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.
Will Buckingham is the acclaimed author of The Descent of the Lyre (ROMAN Books, 2012) which was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2013. His other books include Levinas, Storytelling and Anti-Storytelling (Bloomsbury, 2013), Finding Our Sea-Legs (Kingston University Press, 2009), Introducing Happiness (Icon Books, 2012), The Snorgh and the Sailor (Scholastic/Alison Green, 2012) and the novel-writing guide, Complete Write a Novel Course: Teach Yourself (John Murray, 2014). He is Reader in Writing and Creativity at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.