Ransom by David Malouf

This short novel tells the story of Achilles and Priam, zooming in on their evening together with short descriptions of the events leading up to their truce (Hector’s death) and following (Achilles’s and Priam’s deaths).  It’s a beautiful story that captures the uniqueness of the moment:  a king walks into danger to beg from his son’s murderer.  A hero weeps and embraces the enemy king.  I loved these characters before, and I love them even more after reading Ransom.   Continue reading

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

OH NOOOO I’m losing it!  This book made me feel EVERYTHING, and there’s no way this review will be anything coherent.  I guess I know why The Iliad continues to be read millenia after it was created–no one can create a drama like the Greeks!  The tragedy here is SO STRONG, with characters acting so stupidly human that you want to shake them, but you totally see their point, and then everything falls apart because there are no real “good” guys and “bad” guys, but dumb humans seeking glory, and AHHHH!

Okay, I’ll try again.  Reading The Song of Achilles is like watching Titanic.  I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn’t help but desperately hope things would turn out differently.  Every bit of foreshadowing heightened the horrified anticipation so that when the climax came I was just helplessly awash in emotion.  I mean, I actually thought I was holding it together pretty well, until I read the very last paragraph and surprised myself by bursting into tears.   Continue reading