GROUP READ - The Song of Achilles

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GROUP READ - The Song of Achilles

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1mamzel
Editat: juny 1, 2013, 2:16pm



I don't think we have to worry about spoilers since the story of Achilles is well known. I started the book this morning and am already halfway through the book.

2soffitta1
juny 1, 2013, 1:39pm

I've got to fly back to the UK for an interview on Wednesday, so will be starting when I get back. It looks really good.

3cyderry
juny 1, 2013, 2:53pm

I've got mine but have to finish up a few leftovers from May.

4sjmccreary
juny 1, 2013, 2:59pm

I've got mine - next up after completing the current book.

5EBT1002
juny 1, 2013, 5:57pm

I'll dig my copy off the shelf and make sure I join in the fun this month!

6Crazymamie
juny 1, 2013, 6:40pm

I'm in!

7SouthernKiwi
juny 1, 2013, 10:36pm

I'll be lurking to see what you all think of Achilles, it was easily one of my best reads last year.

8Bjace
juny 1, 2013, 11:00pm

Read 6 chapters yesterday. So far Odyseuss is the most interesting character in the story

9msf59
juny 2, 2013, 1:45pm

I won't be able to get to this one until later in the month but I hope to join you good people.

10mamzel
juny 2, 2013, 1:54pm

I enjoyed a peaceful morning finishing the book. Outstanding! The forlorn puppy adoration of Patroclus was a little uncomfortable at first until he followed Achilles to Chiron's.

When I was reading the battle descriptions, I had to push a picture of Brad Pitt out of my mind. (It still lurked there, however, a picture of him leaping in the air and coming down with his sword.) I was fascinated with the description of using a spear. I honestly didn't think there was much more than stabbing. I have a picture in my mind of Roman troops with a forest of spears in the air.

I found the portrayed love between the two men to be deeper and more complex than I imagined.

I was really moved by the ending of the book. Perfect!

11Esquiress
juny 2, 2013, 3:33pm

I am in once I get my library copy :)

12luvamystery65
Editat: juny 3, 2013, 1:09pm

This book is absolutely magical!

ETA: I haven't seen Troy but I don't mind picturing Brad Pitt as I read this book. ;)

13EBT1002
juny 5, 2013, 12:42am

This book is absolutely magical!

That seals it. I'm starting this next, as soon as I complete my current read.

14BookLizard
juny 5, 2013, 8:17am

Hey! How did this book get on my Kindle? ;-)

Guess now I'll HAVE TO read it.

15Esquiress
Editat: juny 5, 2013, 8:48am

I got my library copy yesterday, but I also want to read it for the library's adult reading program, where I get tickets for each book I read :)

ETA: That starts June 10th.

16BookLizard
juny 5, 2013, 9:00am

15> Tickets? What kind of tickets? What can you use them for?

My library only has the summer reading program for kids and teens.

17Esquiress
juny 5, 2013, 9:13am

>16 BookLizard:: For every book you read, you fill out a ticket for a chance to win prizes!

Usually it's only kids and teens, so I was VERY excited :)

18luvamystery65
juny 5, 2013, 9:18am

We have an adult summer reading program at our library too.

19Bjace
juny 5, 2013, 10:17am

We have an adult SRP too. They count hours read, which I think is dumb, but I participate anyway.

20mamzel
juny 5, 2013, 5:19pm

People who participate in our library can get a break on their fines! (Not that I need help - they charge .25 per day and it's way too easy to just renew stuff on line.)

21BookLizard
juny 6, 2013, 9:00am

19> Well, the point of a Summer Reading Program is to encourage people to read. We're not exactly the target audience. With kids, they use "minutes read" to encourage those who aren't good readers, the ones who need the incentive the most, to read over the summer. They can get discouraged if they have to read a certain number of books, but if they have to read 15-30 minutes a day - that's more doable.

22EBT1002
juny 7, 2013, 10:03am

This is wonderful.

23luvamystery65
juny 7, 2013, 10:33pm

Yes it is Ellen

24luvamystery65
juny 8, 2013, 5:21pm

What an incredible, beautiful love story. My heart actually ached until the very, very end.

This was so gorgeously written.

25mamzel
juny 10, 2013, 3:33pm

Monsieur caught me shedding tears at the end and asked why if I already knew that Achilles died. I wailed and said I knew - it was what happened AFTER he died that got to me!

26Esquiress
juny 10, 2013, 4:09pm

Oh no! Another tear-jerker :)

People were probably wondering why I sobbed at the end of the Gatsby movie, too, when I knew what was coming already. It's just the way it goes!

