Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Song of Achilles - book review

my rating: 3.5/5

Well, it's about Achilles, and of course Achilles’ story has already been told quite a few times. So it begs the question: why another version of Achilles’ legend? Why not just read the Odyssey, or skim wikipedia while watching Troy?

This novel’s answer, in my opinion, is that Achilles deserved to be portrayed by he that had loved him most, he who knew the hero and the son of a goddess but who also shared his most intimate moments. 

And of course, by ‘intimate’, I mean gay sex.

So it's unabashedly lush. And though at times Patroclus' voice comes off as too feminine, his standpoint is a fascinating one by which to witness the feats and mishaps of Aristos Achaion, the Best of the Greeks.

The writing is imbued with realism, which makes the odd supernatural elements attendant on a story involving gods simultaneously casual and remote.

Oh, and I learned that there was actually a god named Tantalus. And boy oh boy does the definition of ‘tantalizing’ do well to refer to his fate.

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