Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Five novels drawing inspiration from the Odyssey

Andrew Welsh-Huggins is the Shamus, Derringer, and International Thriller Writers-award-nominated author of the Andy Hayes Private Eye series, featuring a former Ohio State and Cleveland Browns quarterback turned investigator, and editor of Columbus Noir. His stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mystery Magazine, the 2022 anthology Paranoia Blues: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Paul Simon, and other magazines and anthologies. Kirkus calls his new crime novel, The End of the Road, "A crackerjack crime yarn chockablock with miscreants and a supersonic pace.”

[ My Book, The Movie: An Empty Grave; Q&A with Andrew Welsh-Huggins; The Page 69 Test: An Empty Grave]

At CrimeReads he tagged five "books that incorporate some elements of the Odyssey into modern stories," including:
The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles

The author pays homage to Homer with a character named Ulysses, a homeless, freight car-hopping World War II veteran on a destination-less odyssey around the country. Ulysses took this path after enlisting against the wishes of his wife, who punished him by disappearing with their son. Ulysses, a Black man who believes he was named for victorious Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, appears doomed to a life of purposeless wandering until a bookish boy sets him straight on the real origins of his name. After reminding him that Homer’s hero journeyed for ten years, and learning that this Ulysses has been on the road for eight, the boy informs him, “you will be reunited with your family in less than two years’ time.”
Read about another entry on the list.

The Lincoln Highway is among Perri Ormont Blumberg's nine top travel books.

--Marshal Zeringue