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The Song of Achilles
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Greek Mythology > Song of Achilles - Spoilers Allowed

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message 1: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
A place to discuss the book with spoilers.


Margaret | 3663 comments Mod
I loved this! While I usually don't like first love = forever love stories, this one worked for me. I thought it was really great character development with Patroclus.

I have a question for those more familiar with Greek history than I. I've taken a couple of undergrad Greek history classes, and I thought male/male romances were a normal aspect of Greek life? I know typically they were between an older man and a younger man, but I was expecting homosexuality to be more normalized in the novel, when it was quite the opposite.

I didn't remember the guy who training Achilles and Patroclus in the mountains, and who had previously trained Herakles. He seemed interesting!


message 3: by Jalilah (last edited Jan 12, 2020 03:27PM) (new)

Jalilah | 4438 comments Mod
I am a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I couldn't finish it!
The writing is superb and it really took me to Ancient Greece. The relationship was especially beautiful but about 3/4 the way through because I knew what happens in the end historically in the myth, I just couldn't bear to read about it in great detail.


message 4: by Bel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bel | 2 comments This is one of my favorite books! I read it while on vacation visiting a friend, and, truly, I think it was the highlight of my trip! I thought the book was wonderfully crafted, Patroclus' voice and personality really resonating with me. I remember I kept dreading the end since I was already pretty familiar with the myth. I kept thinking "Maybe if I close the book now, Patroclus won't die." I also really appreciated some of the changes Miller made to the original myth, such as giving the character of Briseis. It felt like she had a lot more agency, and I think showing the consequences of the Greeks' actions on the common folk (farmers and women like Briseis who were taken as war prizes) was really well done. Miller managed to introduce those elements well into the story while not deviating from the heart of the story, Patroclus and Achilles' relationship.

I think this was the first book I ever read set in Ancient Greece, and, outside of the Percy Jackson series, the first one I remember that incorporated the Greek Gods so well into the story.

The BBC Bookclub Podcast has an episode where they interviewed Madeline Miller, and it's really interesting to hear how she found Patroclus' voice and her process in deciding when to stay loyal to the myth and when to deviate from it. It was also really interesting getting her insight on classical literature and how her knowledge of Ancient Greece and The Iliad helped her create her version of Patroclus. I really recommend it for anyone who enjoyed this book!


Annette | 265 comments Jalilah wrote: "I am a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I couldn't finish it!
The writing is superb and it really took me to Ancient Greece. The relationship was especially beautiful but about 3/4 the way..."


Ah, but Madeline Miller's ending makes the story.


Margaret | 3663 comments Mod
Bel wrote: "The BBC Bookclub Podcast has an episode where they interviewed Madeline Miller, and it's really interesting to hear how she found Patroclus' voice and her process in deciding when to stay loyal to the myth and when to deviate from it. "

I'll have to check that out!

Jalilah wrote: "I am a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I couldn't finish it!
The writing is superb and it really took me to Ancient Greece. The relationship was especially beautiful but about 3/4 the way..."


That makes sense!


message 7: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4438 comments Mod
Bel wrote: ""Maybe if I close the book now, Patroclus won't die.""

Bel, that is exactly how I felt! I already returned it to the library so who knows, maybe I'll try another time at a later date!


message 8: by Bel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bel | 2 comments Jalilah wrote: "Bel wrote: ""Maybe if I close the book now, Patroclus won't die.""

Bel, that is exactly how I felt! I already returned it to the library so who knows, maybe I'll try another time at a later date!"


It was definitely an interesting experience... I was loving the book and kept wanting to read it, but at the same time I was dreading what was to come. Every sweet moment between Patroclus and Achilles was both a delight to read and filled me with dread because they had no idea what would happen.


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