“It was interesting to learn more about Achilles. One thing I will not forget is how his mother dressed him up in little girls clothes. :|”Nickle Love wrote this review Sunday, August 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Poetic is exactly the word I would use to describe Elizabeth Cook's Achilles - it is very easy to see her background in poetry shining through her words. Cook has boiled down the life of the greatest of Homer's heroes to just over 100 pages, each word and phrase weighted with marvelous spirit and meaning.
For the most part, Achilles is a beautifully written and bewitching read. There are however a few pieces of literary oddities. Cook tends to follow a beautiful turn of phrase with vulgarity that spoils the entire thing. Case in point:
"Achilles of the loud war cry lets out his war cry...
and the Achaeans regroup. Each man of them merry and agile for war.
The Trojans shit themselves."
I understand what she was trying to do here, but that last bit ruined it for me. The overt crudity in some parts of the story stopped Achilles from being an otherwise seamlessly captivating novella. Luckily there are only a couple of these unsightly blemishes to spoil the story.
My other issue with Achilles is that the end is disjointed, jumping from the days of Troy to the time of John Keates. The idea had real possibilities but was poorly executed. The novella went from well-formed to weird in just a turn of the page. If I had it to do over again, I would have simply skipped the last chapter and ended my journey in Troy.
My overall impression of Elizabeth Cook's Achilles is that it is an imperfect adaptation of life of Achilles. The writing is dramatic and worthy of the epic, but there are a few choice phrases that come together to really damage the whole. My advice is to read Achilles for Cook's poetic interpretation of the life of Achilles, and try to ignore the offensive parts.”
“Love it so much i'm basing my MPhil around it's depiction of Achilles.
In myth we hear of Achille's early cross-dressing....but never really go into it.
Helen's 'career' began at the age of 10, raped by Theseus. Couldn't this have something to do with her future conduct....”
“Focusing on Achilles, this text reminded me a little of Christa Wolf's Cassandra in its attempt to retell parts of the Iliad and Odyssey -- but the ending is rather different.”Wiebke K wrote this review Thursday, October 1, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Well now I know the story of Achilles, this was a little confusing. It jumps around from god to god and then to humans. Interesting and short. Iknow there better books on the subject.”Kimberly K wrote this review Saturday, June 7, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's short, it's simple, and there are some chapters that don't belong. this novel feels incomplete and sloppy. the author, on the other hand, is fluent in poetry and does a great job characterizing the protagonist. i feel more intimate with the illiad's characters because of this book.”Dave N wrote this review Tuesday, December 18, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is one of my most favorite books ever. Elizabeth Cook has all of the heroes from Troy in the book and even works John Keats into the mix! Cook's prose is beautiful, and her story of Achilles is touching and glorious.”barbbuc wrote this review Thursday, July 5, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No