Chris's Reviews > The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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's review
Aug 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reads
Read from August 16 to 22, 2012

I will preface this review by saying I know nothing about Greek mythology and the classics, nor have I ever had an interest in it; I thought Ajax was a household cleaner and Paris the capital of France. That said, I was swept away by Miller's love story of Achilles and Peraclus and the Trojan War. Her writing is gentle and quiet, crafting each word and sentence carefully. And she brought to life the mother of all evil mothers!

I do have a small quibble and this is just me as a reader as opposed to Miller as a writer; I had a devil of a time keeping track of all the names. I had a list going on a scrap of paper, until it was pointed out to me there was an index of names in the back of the book. But when I read their descriptions, there were a few of what could be described as spoilers; if you paid close attention you would discover the ending. While I would have appreciated perhaps a less descriptive list, it would have been helpful to have this in the beginning of the book.

While I loved the first part of the book, the formative years of Achilles and Peraclus, when we got to the war, it just lost me. MORE names were introduced, and while I tried to let it go, I like to know who is who and where they came from. To me this lead to confusion; I don't want to get bogged down with a lot of information, but then again I also don't like to be left wondering when I'm reading. But again, this was me, not a problem with the writing.

I met Miller in April and I am now regretful I didn't get to this before then so I could discuss it with her further. But after finishing this, I now have an appreciation for the classics and look forward to what she has in store in the future!
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Reading Progress

08/16/2012 page 82
23.0% 2 comments
08/21/2012 page 302
80.0% 2 comments
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Kats Gosh, wasn't Thesis just the epitome of monster-in-law? Poor Patroclus, I really felt for him!
I agree with you about the huge, confusing number of (similar sounding) names during the Trojan war.... and you're right about the glossary of names containing spoilers for readers who maybe didn't remember all the details of who was killed by whom and would have preferred to find out via the story itself.
Letter to the editor? ;-)

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