The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller- report

The book was presented by Julie.  
6 members present
A beautiful recounting of the story of Achilles, based on Homer’s Iliad, this was re-interpreted as a homosexual love story. This fits in with what we know about Greek culture of the time.
Achilles is supremely heroic, for most of the book. The classicist Natalie Haynes writes that ‘she made a hero out of Achilles, when his ego is huge.’ The story is at least equally about his companion Patroclus.
The tone of the book wavered between young romance (with some overwritten soppy bits) and incredibly beautiful descriptions. This is explained by the fact that Madeline Miller is a gifted translator of Greek, and these descriptive passages were, in fact, straight translations from Homer. Some of us were surprised to learn this, and we felt it would have been more authentic to have some sign in the text indicating the translated passages. It certainly explained the feeling we had that it was a book of two voices.
This has been a very popular teenage-to-adult novel, and has apparently been a great help to gay teens. We found it easy to read, and most of us quite enjoyed it.
Future dates etc. will be in the next newsletter.
Wishing you a very happy summer, with some great books.
Rosie x