There’s a passage in Cold Calls (2005), the final volume in Christopher Logue’s magnificent and, fittingly, never-completed “account” of the Iliad, in which the British poet describes Ajax and Nestor calling on Achilles:

They find him, with guitar,

Singing of Gilgamesh.

Myth within myth.

Logue weaves in and out of the Iliad taking a bit of this, adding a bit of that—Stalingrad shows up, and so does the space program. In his debut novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2007, revised 2010), Zachary Mason gives the kaleidoscope another shake. He rearranges elements of the Iliad’s sequel into fragments that can...


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