(From the publisher):
The central character of The Eye of Cybele
is Alcibiades, a stutteringly precocious Athenian general whose physical beauty, unparalleled Olympic achievements, and reckless courage on the battlefield earn the fanatical enthusiasm of the polis; the affection and desire of Lysis, a lusty and seductive temple prostitute; the admiration and patronage of Socrates; and the jealousy and suspicion of Nicias, one of the city's most powerful generals and a leading competitor for the favour of both Pericles and the masses. At the centre of it all is the Eye of Cybele, a sacred jewel whose mysterious disappearance sets in motion a sequence of deceptions, subterfuges, and failed schemes that ultimately undermine the self-serving ambitions of both Alcibiades and Nicias.
Much of the novel's real action takes place behind the scenes, however, through the comically megalomaniacal preoccupations of the Keeper of the Sum, a mad but charismatic beggar-priest who founds - and personally administers the sensual sacraments of - a new Cybeline cult. While the core beliefs and aspirations of the Golden Age are beginning to crumble from within, Chavarrķa depicts - in the phallically obsessed reveries of the Keeper - the birth pangs of a new world religion.
In spite of a complex structure that blends conventional third-person narrative, formal epistles, and deliriously sensual streams-of-consciousness, the novel progresses at a lively pace. Along the way there are savage scenes of torture and war, convoluted tales of political manoeuvring, luridly sensual descriptions of cult sexual activity, and spirited philosophical debates. In a stunning denouement, Chavarrķa masterly employs the Socratic roots of the suspense genre, with the great sceptical philosopher himself unwittingly assuming the role of a Nick Charles-style detective who logically eliminates one hypothesis and suspect after another to identify the novel's real culprit for an equally uncomprehending audience.
Original title: El ojo dindymenio
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Historical
Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Greece