Weight is a re-telling of the story of Atlas and Heracles. Heracles, when trying to complete his trials, seeks help from Atlas who carries the world on his shoulders. During his temporary relief from the weight of the world, Atlas begins to question, does it even need to be carried?
I was not already familiar with the story of Atlas and Heracles so I didn’t have expectations of this retelling. I love mythology (Greek gods in particular) so was keen to read something new.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. It’s very short (150 pages), and a very fast read. Winterson’s writing style is clear and engaging, and the story felt fresh.
The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the, frankly, vulgar sexual references. The abrupt mentions of rape and masturbation were unexpected and pretty grim. I’m not used to rape being referred to so casually. However, this is a story about Greek gods, who typically did pillage and rape whomever they wished, so – in fairness to the author – it’s entirely in place here.
Weight is part of a collection from Canongate, called The Canons. After reading this one, I am already looking into reading some of the other myth re-tellings by other authors in the collection.
I received a copy of this book from publisher in exchange for an honest review.