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Achilles, by Elizabeth Cook

Pros

• Fleshes out Homeric episodes with suffering and emotions.
• Integrates and explains the gods' intervention in the Trojan War.
• Tells the story of Thetis, Achilles' mother.

Cons

• Modern sensibilities and street language
• For those not interested in John Keats, the ending is anticlimactic.

The Bottom Line - A contemporary, poetic retelling of the story of Achilles' life, passions, and time in the Underworld, without modern dress.

Product Description

• Achilles' meeting with Odysseus in the Underworld, Achilles' life and death, and Keat's interest.

• Written in a prose that fails at being poetry only because of its form.

• Moving story of a heroic man with many passions.

Guide Review

Achilles, by Elizabeth Cook
Doomed by a mortal heel, the tragic Achilles was larger than life. He was trained by a centaur, lived as a girl in a neighboring king's court, and then was tricked by Odysseus into joining Agamemnon's war band at Troy where he sat back fuming, because of Agamemnon's assault on his pride, until Hector killed his beloved Patroclus. Achilles, more heroic than any other mortal, suffered more, as well. Even in death, his wrath turns him against his friend Odysseus.

This is the ancient story Cook recreates -- complete with divine intervention and a shape-shifting nymph -- drawing readers in with gripping emotional content.

Related Reviews Related Resources
The World of Odysseus - M.I. Finley
Rutenberg's Oedipus
Achilles
Nymphs
Homer
Heroic Behavior
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