this one. I didn’t really know what to expect and I was very quickly drawn into the book’s exciting opening scenes of a dramatic plane crash. Then the story follows a father bereaved of his wife and left with a newborn daughter – this part of the book is told with beauty and sensitivity although it delves into the dark world of incest and sexual abuse. I wasn’t expecting the next turn, when a character is suddenly transported to ancient Greece with no explanation and who quickly forgets he had any other life and becomes the character of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. I found this sudden switch disconcerting, to begin with, but quite quickly became entranced with the historical fiction adventure story. I wasn’t familiar with the story, or the Shakespeare play about it, so the afterword by the author explaining how his novel mirrors the original telling, where the insestual relationship between a king and his daughter acts as the springboard for Pericles adventure story was helpful in my appreciation of the book. It was a well written and gripping (if at times slightly confusing!) read and I enjoyed it very much.

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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