Monday, 2 April 2012

Love Sings In The Trojan War

Big message here. It doesn't matter if you don't know your Homer, have always been terrified of approaching The Iliad or only know the Trojan War from contemplating Brad Pitt's abs. in "Troy".(My fave review of that film,"bronzed men running about", but I digress.) By the time you have finished Madeline Miller's poignant retelling of a doomed love affair you will have lived every detail.
Told from the viewpoint of Achilles' lover Patroclus, we live the epic tale as it happens to two very young men. In an interview Madeleine Miller was asked how she was able to take this approach to such a huge subject :-

"As for the overwhelming legends, I actually think they worked in my favor—because Patroclus is overwhelmed by them himself. He is this ordinary person who is pulled into a terrifying world of angry deities and destiny because of his love for Achilles."

Read the rest of the interview here:-

 I liked this book a lot &, even knowing perfectly well what was going to happen, hoped that it wouldn't. I was particularly impressed by the way Miller wove the appearances of gods & supernatural creatures into the story, they were part of life but in a disturbing, best avoided if possible way. I loved the relationship between Achilles & Patroclus & how, when so very young, they came to terms with fates they couldn't avoid. Miller's writing reminded me of Mary Renault's but I think that Miller would be more accessible today. Highly recommended both as a tale of doomed romance & as an excellent way into the world of Homer.


  1. Another one I really liked has made it to the short list.

  2. Orange Prize Winner 2012! Hooray!