Greece with The Song of Achilles


“Do not let what you gained this day be so easily lost.”–Chiron, The Song of Achilles

  • Here’s what happens:
    • It’s a classic retelling of the Iliad (one of my all-time favorite stories) in a format that’s not quite as hip as Brad Pitt’s super shirtless take in Troy, but a compelling and entertaining read nonetheless. There are some unexpected twists–well, unexpected if you haven’t studied Greek mythology in depth–that make this particular version fresh and unique. Not to mention, our friend Patroclus is the narrator.
  • It’s good because:
    • As I mentioned above, Madeline Miller explores a lesser known Iliadic theory, and she does so in a way that makes a thousands-year-old story feel both authentic and modern.
  • Read if:
    • You enjoy a story that artfully weaves its romance into a larger, more complicated plot, while still telling a beautifully comprehensive tale of two people who are meant to be. Achilles’ story is obviously largely the story of the Trojan War, but this book is more the tale of Achilles’ heart, rather than Achilles’ heel. If you’re interested in this hero’s back story, I recommend reading this.

Up next: Nigeria with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.


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