Erin Young's Reviews > The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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's review
Aug 10, 12

Read in August, 2012

I write this review with full knowledge that at this juncture in time, I am not the most coherent of reviewers. Ie. my brain is fried people. So take anything I say with a grain of salt right now. I've been logging long hours in front of my computer on trains, in buses,campground and hotel rooms.

That said. I see nothing wrong with the Song of Achilles. Certainly it was interesting to read and as a fan of Greek mythology I enjoyed how well she had researched her subject. Nonetheless, I felt that this book could not compare, for example, to the lyricism of Seamus Heaney's retelling of Beowulf. Probably not a fair comparison as his was a translation and this was a original work. It is lyrical in places, for a great deal of it.

Yet something didn't quite come together for me. I never quite entered into the concerns of the characters. I wasn't quite swept away by the prose. It all felt a bit wooden. Patroclus is a bit too much of a gusher to boot. I'd like to see a bit more conflict between the lovers, more uncertainty.

And that's about all I can squeeze out of my fractured brain today. Good, not great for me. Very popular with others, so you may still want to check it out.

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