Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Recommendation

Ages ago (seriously, it was several years ago now) I posted about Shakespeare's Gay Boys. Technically, they're not Shakespeare's of course. They belong to Ancient Greek mythology. I'm talking about Achilles and Patroclus, in case you don't know. I just finished reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and WOW. There are books that come along once a decade or so that are so profoundly beautiful that you, the reader, can't help but be moved/impacted/bettered by reading them. This is one of those books. And with its addition to my personal version of that list, I can still count them on one hand. They are that rare.

The story is told entirely from Patroclus' point of view in the present tense (which if you know anything about this particular mythology will cause you to wonder how the author made that work--but trust me, she does). While the Trojan War is, of course, an inescapable part of the story, Miller begins with the child Patroclus and builds her world through him. Her prose is gorgeous. Everyone you meet in the story, from the heroes of myth, to the most minor players, to the sea goddess Thetis, reads as rich and real. I will be reading this book again and again, when I need something to keep me company and pull me out of our world for a while. When I need somewhere fantastical yet true to escape to.

Do yourself a favor and read The Song of Achilles. You'll only be sorry if you don't.

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