February 14, 2006

we’ll be the wild ones

Posted in books tagged , , at 10:55 pm by placeinthestars

I finished Devil in the White City, and I feel I should have something to say about it, but I don’t. It was an enjoyable read – Larson’s style is engaging and it was an easy read, if somewhat gross on occasion, and I really knew nothing about the Chicago World’s Fair or H.H. Holmes, so I learned a lot, even if I take everything in it with a grain of salt, because I just can’t quite get behind how Larson recreates conversations etc. even if they are based on actual letters/documents/etc.

Now I’m reading War Music and I am in love. IN LOVE. With Achilles, mostly, but also with the language.

The thing about Achilles is… he is a sulky brat who causes the deaths of a lot of people (er, other than the people he kills in battle, whose deaths he also causes, but like, that’s his job, so it’s not so problematic as the number of people on his own side he gets killed), but he’s not wrong about the fact that what Agamemnon does to him is wrong. What I mean is, Agamemnon basically breaks faith with him, and in that act, he breaks faith with the whole of the army, and that’s just spectacularly bad leadership. They’re both assholes about it, but Agamemnon is in a position where he should know better (of course, he’s the guy who slit his own daughter’s throat to get his war on the road, so…), or at least, he should behave better. Of course, Achilles should just suck it up and be the better man, but he wouldn’t be himself if he did that, and I’ve always liked him in spite of his assholery. Or possibly because of it.