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Y 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 liberati. AN ARROW S FLIGHT 1998 a novel by Mark Merils is brilliant and irreverent It disrespects conventional writing storytelling and history and the author I think had great fun in doing so It is an existential inuiry about the human condition hidden within Greek Mythology and Gay Identity I read it not as a story about the Trojan War or the difficulties of being Gay in a warrior dominated world but as a universal story about love sex lying subterfuge and the ultimate uestion Who am I And then there is the uestion of destiny Are we just fooling ourselves with the idea of choiceThe anti hero is Pyrrhus son of the great Achilles who just happens to be gay a stripper and a hustler who will fuck anyone but then has one night of authentic love sans sex which impels him to try and thwart destiny and the gods Hmmm In a sense it is everyman s or woman s story I don t have a clue as to why Merils chose to tell the story this way versus being straightforward Maybe he thought it would get a wider audience if he used subterfuge himself Maybe he didn t even know what he was doing like Pyrrhus a callous defended whore who bungles into lovePerhaps the title is a clue as to motivation An arrow s flight refers to that fact once let loose an arrow is spent it cannot change direction or go any farther than it can And those warriors it is aimed at for it is a weapon of war know this and will take a stand just out of range until one man steps forward pg272 and the battle ensues As the author states sooner or later you have to give it up BRILLIANT Five stars

review Å PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Mark Merlis

An Arrow's Flight

Ically blending ancient headlines and modern myth Merlis creates a fabulous new world where legendary heroes declare their endowments in personal ads and any panhandler ma. Some may think it a little too clever for its own good but I like this book a lot How can you not like a novel in which a gay demigod making a living as a hustler turns out to be essential to winning the Trojan war All the homoeroticism leached out of most stagings or retellings of Greek myth is right here on the surface And eroticism sex lust desire love is very much on Merlis mind It isn t enough for the Greeks to persuade Achilles son Pyrrhus the aforementioned divine sex worker to enter the ranks Pyrrhus must also convince in the old fashioned horizontal way a middle aged gay warrior named Philoctetes to lend him the bow of Hercules That may sound dirty and it is Actually it s even dirtier than it sounds since the Greeks abandoned Philoctetes on their way to Troy after he suffered a snakebite that wouldn t heal Now they need him and they hire a hustler to lure him back into battle It s an allegory so I suppose its ok for me to say that Philoctetes is the embodiment of 70s style gay sexual liberation and the snakebite is well AIDS But Merlis is far too smart simply to leave it at that His largest concern isn t simply the abandonment of people snakebit by AIDS by morons afraid of contagion His judgment of those people is clear From start to finish however his is most vitally concerned with sex and especially with the emotional and social conseuences of disavowing it The Greeks near fatal flaw is abandoning Philoctetes the emblem of sexual revolution Now they need him and his bow as does Pyrrhus And so Merlis suggests do we Recollecting the world before the snakebite the world from which Philoctetes was banished Merlis writes They had done everything that can be done with two or three or four bodiesThey were lawlessThey did it for everyone who had come before them living out their freedom for the generations that had been caged The real tragedy of the snakebite is letting the snake win

