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The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
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The Persian Boy (original 1970; edition 2003)

by Mary Renault

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1,898345,413 (4.12)73
Member:evareads
Title:The Persian Boy
Authors:Mary Renault
Info:Arrow (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:
Tags:historical, queer, love, favourite

Work details

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault (1970)

  1. 11
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (jbvm, emanate28)
    emanate28: Maybe they are too similar... But both The Persian Boy and The Song of Achilles are heartbreaking and beautiful stories of legendary heroes told from the perspective of their devoted boy lovers. The ancient heroes come alive and one is transported back into those times.… (more)
  2. 11
    Creation by Gore Vidal (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Set earlier in Persian history, Creation covers some of the same territory as Renault's book. Vidal's writing is somewhat drier.
  3. 02
    Simple Man: The Autobiography of Peter West by Ruadhán J. McElroy (youngsoulrebel)
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» See also 73 mentions

English (31)  French (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I found this book remarkable for the sympathetic portrail of a boy, forced in to a very bad situation, who comes to find meaning in life despite a world in which he is fundamentally devalued. His beauty is both his salvation, and his curse. Yet he comes to terms with his powerlessness as well as his ability to heal others, over the course of time. Renault does a wonderful job of showing the different timelines in her first person narrative, via the perceptions of a young boy, and also his improving grasp of Greek, and of politics, over time.

This is the second of Renault's greek novels I have read (after The Praise Singer), and I find(thus far) no evidence for the accusation I saw somewhere of her misogyny.

I loved the way she points up, much like Gore Vidal does in "Julian," the differences and similarities between Persian and Greek (and how Greek diff. from Macedonian) cultures, and showed the melting pot that was ancient Mespotamia.

In service to community,
ShiraDestinie
William-James-MEOW Date: 19 July, 12014 Holocene Era ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
I found this book remarkable for the sympathetic portrail of a boy, forced in to a very bad situation, who comes to find meaning in life despite a world in which he is fundamentally devalued. His beauty is both his salvation, and his curse. Yet he comes to terms with his powerlessness as well as his ability to heal others, over the course of time. Renault does a wonderful job of showing the different timelines in her first person narrative, via the perceptions of a young boy, and also his improving grasp of Greek, and of politics, over time.

This is the second of Renault's greek novels I have read (after The Praise Singer), and I find(thus far) no evidence for the accusation I saw somewhere of her misogyny.

I loved the way she points up, much like Gore Vidal does in "Julian," the differences and similarities between Persian and Greek (and how Greek diff. from Macedonian) cultures, and showed the melting pot that was ancient Mespotamia.

In service to community,
ShiraDestinie
William-James-MEOW Date: 19 July, 12014 Holocene Era ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
"We shall have crossed the world to its furthest end"
By sally tarbox on 9 September 2017
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Narrated by the eponymous Persian youth, Bagoas, this is an account of the exploits of Alexander the Great - from Persia, across Central Asia and into India. Bagoas, son of a nobleman, is captured in his youth, castrated and sold as a eunuch slave. From his wretched first position, 'hired' out to local men by his master, he later enters the court of King Darius... and ultimately that of Alexander.
Bagoas is utterly smitten with his final master; self-effacing but watchful, silently agonizingly jealous of the King's other intimates. He relates the Macedonian's progress across Asia - the glorious life at court, the king's friendly, first-name terms rapport with his men, the boundless ambition and the affection the two share. But set against this are bloody campaigns, court intrigues and feuds, a desperate journey through an Indian desert..

It's quite a long read but totally brings to life an era in history that I knew little about. ( )
  starbox | Sep 9, 2017 |
Told by his young lover and companion, Bagoas, we follow a compelling narrative of Alexander the Great straight through to his death.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jul 7, 2016 |
Alexander the Great's main man tells his story of devotion and sacrifice. The main character suffers in order to serve and yet [somehow] comes through it all feeling as though it was all worth it...through his humility he triumphs. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Renault, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chemla, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menini, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petersen, Jens LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
If anyone has the right to be measured by the standards of his own time, it is Alexander.

Hermann Bengtson: The Greeks and the Persians
Dedication
First words
Lest anyone should suppose I am a son of nobody, sold off by some peasant father in a drought year, I may say our line is an old one, though it ends with me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander's life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas is sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but finds freedom with Alexander the Great after the Macedon army conquers his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander's mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394751019, Paperback)

“It takes skill to depict, as Miss Renault has done, this half-man, half Courtesan who is so deeply in love with the warrior.”–The Atlantic Monthly

The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander’s life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas was sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but found freedom with Alexander after the Macedon army conquered his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes-mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander’s mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A slave-boy in the household of Alexander the Great tells about the adventures of the Macedonian king during the last seven years of his life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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