The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones
From Prix Méditerranée-winning author Daniel Mendelsohn (shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, Pen Art of the Essay Award) comes a collection of eclectic writing that interrogates contemporary life and pop culture with wisdom and humour.
'Our most irresistible literary critic' New York Times
The Ancient Greeks are still very much alive. Over the past two decades, Daniel Mendelsohn's reviews for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Book Review have earned him a reputation as one of the greatest critics of our time. In this striking collection of essays, he shines a unique spotlight on our culture.
Moving between the Latin classics and the modern likes of Virginia Woolf, Brideshead Revisited, Battlestar Galactica, and Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life, these essays expose the heart of antiquity - still beating in our art and our everyday lives.
In some essays, Mendelsohn shows how readily we still call on the Greeks and Romans as role models. In others, he illuminates the surprising modernity of canonical works - including Homer's interest in artificial intelligence. We see Sappho alongside Girl, Interrupted, read the mythic side of Spider-Man, and come to understand a little better our relentless fascination with the Titanic. The collection also brings together - for the first time - a number of Mendelsohn's personal essays, including his 'critic's manifesto' and a touching memoir of his boyhood correspondence with the historical novelist Mary Renault.
Travelling an immense range of landmark books, plays, films, and age-old stories, the depth of Mendelsohn's thinking is as impressive as its breadth. This is a powerful collection of essays from the master of popular criticism.
Daniel Mendelsohn is a prize-winning writer and critic. His books include the international best seller The Lost, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and many others; a memoir, The Elusive Embrace, a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; a translation, with commentary, of the complete poems of C. P. Cavafy, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; and two collections of essays. He lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.