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review 2017-06-26 06:36
The Song of Achilles
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Things I knew before reading the book:
It’s very gay

Things I knew after reading the book:
It sucks to be a woman in the Iliad*
I know nothing about the Iliad

Tumblr did me better when it made me read The Secret History.

 

I’ve been trying to fill the void The Queen’s Thief series left in my life, and I thought TSoA (combined with several other things) might do it. The prose is too flowery for my taste and

the change from past tense to present tense at the end was definitely noticeable. It pulled me out of the story for a couple of pages. Miller does pretty successfully kill off her first person narrator though. So that's something.

(spoiler show)

I am currently feeling inspired to read The Iliad (whether I actually follow through or not remains to be seen… there are so many translations and my branch of the library doesn’t have the one I want to read and it’s risky placing a hold since I could get the “wrong” translation if someone’s not paying attention).

 

*Briseis is the best character and where's my book about her?

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quote 2016-10-08 11:15
Rozpoznałbym go po dotyku, po samym zapachu; poznałbym go na ślepo po tym, jak oddycha i jak stawia kroki. Poznałbym go w śmierci, na końcu świata.
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review 2016-10-08 11:10
Przeniesienie do przeszłości.
Achilles. W pułapce przeznaczenia - Madeline Miller

Przy tej książce odkryłam, iż lubię przenieść się w starożytność. Owszem, lubiłam klimat filmów opowiadających o bogach, starożytnej Grecji, Atenach itp. Jednak nie byłam pewna, czy polubię książkę, której akcja rozgrywa się wśród starożytnych ludzi.

 

"Achilles. W pułapce przeznaczenia" opowiada o tytułowym Achillesie, który był herosem, bohaterem i praktycznie nieśmiertelnym człowiekiem (miał swój słaby punkt). Uczymy się o nim w szkole na lekcji polskiego gdy omawiamy mitologie. 

 

Jednak ta książka to nie rys historyczny czy mitologiczny. Bowiem chociaż opowiada o życiu Achillesa, to jednak skupia się na jego relacji z Patroklosem. 

 

O Patroklosie po raz pierwszy przeczytałam właśnie tej książce. Wcześniej o nim nie słyszałam. I żałuje...

 

Przez Patroklosa pomyślałam, że to fikcja literacka, chociaż gatunkowo jest przypisywana historycznemu gatunkowi. I szczerze... sama nie wiem czy to fikcja czy prawda.

 

Jednakowoż książka jest niesamowita, niezwykła. Achilles i Patroklos są tak różni od siebie, jednak tak wiele ich łączy. Ich relacja też jest niezwykła. Można by powiedzieć, że są przyjaciółmi, można by też zauważyć, że łączy ich coś więcej.

 

Powieść jest napisana językiem prostym, przyjemnym. Fabuła rozkręca się każdą stroną. I choć jest to historia znana, to jednak poznanie jej na nowo jest niezwykle inspirujące.

 

Dużym plusem książki jest słowniczek postaci na początku. Podzielony jest on na bogów i śmiertelników. Ułatwia on czytanie książki.

 

Ale... Zeus jest tu znany jako Dzeus. I teraz nie wiem, czy to ja błędnie znałam jego imię czy może spotkać go można pod tymi dwoma imionami? Bo to, że autorka popełniłaby taki błąd jest bardzo, ale to bardzo mało prawdopodobne.

 

Przechodząc do końca... książkę ogromnie polecam każdemu. Raczej nikt nie powinien się nudzić. A wątki... choć znane z historii są podane w taki sposób, że każdy znajdzie w  nich coś dla siebie.

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review 2016-02-16 03:34
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Actual rating: All the stars in the sky. Infinite stars.

 

This book...this fucking book. I will never forget it. To say I had high expectations was an understatement. I was never this excited to read a book ever. And my expectations were met.

 

This book made me feel all the emotions. I smiled at the sweet, romantic moments and cried at the deaths. T

here is one scene where Achilles says "What has Hector ever done to me?" and I started bawling because I knew what was coming.

(spoiler show)

If you know the story of The Illiad, of the Trojan Wars, you know what's going to happen. This story made my heart ache. It is sad and beautiful and tragic.

 

The characters are so complex, imo. I read some one-star reviews saying Patroclus is boring, and I guess I can see why they say that. Patroclus is no great hero, he's just an ordinary guy. But to me, that makes him better. He's ordinary but in the end he has more power than he knows. Achilles is also very intriguing. I've always thought of Achilles as a mighty warrior, winning battle after battle. Killing and fighting. But in Song of Achilles, we see a softer side to him. We see Achilles as a musician, as playful and mischievous, as a lover. Also, Thetis. I didn't like her at all (she is an antagonist, in a way), but she was a rather interesting character.

 

I thought the writing was beautiful. Some reviews complain that it is purple prose, but I actually really liked the writing.

 

A word of advice: I think your experience reading this will be more enjoyable if you have at least a little bit of knowledge about Greek mythology.

 

Tl;dr version- Ugh, what else can I say about this book? I can't adequately express how much I loved it. It is a new favorite. It's tragic but beautiful. You need to read this book. It is fantastic. And I will never forget it.

 

Just wanted to share a list of songs that remind me of this book:
1. Achilles Last Stand by Led Zeppelin (obviously :)
2. Night Travels by Ashley Davis
3. Candle on the Water (from the film Pete's Dragon)
4. Dying Day by Gin Wigmore
5. A Quiet Darkness by Houses
6. Lover's Wreck by Gaelic Storm

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review 2016-02-07 00:00
The Song of Achilles
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller 3,5 stars. Rounded up to 4 stars.

I think that the main reason why I couldn't love it more, was nonexistent surprises.
I don't think that you can find a single reader, who has never heard about the Trojan war and Achilles. And because my mother was always a big fan of the Greek myths, she told me a lot of tales and legends in my childhood. So yes, I ALREADY KNEW how it ends when I started it. I'm not a re-read person, and even if I reread a few books, it happens really very very seldom. I need this surprise-effect, even by very predictable books.

I was curious to find out how the author made the ending, having chosen Patroklos first person POV. Where will the story ends?

Madeline Miller created a very atmospheric and beautiful historical novel, from a different perspective. But something was missing, *sight* because even if I enjoyed reading it, it didn't determine my everyday life, how it normally happens with a great book.

But I'm a softie, and yes, I sobbed through the last parts of the book, And the fact, that I already KNEW the final of Achilles and Patroclus didn't make it easier.

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