I did read it. I… liked/hated/loved/loathed it? Here’s the question, I guess - do you like fanfiction? Do you like softcore teen sex scenes? Do you like teenage angst? The Song of Achilles is kind of like the thinking classicist’s Twilight as far as the characterization of Achilles and Patroclus goes. So some people will like that and some people will rabidly despise it. I admit at times it filled me with a fiendish glee and at others I felt like I was an embarrassment to the field for reading it.
BUT. The characterization of the supporting characters is really cool. It was a lot of fun for me to to get Odysseus and Helen and Hector and Agamemnon out of the dactylic hexameter and into a 21st-century novel. I loved loved loved the way the author explored some of the later legends (like there was scene where Odysseus talks about what it’s like to be married to Helen’s sister and everyone thinks it’s kind of weird that he and Penelope are in love - like, that shit is awesome, and you don’t get that in the canon). So that’s fun.
And then there’s Briseis. Dude. I could answer a thousand anon comments and never scratch the surface of how badass and beautiful and fierce the characterization of Briseis is in this book. Briseis in the Song of Achilles is worth making it through 50 pages of Achilles in drag.
Basically, I appreciate it as an addition to the conversation because it does a lot of things I find valuable - it queers the narrative and gives attention to the captured women. I think some classics students DISLIKE that about it, but I’m a little more postmodern in my literary theory, so I liked it. All that aside, at times it gets pretty ff.net. Your mileage may vary.