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25 May 2012 @ 12:06 am
The Song of Achilles  
I'm trying again with reading a book. This time it's The Song of Achilles, which has the potential to be a bad idea; the amount of knowledge I have on the ancient world makes me very nit-picky. However, my impressions after about the first third or so:


Good: It's an easy enough read. There's some rationalization and explanation of age/timeline, and as someone who has tried to figure out the logistics of mythology timeline, I know how hard it is. It's written from Patroklos' point of view, which is something else to appreciate. Also, she didn't do the "they're just friends" way out.

Bad: I don't particularly like the characterization of Patroklos, even if I understand the reasons. The fact is that he's supposed to be tall, handsome, and a great fighter. In the Iliad, he was described as "godlike," and has an aristeia, a moment of being the greatest fighter. This Patroklos doesn't even have the potential.

Nitpicky details: The author doesn't know Patroklos' lineage; he and Achilles were cousins once-removed, and she doesn't know the geography: Peleus was king of Phthia, and Menoetius was king of Opus; Phthia is a decent chunk of region, Opus was a city, but she says that Menoetius had more land. Also, she didn't pay attention in art history, and there are a number of anachronisms throughout it, in terms of what they do and do not have.



Still I'm trying to suspend disbelief and get through the book. We'll see how it works out.
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Alexanderashmedai on May 25th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC)
Urgh, I can't stand it when authors don't do adequate research. I considered reading that book once, but didn't for some reason (probably because I don't like M/M romance novels, or romance in general).
MissTeacakes: alexhephmissteacakes on May 25th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
Part of it is because I'm a psycho classicist/mythologist, and can be like, "wrong! Black figure wear wasn't out like that till..." And it's not really a romance novel, either; it's a life-of, and they didn't deny that they were lovers. In all, it's not bad. I still think I could do better, though...