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The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller


Another example of a well-known tale told from an unusual perspective, this time Patroclus' view of his relationship with Achilles. It's an excellent accomplishment, very believable, and compare favourably with Circe, Miller's other work in the same theme.

It's frustrating for the reader that Patroclus just doesn't get it: even when he's referred to as "the best of the Acheans", he still feels he'll outlive Achilles. And there are some anachronisms that frustrate slightly too: the Greeks didn't have the same notion of homosexuality as we do, so many of the concerns and tensions that the book explores (and which are familiar to the modern reader) would have been less serious (and perhaps incomprehensible) at the time. But those are minor quibbles in what is by any measure a great achievement of re-centring a story.

5/5. Finished 17 December 2019.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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