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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Madeline Miller

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2,0401713,273 (4.12)3 / 669
Title:The Song of Achilles
Authors:Madeline Miller
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2011), Edition: Export ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Tags:fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, romance, LGBT

Work details

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)

Recently added bythingol, LiteBoyReading, Kelly347, T_M, LNKoning, private library, Codonnelly, SRahilly, Loisthelion
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English (166)  Dutch (3)  All (1)  All (170)
Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
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 |
Really 3 1/2 stars.

A slow beginning, but very gripping toward the end. I liked the idea of Briseis, but I do wish that she had been fleshed out more, especially given the dearth of female characters. The voice was not very distinctive; it was self-consciously arty and sounded very much like a voice I'd heard before. And it made little sense for the viewpoint character. But I liked the story itself very much. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Let me tell you a story.

I had a few pages left of this book. Boss comes over to ask what I am reading. I tell her. She asks me if it's good. I burst into tears.

...if that is any indication of how much I loved this book. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
Let me tell you a story.

I had a few pages left of this book. Boss comes over to ask what I am reading. I tell her. She asks me if it's good. I burst into tears.

...if that is any indication of how much I loved this book. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 166 (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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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)

(summary from another edition)

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