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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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The Song of Achilles (2011)

by Madeline Miller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,1301733,074 (4.12)3 / 671
  1. 110
    The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood (1morechapter)
  2. 60
    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (wrmjr66)
  3. 50
    The Mask of Apollo by Mary Renault (shaunie)
  4. 40
    The Persian Boy by Mary Renault (emanate28)
    emanate28: Maybe they are too similar... But both The Persian Boy and The Song of Achilles are heartbreaking and beautiful stories of legendary heroes told from the perspective of their devoted boy lovers. The ancient heroes come alive and one is transported back into those times.… (more)
  5. 30
    The Iliad by Homer (alalba)
  6. 30
    Ransom by David Malouf (jbvm)
  7. 10
    An Arrow's Flight: A Novel by Mark Merlis (marq)
    marq: Mark Merlis also takes up the story of Pyrrhus (or Neoptolemus), Achilles’ son with Deidamia when he was in disguise as a woman on Scyros. A very different kind of novel, steampunk, wild anachronism, graphically homoerotic, brilliant.
  8. 00
    Alcestis by Katharine Beutner (rarm)
  9. 22
    Grendel by John Gardner (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another brilliantly retold classic by a modern author.
  10. 00
    The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar narrative idea
  11. 00
    The Love Artist by Jane Alison (jbvm)
  12. 325
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Because Song of Achilles is Homer's Illiad as a Twilight novel. Sorry.
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English (169)  Dutch (3)  All (1)  All (173)
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
Distraught. A heaping mess of sobs. This book is just too much. The description is perfection. I felt transported to Ancient Greece. The sights, the sounds, the colors... it was all so vivid all I can think of is eating figs and crying because FIGS. The characters were so human, so flawed yet so wonderful. I feel like all I can do right now is gush and also rush to the nearest bookstore to look for a hardcover edition just so I can hug it at night.

Read it, you won't be sorry. ( )
  lapiccolina | Jun 23, 2017 |
I only picked this up because I saw one of my friends on here talk about it a lot and they seemed to have really loved it, so I just thought 'why not'. I was kind of hesitant because it's not really my genre, I don't usually read mythology, but when I read the first sentence it sucked me in. I just could not put it down.
I absolutely adored the writing style, it was raw and beautiful and appropriate for a book like this. The entire book is just so quotable, and the fact that it's written in first person is one of my favourite things about it, because mythological books are almost never in first person. I could rave about the writing style all day, it's just so brilliant, even reading the quotes on the goodreads page makes my heart ache. Just the writing makes it absolutely worth reading.
I fell in love with Achilles and Patroclus and even the side characters, they all felt very real, and, being one of the few people who have never read the Iliad I appreciated the details and the character glossary at the end. What I loved most about it was the love between Achilles and Patroclus. I can see why some people might not like it but it was what made me devour the entire book in a few days.
Although it got a bit slow during the second half, it was never boring and it actually brought me to tears a few times. It was so amazing that I could talk about it all day and, even though I just finished it I would quite like to re-read it. Right now.
All I can say is that it is an incredible book. ( )
1 vote Banoczi_Henrietta | Jun 19, 2017 |
I loved listening to this audiobook. A classic story beautifully written. I hope Madeline Miller has more for us. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
This is a pretty amazing retelling of the Iliad. It was interesting to see things from Patroclus's point of view. And I surprisingly learned a few things that I hadn't already known from other versions of this story. This was by far the best one! ( )
  Tabatha014 | Feb 15, 2017 |
The song of Achilles could be pitched as a biography of Patroklos. It predominantly deals with the relationship between Achilles, greatest of the Achaeans, and Patroklos, his lover and brother-in-arms (but mainly the former).

There were lots of things that this book did right. For one, it was well-written, with a language and style that kept a neat middle between the requirements of contemporary prose and the sense of a three-thousand-plus year old tale. It’s also a complete story, in that it not only retells the Trojan War, but all the semi-mythic material before and after that is needed to properly complete the story. For all that, it’s well-paced: the bits that could drag are given enough charm or interest of their own that they don’t, and the bits that shouldn’t drag, don’t.

What I particularly liked about this book, though, is that Miller made the whole thing feel downright crisp: the choice of side-character like Patroklos as main character forces a judicious selection from well-known material, but it also brings a fresh perspective on the whole mythological cycle. As a result, neither feels constraining, and the story seems almost new.

The song of Achilles engaged me from about the second chapter in, and kept me committed until the very end. Not bad at all! ( )
1 vote Petroglyph | Dec 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 169 (next | show all)
That The Song of Achilles offers a different take on the epic story of Achilles and the Trojan War is not, in itself, anything particularly out of the ordinary. People have been putting their own spins on The Iliad from the instant Homer finished reciting it. What's startling about this sharply written, cleverly re-imagined, enormously promising debut novel from Madeline Miller is how fresh and moving her take on the tale is — how she has managed to bring Achilles and his companion Patroclus to life in our time without removing them from their own.
added by Shortride | editUSA Today, Robert Bianco (Mar 12, 2012)
 
But in the case of Miller, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in classics at Brown, the epic reach exceeds her technical grasp. The result is a book that has the head of a young adult novel, the body of the “Iliad” and the hindquarters of Barbara Cartland.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeline Millerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Douglas, FrazerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saltzman, AllisonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorpe, DavidReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windgassen, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To my mother Madeline, and Nathaniel
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My father was a king and the son of kings.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Short introduction

To the classic Iliad

With misplaced passion.

(legallypuzzled)

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Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.… (more)

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