Summary Miller

What we enjoyed about the book:
– Beautiful prose, crystal clear
– Not a corny love story
– Feels natural, not an artificial retelling
– Rewritten from the perspective of Patroclus, change of perspective great
– Beautiful ending, fascinating
– Achilles not presented like an arrogant jerk and bully; vulnerable side was well done, he is able to love someone
– Unique retelling, especially interesting take on the fantastic aspects of the mythology; interesting how she handled gods
– Miller really did “her homework” on the Iliad –> Homer more epic, Miller influenced by modern sensibilities, softer retelling
– Made the mythology feel real; retelling not boring
– Natural relatopnship between A. and P.; not forced at all; “it just happened to be queer because it fit the story”
– Level of detail is amazing!
– Human side of the story was focussed on, humanise characters / heroes who are larger than life
– Trojan War in school –> historical perspective; now make it much more personal –> approach it from different perspectives
– Miller actually a teacher, combined this with a more personal approach
– “I liked how gay it was”
– Atmosphere created was really cool, made us wanted to travel to Greece, go to the beaches!
– Gay love story taken from Homer, already pretty gay, they were more than just friends already in the Iliad, not a stretch 😀
– “As a gay man who’s more on the introverted side, I felt a connection to P. that I seldom have, so that representation was really nice”
– Prose great at creating vivid and very sensuous imagery –> taste the figs, feel the sun ❤
– Beautiful ending, yet so tragic
– 5 star read for many of us, “stuck with me ever since”; “still think about it”, “love everything about it”; some of us are gonna reread it; we can still cry over it even though some of us read it last year; impressive book
– 7.5 out of 10 stars –> not a big fan of the romance, but the images created were beautiful, great reading experience

What we discussed:
– Flowery love story prose a bit boring (still beautiful)
– Relationship between A. and P. felt scandalous (marketing-wise?) vs. we really loved their relationship
– What could’ve been done better: “make it even gayer”
– Bit too modern in parts –> how P. thought about his feelings, more like a modern coming out; thinking in categories very modern
– P. not a bloodthirsty Greek macho, but sometimes Miller trying to distance him from that picture felt a bit artifical?
– Gay love felt not normal at parts? Weird, when being in love with different genders was not a big thing back then? Maybe P. afraid of the relationship because of Achilles’ status? He’s not good enough for Achilles?
– Fierce warrior vs. more feminine man bit problematic? (Overall relationship was enjoyed!)
– Why did P. spend the night with Achilles’ wife?????
– pre-war part more enjoyable than the war part –> we want chilling with Chiron the entirety of the book; close relationship missing during the war
– Achilles showed another part of him: the part which made him famous. But this is not the part we saw before with P. and him together
– Focus on fame and legends –> A.’ mother thinks that P. could hold A. back, which is why she keeps them separated; we still dislike the mother 😀
– Ending left us devestated (not entirely a bad thing :D:D:D)
– Why would gods favour somebody and ignore others? Why don’t the gods save A. and P.???? MEAN! Achilles an average human in the end interesting. Gods selfish, mean, neutral, also sometimes random? A. and P. together in the end, without any restrictions or jobs in the way?

Other books we talked about:
– “Fledgling” by Octavia Butler –> “vampire and racism”, vampire story, symbiosis with their human blood-givers; interesting as a vampire novel with a mystery aspect; amnesia: learn how to be a vampire; thriller aspect cool in the beginning, gets a bit slow; very intelligent; bit too idealistic/wholesome? Great prose too.
– “Circe” by Madeline Miller not as good as “Song of Achilles”, but still very enjoyable; Circe’s character development was great; evil witch in mythology; change of perspective great
– READ THE ILIAD PEOPLE! Not dusty, it’s cool! “More brutal than Game of Thrones”
– “Lavinia” by Ursula Le Guin; minor character in focus;
– “Ms Marvel” comics are great! Captain Marvel –> 16yo Pakistani-American girl, very nerdy, clumsy, obsessed with superheroes, fun, great cameos!


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