Monday, September 03, 2012

Currently reading

I've been promising myself I'd get hold of a copy of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ever since I spotted it had won the Orange Prize for fiction. Finally, on Friday, I treated myself to the book and started reading it over the weekend.

At first I didn't think I was going to like it, in spite of the fact that it's a m/m historical in the vein of Mary Renault, who wrote some of my favourite books. The language was very simplistic and the style seemed to be very much 'show not tell' with the narrator, Patroclus, looking back to his childhood and reporting on events in a dispassionate, measured style that lacked any hint of emotional impact. Somehow a sentence like "I remember that my father was very angry" doesn't conjure up the same visual image as a brief scene with the same father, scarlet in the face, banging his fist on a table and yelling at his son.

However, as I read on the action picked up. The book's second main character, Achilles, was introduced and suddenly, intentionally or otherwise, the whole thing has come to life. Now I'm looking forward to bedtimes when I can put on the reading light, curl up under the duvet and read another wadge of pages about Patroclus and Achilles' friendship.

I'm only about a third of the way through (although that's not bad going for two days!) so will post again when I've finished it and have a better idea of the book as a whole. But so far, so good, I think.

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