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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles (2011)

by Madeline Miller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,8642122,947 (4.1)3 / 752
Recently added bykinwolf, Stephuhhnieee, Lauconn, private library, cassiejay, rena75, FKarr, mallinje
  1. 120
    The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood (1morechapter)
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    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (wrmjr66)
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    The Mask of Apollo by Mary Renault (shaunie)
  4. 60
    The Iliad by Homer (alalba)
  5. 30
    Ransom by David Malouf (jbvm)
  6. 30
    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)
  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. 32
    Grendel by John Gardner (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another brilliantly retold classic by a modern author.
  9. 00
    Alcestis by Katharine Beutner (rarm)
  10. 00
    The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar narrative idea
  11. 00
    The Love Artist by Jane Alison (jbvm)
  12. 329
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Because Song of Achilles is Homer's Illiad as a Twilight novel. Sorry.

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English (206)  Dutch (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  All languages (212)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
A nice retelling of Achilles story, but with Patroclus as a main character too. The story is kind of ruined though with the last 70 pages or so that feels so rushed it almost feel the author was tired of writing the story. Too bad, as the story was nicely told before reaching that point. ( )
  kinwolf | Dec 18, 2018 |
A modern retelling of the Iliad focused on the legendary warrior Achilles and his life-companion Patroclus. For me, too much of the book was spent developing the characters and their relationship but I don’t know if the Trojan War and its aftermath would have seemed as tragic otherwise. I was disappointed that it felt rushed near the end and that the fall of Troy was barely a postscript. If there had been less romance and more mythology I would have liked it better than I did. Still, it was enjoyable enough that I'm already reading Circe. ( )
  wandaly | Dec 15, 2018 |
I picked this book up shortly after it came out, because I'd heard a lot of good things about it, but then had trouble motivating myself to actually read it. Because, to be honest, I found the Iliad kind of a tedious read, even in Robert Fagles' lively translation. The Odyssey was much more my kind of story. But then Madeline Miller came out with a new book based on the Odyssey, which I decided I very much wanted to read, and I figured I should read this one first.

And I'm very glad I did. It's really, really good. It's the story of Achilles as told by his companion and lover Patroclus, and in this rendition that story is first and foremost a tragic love story. One that I found extremely affecting, and I say that as someone with very little romance in her soul. I'm also impressed with the way that Miller portrays the Greece of myth, complete with gods and larger-than-life heroes, while somehow still making it all feel very real and grounded and human. ( )
2 vote bragan | Dec 4, 2018 |
Really excellent ~ Miller does a fantastic job of fleshing out the characters, evoking the moods and setting the scenes. The reader is quite immersed in an exciting tale. Looking forward to reading her book on Circe next. ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
The author's writing and the ending were the saving grace of this book. The beginning third of the story was slow and the final third was filled with battle scenes and bloodshed. (Well, it was loosely based on the Iliad after all.) As for the detailed focus on a love affair between two male characters, I did not have any strong feelings one way or the other. Overall I liked it enough that I still plan to read Circe whenever it becomes available after my very long library hold wait. ( )
  This-n-That | Nov 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (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
Miller, Madelineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Douglas, FrazerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saltzman, AllisonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorpe, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windgassen, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is a retelling of

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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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Book description
Haiku summary
Short introduction

To the classic Iliad

With misplaced passion.


No descriptions found.

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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