The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

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The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

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feb. 14, 2013, 1:57pm

I picked this book for it's winning of the Orange award and was surprised to discover that it's mostly a male romance thing, not about battles or whatever, though that is there too, of course. Not at all complaining, the relationship stuff was awesome and heartbreaking to read. The whole book is a well told story of a life, believable in an awesome way.

Heracles was the greatest of our heroes, and Philoctetes had been the closest of his companions, the only one still living. p7
When I read "Heracles was the greatest of our heroes" and remembered it from almost exactly the same place on the previous page, I was worried this was going to be a difficult book for me to get though. This was the one mistake.

"I want them." He didn't bother to threaten me, yet. I hated him for it. I should be worth threatening. p17
This really showed the emotion of what it is to be cast aside by everyone. To be able to throw so much feeling into one, simple sentence is rare.

He said what he meant; he was puzzled if you did not. Some people might have mistaken this for simplicity. But is it not a sort of genius to cut always to the heart? p44
This was an interesting idea. It's true that many people believe that honest people are "simple" just because they don't understand dishonesty.

We climbed higher still, and the centaur swished his great black tail, swatting flies for all of us. p74
Great symbolism here. The breaks are often this good, transitioning from one plotpoint to the next in a symbolic or fittingly dramatic way.

The room turned gray, then white. The bed felt cold without him, and too large. I heard no sounds, and the stillness frightened me. /It is like a tomb./ I rose and rubbed my limbs, slapped them awake, trying to ward off a rising hysteria. /This is what it will be, every day, without him./ I felt a wild-eyed tightness in my chest, like a scream. /Every day, without him./ p169-169
I know this feeling. Even when you prepare yourself for what it's going to be like when someone has gone away... you're never really ready.

As he lay alone in his rose-colored cave, had some glimmer of prophecy come to him? Perhaps he simply assumed: a bitterness of habbit, of boy after boy trained for music and medicine, and unleashed for murder. p189
This was about the centaur that trained them and flicked the flies earlier in my notes.

It turned out that she did know a little Greek. A few words that her father had picked up and taught her when he heard the army was coming. /Mercy/ was one. /Yes/ and /please/ and /what do you want?/ A father, teaching his daughter how to be a slave. p230
Again you have a lot said in such a simple few lines. It's really well written.

A thousand was the number Agamemnon's bards had started using; one thousand, one hundred and eighty-six didn't fit well in a line of verse. p235
This got a little chuckle out of me. Reality isn't even this real at times. We would all be sitting here claiming the government had hidden an army from us.

Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. "No man is worth more than anohter, wherever he is from." p298
Just a great line.

/In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood lie a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun./ p369
I'm thinking I didn't copy some of this? I remember it being so beautiful.