Mark Merlis An Arrow's Flight: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780312242886

An Arrow's Flight: A Novel

3.89 avg rating
( 670 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312242886: An Arrow's Flight: A Novel

The award-winning An Arrow's Flight tells the story of the Trojan War and Pyrrhus, the son of the fallen Achilles, now working as a go-go boy and hustler in the big city. Magically blending ancient headlines and modern myth, Merlis creates a fabulous new world where legendary heroes declare their endowments in personal ads and any panhandler may be a divinity in disguise. Comical, moving, startling in its audacity and range, An Arrow's Flight is a profound meditation on gay identity, straight power, and human liberation.

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Review:

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

From the Publisher:

"Merlis's insight into human nature and his ability to find and articulate grace in the ordinary process of human exchange is remarkable....Merlis's novel is a stunning standout." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Top-of-the-line...compulsively readable and very, very sexy." --Robert Plunket, The Advocate

"A beautiful, haunting work by one of America's finest novelists." --Paul Russell, author of The Coming Storm and Sea of Tranquillity

"The sharp and slyly witty narration consistently offers surprises....compelling and original." --Library Journal

"A smoothly written novel that so seamlessly merges the ancient and the contemporary that we never give a thought to anachronism. Merlis's craft and imagination will have readers gay and straight panting for more." --Booklist

"A dazzlingly, astoundingly great novel." --Scott Heim, author of In Awe and Mysterious Skin

"The sexiest, smartest gay novel to come down the pike since The Swimming Pool Library." --Lambda Book Report

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Merlis, Mark
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