Posts Tagged ‘Greek-based fiction’

Myth by R J Dent

November 15, 2010

‘A cross between An American Werewolf in London and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed’ (Amazon)

This is R J Dent’s novel Myth,  a dark, erotic fantasy set on a Greek island.

It tells the story of a couple (James and Penny) who hear about the chimera, a strange mythical creature that lives in the hills. They, of course, are sceptical, but also curious. Eventually, curiosity wins out and they set off with a guide, up into the hills to see the chimera for themselves.

Obviously things aren’t as they seem and the couple end up trapped in the hills. The man, James Barrett, defends himself against an attacker, but becomes susceptible to the suggestion that he is now the mythical beast, having defeated the one that attacked him.

He rejects this idea and instead focuses on caring for Penny, who has been injured. James then tries to get back to the village, only to realise that the whole village have duped him. He then opts for revenge against the village and goes on the rampage, destroying everyone he comes into contact with. He becomes monstrous.

R J Dent says: ‘I wrote Myth because I was interested in the way people change when they’re in exotic locations – if they’re not xenophobic they either go native, become very nationalistic, or else become a wistful hybrid of the two. That was my starting point. I then simply added a Greek myth scenario, using the chimera as the indigenous antagonist.’

‘The Greek myth element decided the location, and the rest was simply charting what happened to the couple. I used Pavese’s idea that ‘travelling is a brutality’ – and that was it; I had my novel. All that was needed was an ending – which was made clear to me after I read Robert Graves’ comment that every Greek myth had a regional variation. With that in mind, I gave Myth seven very different regional variations.’

‘Writing Myth was a very good experience. I used a great deal of my familiarity with, and love of, various Greek islands, to inform my novel. I used locations, characters, names, etc, that I know well. For the last five years I’ve steeped myself in Greek culture. Some of that is reflected in Myth.’

Myth is ‘a cross between An American Werewolf in London and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed.’ (Amazon review)


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