In Goat Music, novelist and philosopher Will Buckingham plunges the reader into the world of mythological Greece to reimagine the ancient tale of the satyr Marsyas and his punishment at the hands of the god Apollo. Marsyas — half-goat and half-human — longs to become a musician, but has a singing voice so terrible that it sows chaos and disaster. When he happens on a set of pipes abandoned by the goddess Athene and finds that he can play them with unparalleled sweetness, it seems as if his luck is changing. But after the satyr challenges the god Apollo to a contest in the art of music, he sets in motion a train of events that leads eventually to his brutal torture, skinned alive on the hillsides of ancient Phrygia. Saved from death by the goddess Kybele, Marsyas is reclothed in a costume of stitched rabbit-pelts. Mottled, patched, and not feeling quite himself, the satyr sets off in the company of the god Dionysos to reclaim his skin. Goat Music is a story about gods and goats, headless musicians and singing frogs. It is a tale about the brutality of power, and the subversive potential of art.
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