Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wish-list Wednesday: Hosted by Pen to Paper

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

The Charioteer by Mary Renault

Summary from Goodreads:

After enduring an injury at Dunkirk during World War II, Laurie Odell is sent to a rural veterans’ hospital in England to convalesce. There he befriends the young, bright Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. As they find solace and companionship together in the idyllic surroundings of the hospital, their friendship blooms into a discreet, chaste romance. Then one day, Ralph Lanyon, a mentor from Laurie’s schoolboy days, suddenly reappears in Laurie’s life, and draws him into a tight-knit social circle of world-weary gay men. Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience. 

Originally published in the United States in 1959, The Charioteer is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar and Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories as a monumental work in gay literature.

Why It's On My List:

I recently discovered Mary Renault while skimming through Amazon and after finding the book I'm currently reading on a link that was posted to my bookclub wall. I read The Persian Boy and was blown away. The story of Alexander the Great as told through his lover Bagoas was eye opening on many levels. As you can probably tell I'm a super huge activist when it comes to LGBT rights, and have been my entire life. After watching one of my best friends in high school tormented and the entire Matthew Shepherd murder unfold on TV it's something I've always stood for. 

For an author in the 1970's Mary Renault told the story of Alexander and the Roman Empire without even flinching at the homosexual side of it all. To me that is such a great pioneer of her time, and I've been fascinated with her work. 

I have a few of her books coming my way and this is one of them, and there will be a much bigger post about her. I'm just doing my research. 

Also, I want this edition but am having a hard time finding it. 



  1. If you keep talking about this Persian Boy book eventually I think my curiosity is going to win out. :)

    1. I can't say enough nice things about it. I wasn't a very good student in History so it was a great History lesson and super moving story. I haven't gotten my big review up yet because I have a series of posts based on it.

      Just need the time to get it out.

      Also totes put a few more books on hold! Yay!

  2. I've always meant to read some Mary Renault (my mother was a big fan!). This sounds amazing -- and amazingly ahead of its time as well.

    My WW

    1. I highly recommend it! I'm so super impressed with Mary Renault that she has become my latest obsession. I'm reading all of her stuff and just researching her. Unfortunately she has since passed away, but for a woman of that era and time I'm pleased she got to tell her stories.

      It was a hard read for me, I will say that. And by that I mean it wasn't like a quick boom boom boom, I had to take my time and go back and reread things to make sure I understood what was happening.

      Oh, and fun little tidbit, Alexander the movie recently released was based a little on it!


      Thanks Lisa for your comment! Hope you get to!

  3. I have not read this one before. I like the cover though. I hope you get it soon!
    Brittany @ Spare Time Book Blog
    My WW: