Lead Review (The Fury)

  • Book: The Fury
  • Location: The Cyclades
  • Author: Alex Michaelides

Review Author: tripfiction

Location

Content

The Fury by Alex Michaelides, a modern Greek tragedy set in the CYCLADES (and London).

3.75*

A modern Greek tragedy

Much of this novel is set on the breezy, fictional island of Aura in the Cyclades. Elliott Chase is our interlocutor, our impresario who guides us through the peaks and troughs of life with Lana Farrar, famous actress, who has retired (early) from the glitz and glamour of theatre and screen.

She has invited several people to this, her own island, which was bought for her by her late husband. The assembled cast of characters includes her actor chum and ally Kate, who will take a few days off from rehearsing at The Old Vic in the new and highly anticipated production of Agamemnon by Aeschylus. There is Jason, her new husband, her teenage son Leo, and Agathi her house-keeper and they will all perform in their own, loosely staged play. Elliott is there to keep the reader up-to-speed as the plot unfolds. There is, of course a nod to Agatha Christie…

In the first half, the characters re-locate to the island and we are given a sense of their relationships, habits and potential grievances. Then, there is a death. There are guns on the island and Jason is often seen stalking small wildlife, so, of course, he is in the frame early on….

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The book is divided into 5 Acts with an Epilogue, so it is clear that this is a staging of some kind, with plenty of smoke and mirrors in the second half. The first half felt very familiar as there has been a slew of novels where rich people are in a locked room / island setting in Greece (The Getaway by Ross Armstrong, for example, set in the Aegean) and so this part didn’t feel particularly original. However, Elliott is lurking on the sidelines, jumping in, grabbing the reader’s attention and then he comes into his own as the plot develops into a fast-moving Greek Tragedy. It’s fun and involving as the reader grasps the true nature of the plot as it unfurls. I did occasionally get a little lost but the chapters are short and the author soon pulls the straggling reader back in. It is certainly overall an entertaining read.

Setting in TripFiction terms isn’t particularly strong but there is a good sense of an island with a storm threatening, adding atmosphere. The streets of London, however, do come to life.

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