Mark Merlis ☆ 5 characters

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 Mag. There are good novels and there are really good novels then there are a transcendent few that should be read by everyone Too often these stories are not only not read by those cognizant of the very best stories gay literature has to offer they aren t even known about This is one of those novels I stumbled across the author and his novel while Googling something like The Top Ten Best Gay Novels Ever Written Fortunately I came across this site I had read four of the ten novels listed and alternate novels by a couple of the other listed authors Hooray for me Something about the short description Ed Sikov gave Mark Merlis An Arrow s Flight caught my eye before I went out and bought Gods and Monsters because Brendan Fraser was hot in the movie or Hollinghurst s The Line of Beauty although I had seen the tv adaption which I thought it was interesting but so British ie really slow moving with no good sex scenes Since the four novels I had read were topped by my favorite all time I ll love it until I die novel Dancer From the Dance I figured that Sikov might know what he was talking aboutOh sweet Jesus did he know what he was talking aboutThose of you who have lasted through this lengthy harangue will be eually thrilled to learn that this hilariously funny AU retelling of Sophocles Philoctetes is a allegory for the AIDS crisis circa the 1980sAnyone still reading this critiueOn the Goodreads star scale this novel rates a 390 There are a lot of dumb readers who contribute to the big Goodreads site You want to know the top whinge about the book after saying how witty well written and funny the first three uarters of it is The last uarter is sad Boo fucking hoo Rhett left Scarlett Marie Antoinette lost her head and Sherlock Holmes went over the Reichenbach Falls Life can be a bitch DealThe story if anyone still cares is that Pyrrhus aka Neoptolemus for some unknown reason is the son of demi god Achilles yes that Achillesthe one with Patroclus attached to his hip and minor princess Deidameia of Scyros He is therefore a uarter demi god and gay hustler doing a Magic Mike like routine at a gay bar in a large unnamed town on the outskirts of Troy sigh Yes that Troy Although the Trojan War has been raging for ten years it has been prophesied that Pyrrhus will end the war in the Greek s favor by breaching the walls of Troy and killing King Priam The novel s conceit is that despite the Greeks and Trojans going at it and getting nowhere fast the time frame is a circa late 1970 s AU ish New York Wrap your minds around thatIn order to bring triumph to the Greek Army glory upon his somewhat soiled self and revenge on a father who always thought he was a pussy Pyrrhus must hustle in the sexiest possible way Hercules bow which is currently in the possession of one Philoctetes Phil is a warrior abandoned by Odysseus on the Fire Island ish Island of Lemnos because he was bitten on the ankle by a snake and the bite won t heal at least never permanently Get the AIDS referenceAfter a night of sexless but real love with Philoctetes Pyrrhus still hasn t laid his hands on the bow but now knows where it is stashed The ins and outs of politics around the stricken Philoctetes and whether he needs to be carried to Troy along with the bow provides the central motif of the storyAll of this is a helluva lot funnier than it sounds and if you think being a gay uarter demi god is a piece of cake this just might disabuse you of that idea The scene of Hercules trying to self immolate himself into the heights of Mount Olympus is worth the price of admission aloneWhy Merlis chose to set his story in this Alternate Universe is beyond my poor powers to add or detract I can only say that as I came to the end of the novel I actually was really depressed the story wasn t longerOh and just to screw with the reader and his or her expectations view spoilerMerlis has the Greeks ignominiously lose the Trojan War so all their conniving was in vain hide spoiler


10 thoughts on “An Arrow's Flight

  1. says:

    I loved this book but I'm not really sure who I'd recommend it to Having some kind of knowledge or passion for Greek mythology seems reuisite going in I can't imagine getting much enjoyment out of this if you aren't familiar with the original stories that Merlis is adapting and expounding on and subverting but this is not your run of the mill Homeric retellingYou start the novel with Pyrrhus son of Achilles and you think you're going to

  2. says:

    There are good novels and there are really good novels; then there are a transcendent few that should be read by everyone Too often these stories are not only not read by those cognizant of the very best stories gay literature has to offer they aren't even known about This is one of those novels I stumbled acr

  3. says:

    This was one of the best re tellings I've ever read Pyrrhus the son of now dead Achilles is about to face up to his destiny That said he's been working as a stripper in a local gay bar can barely afford the rent and as such will likely turn to being a call boy and being the uarter divine son of a vaguely known water goddess isn't all that it'

  4. says:

    Mark Merlis' An Arrow's Flight is a really interesting read The narrative is built on the intriguing placement of the last years of the Trojan war in modern day and basing the convoluted plot line on the proposition that Pyrrhus son of Achilles is a young gay man working as a hustler in the CityAlthough this is clearly a novel written in the first decade of the 21st century all through An Arrow's Flight I kept thinking of the trailblazing g

  5. says:

    Some may think it a little too clever for its own good but I like this book a lot How can you not like a novel in which a gay demigod making a living as a hustler turns out to be essential to winning the Trojan war? All the homoeroticism leached out of most stagings or retellings of Greek myth is right here on the surface And eroticism sex lust desire love is very much on Merlis' mind It isn't enough for the Greeks to

  6. says:

    Man that was awesome Loved it

  7. says:

    AN ARROW’S FLIGHT 1998 a novel by Mark Merils is brilliant and irreverent It disrespects conventional writing storytelling and history — and the author I think had great fun in doing so It is an existential in

  8. says:

    Blending Greek myth and contemporary gay life Merlis fully explores the uestions of life and lust desire and destiny through the misadventures o

  9. says:

    This book This book What can I tell you about the story of this book? I'll tell you this I started it and immediately within the first few pages

  10. says:

    It's the Trojan War updated as a reflection on gay issues The concept of Achilles' son Pyrrhus working as a dancerhustler is a good one but overall I didn't like this book When push comes to shove I'd rather read Sophocle

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