27mamzel
juny 10, 2013, 5:19pm

Serendipidity is one of my favorite things. I love when coincidences happen - like this one.
I am the final days before summer and I am reading my shelves and keeping an eye out for likely books to weed when a particularly old (1950) book of Homer's classics caught my eye. I opened it to a random page and this is what jumped out at me.

In wrath therefor shall goodly Achilles slay Hector.

It brought tears to my eyes again. I am half considering trying to read this version of the Iliad but I don't know if I can stand the old-style language. but I do love that line! This is how The Iliad starts:

Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs and all winged fowls; and so the counsel of Zeus wrought out its accomplishment from the day when first strife parted Atreides king of men and noble Achilles.

28luvamystery65
juny 10, 2013, 8:12pm

#25 Exactly! #27 Very, very cool.

29msf59
juny 10, 2013, 8:43pm

Okay, I have my blinders firmly in place. I do no want to see a thing. I am only 20 pages in and solidly hooked. Why I hesitated to read this, is BEYOND me. But I am here now.

30luvamystery65
juny 10, 2013, 9:49pm

Mark if you only started, I can't wait till you are midway! It really just gets better.

31TinaV95
juny 10, 2013, 10:46pm

This was one of my favorite reads last year... If not my absolute top pick! I'm just going to be hanging out here with the cool kids! ;)

32msf59
juny 10, 2013, 10:48pm

I want to be a cool kid! I want to be a cool kid!

33cyderry
juny 11, 2013, 9:13am

I'm about 1/3 into it and I do mean INTO it!

34Bjace
juny 13, 2013, 12:33pm

I'm afraid I'm going to be the cuckoo in the nest on this one. I'm about 1/3 finished with this and I'm finding it both irritating and unintentionally funny. I wondered if I was reading the same book as the rest of you, so I went looking for reviews online. Once I read the NYT review of the book I found it even harder to take seriously.

35cyderry
juny 13, 2013, 1:49pm

I'm finished! I took it to bed last night thinking I'd read a few chapters, and I'm guessing that I finally turned out the light at 2ish. I just couldn't put it down. I know at about 12:30 after several "just one more chapters" I realized I wasn't going to stop until the end.

Beth, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it especially since I think I was the one who suggested it for a group read.

I knew about Achilles and Hector but the way that the characters were fleshed out seemed so real. I loved it.

36Esquiress
juny 13, 2013, 1:52pm

I've only just started the book, so I have little to say at this juncture other than... I've started!

37mamzel
juny 13, 2013, 5:17pm

Beth, I'm sorry this wasn't a book for you. I was interested, though, and read the same review you refer to. Amazing that it stayed on the Best Sellers list after that! Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review. Not everyone likes the same books. Thank the gods that we don't have to, right? Are you going to join the Mockingbird group read?

38Bjace
juny 13, 2013, 5:52pm

Mamzel, I hadn't planned to. Right now I'm having trouble finishing anything.

39sjmccreary
juny 14, 2013, 7:02am

I've started reading and am about 1/3 in. I've been surprised how fast it reads, and I am enjoying it very much. Unfortunately, I picked up 2 ILLs from the library yesterday, so I may have to put Achilles aside so I can finish those before they are due back. I hate when that happens.

40soffitta1
juny 14, 2013, 2:07pm

** I have a couple of comments on the whole book, I don't think they are spoilers, but thought I'd give people warning.

I read this today, I am spending the weekend in Galicia, but as my friends don't arrive until tomorrow, I took advantage of some rare free time and some sunshine to finish this. What a great read.

Well written, with good detail. It is hard to breathe new life into such a well-known tale, especially one that has been written about and filmed many a time. I liked the myths were mixed into reality, that we see Achilles as the son of a water goddess, amongst others. The love story is also handled well, surviving the transistion of boy to manhood. Highly recommended.

41Esquiress
juny 14, 2013, 6:38pm

I finished the book today, and I did enjoy it quite.

My question is, why the switches from past to present tense seemingly at random? It made a bit of sense at the end but happened a few times throughout. I looked for a pattern but couldn't find one. Did anyone else notice and see the reasoning?

42Donna828
juny 23, 2013, 7:41pm

I finished reading The Song of Achilles last night. While I liked it quite a lot, I can't say that I loved it. I got caught up in the ending, but the first half of the book was slow. I admire Madeline Miller for taking on the retelling of the story of Achilles. I thought her writing was good and will probably read her next book, but I just couldn't see the attraction between the "Golden" son of a King and a goddess and Patroclus who was pretty ordinary. It was a 4-star book for me.

43Gretebuck
juny 26, 2013, 11:01am

Read this last year whilst on holiday and couldn't put it down. A love story beautifully told but also a story of war and heroism as well as the consequences of war, the pity and waste of war.
Madeline Miller gave me a window into The Iliad which I then read and what a story that is - as relevant to today's turbulant times as ever it was!