The Song of Achilles

Author Madeleine Miller
Published 2011
Rating 7/10
Status Finished on 2020-07-05

I think I was spoiled by having read Circe first, which seemed like an utter improvement on its predecessor. This book was good, and gave a depth and heft to the Iliad that pleased me — with Patroclus and Achilles’ relationship being the apex — but the second act of the book (which is to say, when it became The Iliad proper) dragged and offered little.

Highlights

I had known contentment before, brief snatches of time in which I pursued solitary pleasure: skipping stones or dicing or dreaming. But in truth, it had been less a presence than an absence, a laying aside of dread: my father was not near, nor boys. I was not hungry, or tired, or sick.

This feeling was different. I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head.

He was good at this sort of affection, general and unbinding.