ACHILLES Reviewed by Mary Doria Russell

We admit we were a bit skeptical when GalleyChatters first raved about The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller (HarperCollins/Ecco), a debut novel based on The Iliad.

Turns out we’re not the only ones with reservations; Mary Doria Russell, in her review in the Washington Post, admits, “Until I was 60 and writing about Doc Holliday (who read the classics in their original languages), the closest I came to The Iliad was watching Brad Pitt in Troy.”

Russell goes on to say that the book “draws the personal and the intimate” out of Homer’s story and makes it partly a “quiet love story” (about the adolescent friendship between Achilles and Patroclus, causing the Independent to dub it, “Brokeback Mountain sets sail for Troy“), peppered with “tense and exciting” battle scenes.

If you’ve been putting off reading the advance readers edition (HarperCollins was giving them away liberally), Russell’s review should put you over the top.

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