SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller (is my Boyfriend)Posted: March 12, 2013
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT:
You guys, I was TRANSPORTED by Song of Achilles. This book UNSTITCHED me. The last two pages DRENCHED me like someone threw a bucket of tears on my face. Are these VERBS AWESOME ENOUGH FOR YOU? Because this book was more than awesome enough for me.
Song of Achilles is a retelling of The Iliad from the point of view of Patroclus, the quiet, thoughtful/brooding, awkward close companion of hero for the ages. And when I say companion, I don’t mean Patroclus just sits around holding Achilles’ sword for him. Unless when I say “Achilles’ sword” your mind goes straight to the gutter and thinks “Achilles’ man parts.” In that case you would be right. Achilles and Patroclus are so gay for each other. There is so much holding of man parts. As well as Greek gods messing with mortals and centaurs teaching valuable life lessons and epic battles for the ages. You guys, this book is reading AMBROSIA.
Told in first person by Patroclus, the novel follows Patroclus and Achilles through childhood through their late twenties. Patroclus, a disgraced prince, is exiled from his kingdom as a child and sent to live in the court of Achilles’ father. Achilles is a golden boy, Patroclus is kind of a creeper, circumstances lead to them becoming friends and then they become more than friends and then the TROJAN WAR HAPPENS AND YOU GUYS, JUST STUFF!
The sentences in this book were so lovely and crystal-clear they made me want to cry. And during the last few pages they did make me cry. I cried ALL OVER MYSELF.
I will say I loved the first half of the book the most, when the two boys were forming their friendship and falling in you-know-what with each other. It’s was like Titanic before the ship sideswipes the iceberg! In this case the iceberg is the Trojan War. I still intensely enjoyed the narrative through the war, but sometimes I felt like the pacing lagged and beats repeated. These are quibbles, not problems that change my opinion of the book, which is cartoon hearts popping out of my eyes and my cartoon tongue unfolding into a staircase that goes all the way down to the floor.
In an interview at the end of the book, Miller tells us that an ex-boyfriend of hers mocked her novel, calling it “Homeric fan-fiction.” What a dumb-ass. How could he make fun of this idea? Didn’t he realize that Homeric fan-fiction sounds like THE GREATEST THING IN ALL OF SPACE AND TIME. In the same interview (with Gregory MacGuire, author of Wicked, who used WAY too many Oz references in an interview that was not AT ALL about him/his work) she revealed she’s currently working on a retelling of The Odyssey from the point of view of Circe. Yes, more Homeric fan fiction please, HOMERIC FAN-FICTION FOR LIFE, BUTTON PINS, SILK SCREENED T-SHIRTS, AND REUSABLE CLOTH GROCERY BAGS!
WHAT KIND OF BOYFRIEND IS HE: A super handsome, super heroic, super gay half-man, half-god.
MY DATE WITH “SONG OF ACHILLES”
I dress up like a Vestal Virgin and try to make out with him.
He’s not having it.
I cry into my hands and wonder when I’ll finally find a nice boy that’s mortal and straight.