Bright Air Black by David Vann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC!
I knew I was going to get a retelling of Medea from her point of view during the quest of The Golden Fleece and after, with Jason, but I wasn't quite prepared for just how beautiful the lines of the text were. I mean, getting it all from the PoV of Medea was a pretty awesome treat, all by itself, and found myself fully in her camp despite all the awful things she does, but what really caught my attention, even more, was the prose.
This is some true mythopoetical realism, yo.
I will admit that there were some parts during the first half of the text that could have been improved, at least making the text more accessible those who haven't studied up on the old legends and the plays, for so much of the action has already happened right when the prose opens up. I'm not going to complain too much, however, because even though it assumes the audience is conversant with the legend, it doesn't really matter after a certain amount of time.
Yes, we know Medea is a bad-ass, willing to tear the world down to prevent her slide into slavery. She's a beast willing to rend to keep herself out of chains.
I particularly love how the author managed to turn someone like this into a heroic figure even more than half the time, and even when she's doing her most evil deeds, I feel for her and want to cheer her on.
That's a real feat.
Is this niche? Or does this have all the feel of Big Magical Realism for Mainstream? I don't know, but it could certainly go either way. :) I enjoyed it very much, too.
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