[TBBR] The Song of Achilles

12book "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline MillerThe Song of Achilles:
A Novel

Madeline Miller

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?Ahh~ The Song of Achilles! Or should I say “The book that will surely be the death of me?”

Let me first start out by saying: I love that Patroclus told the story this time. I loved seeing their shared history through his eyes: their faults, their triumphs, their life, and their love. I also want to expressively proclaim that this story is a romance, and WHAT A ROMANCE!

I always liked to think of their story and love, as the—ehem—egalitarian expression of homosexual love, where they were both of close age and simply loved one another: as friends, as companions, as lovers, and eventually as soulmates. THIS BOOK ANSWERS ALL MY BESEECHMENTS AND TORMENTED PRAYERS!!

Totally Biased and Slightly (VERY) Ranty Book Review

Okay. so here’s my own take on this.

There’s been more than enough fantastic people (and sadly also asinine ones, too…) who have reviewed and contemplated this book. Some of my favorite ones include these: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. I figure I don’t NEED to give my own two cents on it, but I’d hate myself forever and a day if I didn’t.

Now hear me out on this: For one, don’t come in here reading this book expecting it to be the fucking Iliad. I’m getting really sick and tired of incredibly pompous, stuck-up people bitching and moaning about how “It’s not the Iliad boo-hoo.” OF COURSE IT’S NOT THE FUCKING ILIAD PEOPLE. THAT WOULD BE PLAGIARISM. 😀 😀 😀 😀

😀

The book is a tale from Patroclus’ point of view. Not Homer. Not Plato. Not even Odysseus or Agamemnon or any of the other important, well known key characters with illustrious backgrounds that we know about from The Iliad – but PATROCLUS. WHO WE KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT.

The story is also FICTION and a COMING OF AGE story about the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. THAT IS ALL. It is BASICALLY A LOVE STORY. Did you not figure that out the minute you picked it up? This book is a LOVE STORY and a first-person account of the lives of two boys who grow too quickly into men, who have their childhood robbed of them and later become the modern-day heroes/not heroes they are known by today. This is a chance for one of THEM to tell their story. Not those who know nothing of what happened between them, nothing of what led the actions that are so well-recorded of the Trojan War. Why can’t people just get that and MOVE THE FUCK ON?

That being said. If you can actually GET OVER YOURSELF and look PAST THE FACT THAT SOME DETAILS AREN’T THE SAME, that MAYBE A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF HISTORY WILL BE DIFFERENT THAN YOUR TEXTBOOKS (shocking, isn’t it?! *eyeroll*) and that you are reading this for the pleasure of reading, of hearing a side of the story you never heard before even if it isn’t 100% factual (because HEY FOLKS! THIS ISN’T NONFICTION. There’s a VERY GOOD REASON WHY IT’S IN THE FICTION SECTION. -______-;;;; )…. then you will ADORE this book. It is crafted so wonderfully. Moments of awkwardness and grace (even mirrored in the writing style, which I’m quite positive was purposeful) is interwoven to create something memorable and special. I was so enthralled with this book. Finished it in a single sitting (with a couple bathroom breaks, but I couldn’t help that – that many cups of coffee will do that to a person).  Then went back and reread it again. Or parts of it, really. BUT STILL.

I can’t decide if knowing how everything would end made it worse for me or not. It probably did. Especially since everything was so perfect. And I kept reading knowing full well just how badly it was going to end.

AND YET, IT STILL ENDED… BEAUTIFULLY.

I could not put this book down. It was exceptional. I bit my fingers and stifled anguished sounds of pleasure and pain and anguish while suffering and loving along with them. I held my breath with each turn of the page, each revelation of what was to come, where their newfound friendship would develop into, how they would escape their next hurdle and carry on to their next shared adventure. I loved seeing everything through Patroclus’ eyes. The ever faithful and loyal companion, that was Achilles’ rock, his guide, his companion, his friend, his lover, and his humanity all rolled up into one. And when he was lost – still. Patroclus was there to try to comfort him, and urge him to do the right thing.

