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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Verissimo, Luis Fernando: Borges and the Eternal Orangutans

  Amazon  

4 stars

Luis Fernando Verissimo's Borges and the Eternal Orangutans takes the form of a novella addressed to the author Jorge Luis Borges. In it, the narrator/author, a certain Vogelstein, recounts for Borges the story of his experiences in Buenos Aires at a conference of Edgar Allan Poe specialists, an event that had ended prematurely because of the murder of one of the scholars in attendance. Vogelstein had been the one to find Joachim Rotkopf, a spiteful, "eminently knifeable  man," stabbed to death in his room. Borges is aware already of much of Vogelstein's story, as he and the narrator discussed the locked room mystery of Rotkopf's death--and the arcane clues the victim left behind pointing to the identity of his killer--immediately after the event. They had attempted to solve the crime by purely intellectual means in a series of conversations that ranged from Edgar Allan Poe's oeuvre to the mystical power of letters to the literary monkeys of this book's title.

Verissimo's supremely clever little mystery will be appreciated by Borges and Poe aficionados--familiarity with both authors would be a plus--and to readers who like their fiction thoughtful and their expectations upended. Kudos to anyone who can figure out whodunit before the book's final chapter.

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