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8th November
2011
written by Steph

Before I know it, it's going to be the middle of the month... and then the end of the month... so before I forget, I'd better remind you that the November issue of BookPage is out AND, after having taken a few months off, I actually have a review in it! As you have likely gathered from the title of this post, I read David Guterson's newest novel, Ed King, which is actually a modern day retelling of the classic Greek play, Oedipus The King. The original source material is quite a yarn, so you can imagine just how fun and zany this book was! Although knowledge of the original play is by no means necessary, familiarity with Sophocles' version will certainly add to one's enjoyment. It was really fun to see how Guterson chose to modernize certain elements, and one of my favorite bits was how he re-envisioned the Greek chorus. But regardless, however you read this one, whether it be with fresh eyes or through the lens of what came before, this is a book that hooks you right from the start and is full of juicy scandals. Although this isn't Guterson's first novel, it was actually the first book of his that I've read and I really enjoyed it. It was the perfect blend of smart and playful, and even though it was certainly quirky, I never felt like Guterson was trying too hard to be clever at the expense of the story. If I were reviewing it solely here on the blog, I would give it a 4 out of 5. For more of my thoughts on Ed King, you can check out my review here.

10 Comments

  1. 11/09/2011

    Wow, this sounds great – I’m dying to know how he modernized it!

  2. I’ve noticed a lot of Greek-myths are being retold lately. Publishing trend?

  3. 11/09/2011

    Nice review, Steph! Interesting to know that this book is a retelling of ‘Oedipus the King’. I recently read a book called ‘Homecoming’ by Bernhard Schlink, which was based on ‘The Odyssey’. I will add ‘Ed King’ to my list of books to be explored.

  4. 11/09/2011

    This does sound rather interesting, and like something that would really get my attention. Need to hop on over an check out your review, but from what I’ve gathered here, I can already tell that you loved it!

  5. 11/10/2011

    @ Jill: It’s such a kick! Very modern-age and so clever… you will chuckle!
     
    @ Alex: I wasn’t aware of this resurgence of the Greek classics (although I guess there is the Canongate Myth Series), but you know how these things go in cycles. Everything old is new!
     
    @ Vishy: I had a bad experience with Bernhard Schlink (I HATED The Reader), but I do think an updated version of The Odyssey is intriguing… Will have to check out your review!
     
    @ zibilee: It felt quite different from much of what I’ve been reading this year, so in that sense, it was very refreshing. I had a lot of fun with it, and I hope you do too should you pick it up!

  6. […] of Steph & Tony Investigates has a review of David Guterson’s Ed King in […]

  7. 11/11/2011

    My son is reading Oedipus in school this year. I’ll be sure to tell him about this one!

  8. 11/19/2011

    @ Kathleen: I feel like as an English teacher, it’s hard to veer from curriculum, but this would be a lovely companion read, I think!

  9. 11/23/2011

    I loved Snow Falling on Cedars and have read everyone of his subsequent books except this one – I’ll try to get hold of it as it looks interesting

  10. 11/23/2011

    @ Tom: I can’t compare it to his back catalog, obviously, but I really did enjoy this, and it has made me interested in delving into some of his previous works. I hope this one stands up to his impressive track record for you!

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