01 July 2016
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Title: The Song of Achilles
Recommended for awisls: Highly recommended
I am a big Greek Mythology fan. Not just a big fan, I love, love, love Greek Mythology. Have loved it since early childhood. I can tell you all about Hercules and his Twelve Labors, about Perseus, Theseus, Orpheus, Jason and the Argonauts, and even about those who are not so well known, ‘cause for me there are no small heroes or half-gods.
But, for some reason, I never read the legend about Troy. Every mythology lover knows about Achilles, Hector, Paris and Helen, Priam, Menelaus and Agamemnon, so it's not like I had totally neglected them, I was just an Odysseus fan.
When I picked up "The Song of Achilles," I didn't know it was going to follow the Iliad. But it did, and I couldn't be happier. The book is told from Patroculus's point of view, a supporting character of the Iliad and Achilles’s friend and companion. I loved the first half of the book, the story of how Patroculus came to know Achilles and how their love bloomed. The second half was about the 10-year war of Troy, and there were a few parts that I didn't enjoy, characters I didn't like and wished they weren't in the book (it turned out they were from the Iliad and had to be there). I really wished there was less war and more about Achilles and Patroculus. Patroculus was a good narrator, making me feel for him and sympathize with him. Achilles, though, wasn’t as well fleshed out, sometimes he came as two-dimensional. I don’t know if he was intentionally shown that way, but I wanted to see more of his personality, to know him as well as I knew Patroculus.
And because I wasn’t an Iliad pro and didn’t know the fates of every character, there was a big surprise awaiting for me in the last few chapters. I don’t want to spoil the book, but the twist was effectively done, and the way the story went on was beautiful and original.
But the best part of this book was the writing. It was stunning. I'm so grateful to the promo site (I've forgotten which one) for sending me a newsletter about the daily deal (I paid just $1.99 for this treasure). It's one of the best written books I've read this year. Madeline Miller has done a fantastic job. I wish she had more books.
I highly recommend "The Song of Achilles" to every awisl.
The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller historical Greek mythology
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