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review 2017-08-20 07:19
Song of Achilles: Or, heartbreaking epic romance
 The Song of Achilles: A Novel - Madeline Miller

I wasn't originally interested in reading this book, but after a couple people (whose opinions I trust) recommended it I thought I at least owed it a try. I wouldn't say I'm an expert on the Greeks, but I would say I'm a fan. I know the story of the Illiad, and I'm familiar with Achilles and some of the mythology surrounding him. That's honestly part of why I was originally disinterested - Achilles is a bit of an arrogant ass. That foreknowledge, however, also contributed to what ultimately made this book so achingly sad.

This book broke my heart on every page. In a good way. Miller's prose is wonderful. She does an amazing job of bringing her settings and characters to life. I felt like I was there, in the castles and caves, and on the beaches and battlefields. I was completely transported. The Gods that walked through the pages felt as natural as the wind and the sea, never once breaking the tone of the book, or making it feel fantastical. Patroclus and Achilles became real, and their relationship was one I both believed and invested in, despite knowing how their story would end.

This book is amazingly well written, genuinely romantic without being sentimental, and truly heartbreaking in the best possible way. An epic romance in the truest sense.

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text 2017-08-02 19:57
The Song of Achilles - DNF at 61%
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

I´m done. I can´t take anymore of this:

 

"This, out of all of it, was perhaps the strangest: that he was their commander now. He would be expected to know them all, their names and armor and stories. He no longer belongs to me alone."

 

"Peleus stood at the shore´s edge, one hand raised in farewell. True to his word, Achilles had not told him of the prophecy, merely hugged him tightly, as if to soak the old man into his skin. I had embraced him too, those thin, wiry limbs. I thought, This is what Achilles will feel like when he is old. And then I remember: he will never be old."

 

"I handed him bits of leather and metal as he gestured for them, coverings for his upper thighs, his arms, his belly. I watched him strap these things on, one by one, saw the stiff leather dig into his soft flesh, skin that only last night I had traced with my finger."

 

God, I´m bored. Reading the Illiad at the same time as this book just shows how mediocre The Song of Achilles actually is. Don´t get me wrong, Madeline Miller has put a tremendous effort into researching the myth and she stays very true to the Illiad. The thing I can´t get over with is the fact that her main focus lies on the awful romance between Achilles and Patroclus. 

 

I´ve read 61% of the book and even though I haven´t finished this book I will give it a one star rating. And now I will go back reading Homer.

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text 2017-08-01 17:12
Reading progress update: I've read 36%.
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller
Ilias - Homer,Karl Ferdinand Lempp

The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the Illiad told from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles loyal friend, companion during the Trojan war and his possible love interest. You might have guessed it already, this is fan-fiction for all the Patroclus/Achilles shippers out there.

 

I have a basic knowledge of the Iliad (I haven´t read it), so when it comes to the story this book is as exciting as athlete´s foot. Still, this is the reason why I keep on reading this novel:

 

People die

(spoiler show)

 

I can´t wait for the moment when they are going to war and the spoiler becomes reality. This novel is a YA romance in the disguise of historical fantasy. I´m not amused.

 

So far the book has been about Patroclus and Achilles, growing up together, staying on a mountain with Chiron (yes, the half horse-half-man-guy) and falling in love. Add to that Achilles´ manipulating and somewhat evil mother Thetis (who is great, btw) and you get a lot of angst, jealousy and lovey-dovey.

 

Achilles might be the best warrior ever in existence, but so far he has done absolutely nothing and he is a kind of a push over when it comes to his mother. But he has a great body and he is so beautiful, and his chin and his jaw are pure perfection. Up until now I don´t know if Patroclus loves Achilles for some other qualities than his drool-worthy body. 

And I don´t think that Achilles is the sharpest tool in the shed. After having snatched Achilles from Patroclus side (she basically abducted him because she can´t stand these two together, but whatever), his mother promises him to tell Patroclus where he is staying if he is having sex with a woman.

 

memes confused how really funny memes GIF

[Source]

 

Does that make sense? No, not really. Achilles has the sex anyway because he is utterly gullible (and he desperately wants Patroclus back because they are so in love).

 

And then there is Patroclus. Some of you might remember the Twilight movie scene where sparkling vampire guy nearly gets killed by the Volturi. This could easily be Patroclus:

 

 

twilight bella swan new moon kristens stewart GIF

[Source]

 

Please tell me, am I the only one who is freaked out by these obsessive, almost stalkerish kind of characters? He gives me the shivers.

 

One character I really loved, even though he only had a minor appearance so far, is Odysseus. I can´t wait to read more about him and his scheming ways.

 

Btw, I´m going to read the German prose version of the Iliad as soon as I´m done with this book. This book might not do a lot for me, but it definitely peaked my interest in the original text. 

 

 

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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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