Book Review: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

“The Song of Achilles” retells the story of the Greek hero Achilles from the point of view of his best friend Patroclus. The book bagged the 17th Annual “Orange Prize for Fiction”. It has been claimed by Miller herself that she is influenced and inspired by the classical works of Ovid, Homer, Virgil, etc. The book is a retelling of “Iliad” by Homer in a prose form.


The plot begins with the story of Patroclus, how he ends up being with Achilles, and how their friendship eventually grows into intimacy, which was originally missing in the “Iliad”. While staying true to the Greek legends and the text of Homer, Miller focuses on the human side of Achilles who has often been regarded as more a God and less a human (due to him being a demi-god).

The book simply can be described as “Amazing”. The retelling with new perspectives is remarkable and even when the story of Troy is known to most and has been retold again and again. “The Song of Achilles” has its own freshness and is a great read. The language is simple, flowy, and yet moving. It is heart-touching and makes the reader feel the emotions of Patroclus and Achilles. If you enjoy reading Greek mythology (as I do) and yet can’t wait to be pleasantly surprised, then this a go for.

Rating for this book- *****/5

 

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