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Book review: The Song of Achilles 
9th-Nov-2012 04:27 pm
Amphithavatar
Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles has been one of those books everyone seems to be reading and raving about; the Iliad retold from the point of view of Achilles' lover Patroclus. I found the book decent but not spectacular - knowing the story already I was interested to see how having Patroclus as the narrator would pan out for the way the story ends, and actually I did like the way Miller chose to end her narrative.

But considering the love affair between the two men is the central story of the book I was never convinced in them as a couple, Patroclus' love seems to mainly stem from his swooning over how hot Achilles is, while what Achilles sees in him is a bit of a mystery. And the fact that, with very few exceptions, the other characters in the story are painted in pretty broad shades of villain, got pretty tiring after a while. I wasn't bored by the book per se, and it's nice to have something bring to wider attention the fact that this gay love story is canonical to Greek myth, but I wasn't gripped either, and not convinced - the gods and magic of the story are easier to suspend disbelief for than the relationships.
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