Like Wildfire Blazing

Mark Getty

This is a rich tale of good and evil. Getty takes his title from Robert Fagles’ translation of the Iliad, and has written a magnificently curious tale as strange and hard to explain as Ishiguro’s ‘The Buried Giant’. The cast of this mysterious carnival includes characters more or less known to us – Homer, Tamerlane, Papageno – as well as a refugee goddess called Sol, a tortoise named Troia and two  others, one composed of instinct, the other an arch-maker; both are schemers.

It is published – and very handsomely so – by Adelphi, a publishing sideline of David Campbell of Everyman fame. It has a dark blue cloth spine, cream decorated boards and endpapers designed by Getty, who has overseen every aspect of the book’s design.