Jenny's Reviews > The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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's review
Jun 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-challenge, wml-staff-pick
Recommended to Jenny by: Ann Patchett

My review for the Wilmington Memorial Library


He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. Some people might have mistaken this for simplicity. But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart? (44)

His trust was a part of him, as much as his hands or his miraculous feet. And despite my hurt, I would not wish to see it gone, to see him as uneasy and fearful as the rest of us, for any price. (135)

Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. "No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from."
"But what if he is your friend? Or your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?"
"You ask a question that philosophers argue over," Chiron had said. "He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else's friend and brother. So which life is more important?"
We had been silent. We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard...
I know, now, how I would answer Chiron. I would say: there is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong. (298-299)

"Do you see?" he says. "It is the beginning!"
I cannot escape the feeling that, below the surface, something is breaking. (304)

"But fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another. We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory." (Odysseus to Pyrrhus, 364)

"Have you no more memories?"
I am made of memories.
"Speak, then." (Thetis and Patroclus, 366)

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