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An Arrow's Flight: A Novel (1998)
by Mark Merlis
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312242883, Paperback)Mark Merlis, who debuted in 1995 with the marvelous American Studies, has once again worked magic, producing a book that is as momentous as it is mysteriously moving. Set during the Trojan War, An Arrow's Flight recounts the story of Achilles's son Pyrrhus, prophesied to be the soldier who conquered Troy. But Merlis's tale departs from the standard versions of the story: here, Pyrrhus is a go-go boy and hustler who lives in the demiworld of the gay ghetto and bears a closer resemblance to characters from John Rechy's City of Night than anybody in Edith Hamilton's Mythology. In its opening pages, An Arrow's Flight seems to be little more than a clever postmodern gag, but Merlis knows exactly what he is doing, and the novel quickly becomes a unique, emotionally overwhelming masterpiece. Merlis's historical and sexual sleights of hand end up thrilling and shocking by locating us somewhere between myth and history, between fiction and fable. The very themes and ideas of An Arrow's Flight shimmer and shift before our eyes: war, male friendship, Troy, AIDS, sexual identity, and Vietnam are all explored and elucidated. By the end, the novel resonates with beauty, intelligence, and empathy. --Michael Bronski
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 11 Jan 2013 06:13:31 -0500)
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