Saturday, November 18, 2006

Shepherd, Monsters, Heroes...

Druitt, Tobias. 2006. Corydon and the Island of Monsters.

Interesting facts about the authors: Tobias Druitt is the pseudonym for Diane Purkiss and her son, Michael Dowling. Diane is Tutor in English at Keble College, Oxford, and the first Oxford English Faculty member since C S Lewis and JR R Tolkien to publish a children's book. Her key academic interests are classical literature, and women in literature. Her co-author, Michael, is nine years old. They live in Oxford and have two cats, Thelma and Louise, who inspired the characters of Euryale and Sthenno, the gorgons, in the novel.

About Tobias Druitt

Corydon and the Island of Monsters is the first in a trilogy written by the mother-son duo of Diane Purkiss and Michael Dowling. The son is quite young, still in school, I believe he was 9 when they began writing together. The book came about when he was excluded from a school assignment where each child was to write a book with a parent’s help. The two decided it wasn’t quite fair they should miss out on the fun and began working on Corydon, a tale Purkiss describes as “a book about mothers and sons, really, about how difficult and important that love can be.”

Corydon could further be described as a twist on the traditional monster tale. Here the reader sees life through the eyes of the outcasts, the monsters. They see these supposedly ‘scary’ creatures up, close, and personal. They also see the so-called ‘good guys’ (the heroes) come to destroy them for alleged wrong doings...essentially the heroes motto is to destroy anything that is different from yourself and that you don’t understand.

In particular, Corydon is the tale of Perseus’ quest to kill Medusa told from the point of view of a young shepherd, Corydon, and in some ways through Medusa herself. The main characters are Corydon, Medusa, and her two gorgon sisters, Euryale and Sthenno. Perseus is not depicted as a hero, rather as a dimwitted coward.

The second book in the trilogy, Corydon and the Fall of Atlantis, is (according to Amazon) going to be published in February 2007.

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