They never tried to change one another, and it was through that beautiful understanding and clarity that they both changed. For the better. For the worst. And in the end, when all seemed lost, they were reunited. Philtatos forever. Soul mates rejoined.

6880409

6880410

*goes off to sing about their beautiful love and this beautiful, stupid, fucking book that robbed me of many years of my life because how am I to go on after finishing it with only bad fanfiction to comfort me OH WHHHYYYY!*

816667

*singing turns to ugly sobbing and wails*

Would you recommend this book?

YES-YES

I mean, how can you ask me something like that? Are you kiddin’ me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
GO READ THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY. GO, GO!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 2012
Format: eBook (simply because I couldn’t
wait to get my hands on a print copy first
– I will endeavor to get a gorgeous copy
soon though)
Pages: 369
Genre: Greek Mythology, War Stories,
Love, Coming of Age, M/M Romance,
Achilles, Patroclus, Troy, Trojan War,
Divinity, Immortality (through actions,
life achievements, those we leave
behind), QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, War,
Historical Fiction, Romance, Soul Mates,
Tragedy, Fiction, History, Achilles,
Patroculus, The Iliad (a bit), Greece, Greeks
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought (Looking forward to getting PB or HC)
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)
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5 thoughts on “[TBBR] The Song of Achilles

  1. friendlybookworm January 10, 2015 at 2:58 PM Reply

    What a great review of this book! I just finished the book myself, and I sorta wished I shared your positive view on it. I loved how well she stuck to the original story (I guess getting a masters in classics helped the author :P) and I can see that since it took her 8 years to write the book she wanted to make sure all the details were correct. I liked how she was taking a difference person’s perspective of the tale but sadly I didn’t find Patroclus a likeable character. He was just meh. I did enjoy the love story it was cute, I just wished I liked the narrator more 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • amomentsilence January 11, 2015 at 5:08 AM Reply

      Really??? You didn’t like Patroclus? D: I thought he was pretty good here (although Achilles will forever and always be my favourite. The little pain-in-the-ass…) So very enraptured by Achilles. I was honestly laughing so hard at how badly Patroclus was fanboy-ing just being around him. XD

      Curious question, from the author’s take on these iconic characters (Achilles, Patroclus, Thetis, Odysseus, etc…) whose voice would you have preferred to tell the story? Which character do you think would have done it better? 😕

      Like

      • friendlybookworm January 11, 2015 at 8:22 AM Reply

        I just want to clarify that I don’t have an issue with the author choosing an “average” character to offer a different perspective on the legendary tale. That’s amazing, I applaud it. I just think that Patroclus’s character is thousands of leagues below average. He is so boring. Aside from obsessing over Achilles he doesn’t contribute until the last 100 pages.

        I guess an Achilles’s perspective sprinkled in, or Briseis’s perspective for a couple chapters would have been cool.

        Liked by 1 person

        • amomentsilence January 11, 2015 at 9:06 AM Reply

          True, I’ll give you that. But I highly doubt the story would have been better if he was actually interesting like so many others were. In fact, that lack of “stand-out quality” was actually what seemed to draw me in more. He is average, and ordinary, and in many ways unmemorable. He himself even mentions this throughout the story. And that is exactly what makes him the perfect narrator and spectator to such an epic tale. If he was more captivating, drew the reader’s eye more to him instead of what he is trying to relay to the reader, I think it would have taken away from the focus of the tale, ya know? Since I very much believe the entire story from beginning to end is him recounting his and Achilles’ life together to Thetis at the end. (But then again, that’s just my opinion. *shrug* )

          Ahh, interesting… Well, if the book was told from several different perspectives, those two would definitely have been nice narrators too. 🙂 I would have actually liked to have seen something from Thetis, as well. Granted, I hated her guts in this book… but it would have been enlightening to see her side of this tale, as someone who’s story is also rather unknown like Patroclus.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Hmm, I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I know some friends are all iffy about The Song of Achilles or didn’t really like it as much as THEY SHOULD HAVE—*cough cough* I mean, than I did. 8D […]

    Like

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