My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The War That Killed Achilles by Caroline Alexander was a three star read for me. I am not sure what I was expecting. But, I can tell you this was a very close reading of the Iliad. Alexander did A LOT of quoting from the Iliad and even went so far as to quote passages that she translated herself. I am impressed she was able to translate it. I don’t believe she included her own translations to be showy, I truly agree she probably could not have quoted entire books of another persons translation. However, it should give you an idea of how much she quoted. I felt as if I was simply reading an heavily annotated version of the Iliad. She did offer some guidance on Greek myth and provided a lot of background information on the characters in the epic.
As a reader, you can definitely tell that Ms. Alexander has a love affair with Homer’s Iliad. For me, that was one highlight of the book. She writes with a love, care and passion for the epic that certainly comes through in her work and makes the reader appreciate her book, her research effort, and her labor of love.
It is an okay recourse book on the Iliad, but I am not sure that it is awe inspiring in anyway. There is nothing in Alexander’s book that really stands out for me. There is nothing in the book that will resonate with me in the long term.