The God­dess Of But­ter­cups And Daisies

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Books -

Greece is the word Re­lease Date: 2 April 192 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: Martin Mil­lar Pub­lisher: Pi­atkus His prose style is sparse, he writes about losers and, thanks to his ago­ra­pho­bia, he’s doesn’t make it to many fes­ti­vals to give read­ings. Martin Mil­lar, it’s safe to say, has never be­come a main­stream lit­er­ary fig­ure. And yet there are good ar­gu­ments to sug­gest he’s one of Bri­tain’s most im­por­tant writ­ers – if only for the way his early nov­els, such as his 1987 de­but Milk, Sul­phate And Alby Star­va­tion, an­tic­i­pated both alt- fic by the likes of Irv­ing Welsh and, es­pe­cially with 1992’ s The Good Fairies Of New York, ur­ban fan­tasy.

Lon­don is usu­ally Mil­lar’s beat, but But­ter­cups And Daisies is set in an an­cient Athens ex­hausted by years of war with Sparta. Here, Aristo­phanes rails at his lat­est play be­ing un­der­funded ( his cast’s com­edy phal­luses just aren’t big enough to get laughs), the gods and their ser­vants capri­ciously in­ter­vene in hu­man af­fairs, ur­bane Socrates oc­ca­sion­ally dis­penses words of wis­dom, and poor but ( mostly) op­ti­mistic Luxos the poet hopes the world will come to see his tal­ent – and falls in love with a nymph.

If this all sounds slight, noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth be­cause, make no mis­take, it’s tough to write this di­rectly, this sim­ply, and yet still make your read­ers think anew about why war is rub­bish and love is ace. A won­der­ful book. Jonathan Wright Luxos the poet bears more than a slight re­sem­blance to Lux from Lux The Poet, Mil­lar’s 1988 novel set in Brix­ton.

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