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The Song of Achilles: A Novel by Madeline…

The Song of Achilles: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Madeline Miller (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,5442532,325 (4.12)4 / 823
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.
Title:The Song of Achilles: A Novel
Authors:Madeline Miller (Author)
Info:Ecco (2012), Edition: 37696th, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

Work details

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)

  1. 120
    The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood (1morechapter)
  2. 80
    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (wrmjr66)
  3. 60
    The Iliad by Homer (alalba)
  4. 50
    The Mask of Apollo by Mary Renault (shaunie)
  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
    The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (konallis)
    konallis: A very different view of Achilles, from the point of view of his captured prize, Briseis.
  8. 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.
  9. 32
    Grendel by John Gardner (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another brilliantly retold classic by a modern author.
  10. 00
    Circe by Madeline Miller (sturlington)
  11. 00
    Alcestis by Katharine Beutner (rarm)
  12. 00
    The Love Artist by Jane Alison (jbvm)
  13. 00
    The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar narrative idea
  14. 331
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Because Song of Achilles is Homer's Illiad as a Twilight novel. Sorry.

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English (245)  Dutch (5)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  All languages (252)
Showing 1-5 of 245 (next | show all)
4.5 stars

It's 4 o'clock in the morning and I didn't sleep reading this beautiful tragedy. I am here crying, trying to get ready for work but I can't stop thinking of the beautifully written text this lady has gifted us. ( )
1 vote hinfatuation | Dec 4, 2019 |
This is beautiful. Its a love story that transcends gender and life. Beautifully written, memorable characters but the best of them was Patroclus. A must read for everyone. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Dec 3, 2019 |
This book is basically a tribute to Achilles, from the point of view of his lesser-known (at least, to me) companion Patroclus. The story begins with Patroclus' banishment from his own kingdom after unwittingly killing a peer as a boy. He is taken in by King Peleus and ultimately becomes a lifelong companion to Peleus' son, Achilles. Although both boys are technically princes, Achilles is the more blessed of the two, exhibiting gifts in music, strength, and beauty, where Patroclus lives a much more subtle, under-the-radar life. Still, the two become very close and are strong companions throughout their boyhood, during their training years, and up into the midst of the Trojan War.

I am sorely undereducated when it comes to Greek mythology. I've read a few retellings here and there, and have a very vague recollection of The Iliad/Odyssey from high school. Though having a better knowledge base may have added to my enjoyment of this novel, one can still read and enjoy Miller's The Song of Achilles. I've been wanting to read this for quite some time, based on its stellar reviews. The writing is truly lyrical and very well done, which is really what carries this book more than anything else, though the story is engaging as well. Though I am not rating this quite as high as many other reviewers, it's still a great and recommended read. ( )
  indygo88 | Nov 27, 2019 |
“He is half of my soul, as the poets say.”

I don't think I could ever get tired of this book. Honest. Miller's poetic prose, one of the best love stories in mythology - or to be quiet honest, in general - and I just... wow. To be quite honest, one of the best parts about getting through Troy: Fall of a City on Netflix is that it truly gave me the best mental image for Patroclus. I'd say Achilles too, but Miller's Achilles is clearly white. Despite having a clear view of Achilles, I've never really been able to properly assign him with more than a vague look. But now, I have them both and it honestly made the experience even better.

There is too much I want to say, and too little knowledge of how to put it into actual words. Achilles and Patroclus is one of my favourite parts of Greek mythology, or mythology in general, since before this book and would've continued to be even without it. But what makes the book so powerful is not just the fact that it's Achilles and Patroclus, but Miller's language. She manages to capture the story like beautiful poetry from the first to the last page, in a way that is both prose and similar in feel to the Iliad itself. It has been four years since I first read it, and it still haunts me the same way my favourite verses from the Iliad does. That is quite something. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
After accidently killing a boy, prince Patroculus is exiled from his father's kingdom and sent to the king of the small kingdom, Phtia. There he meets Achilles, half-god half-man, with golden hair and green eyes that glitter in the sun. The two form a strong bond; and to his mother's dismay, Achilles makes Patroculus his companion.

But after spending years sheltered in the mountain side with the centaur Chiron who tries to teach the boys all he knows; Achilles is called upon to lead Phtia's soldiers in the war against Troy after the kidnapping of Helen of Sparta. Even despite the destiny gruesome told by the Fates, Achilles is too enchanted by the idea of his own golden fame – and his beloved companion follows. The war tests them both, with the Fates' words like a dark cloud just above their heads, but one thing is certain... they are nothing if they aren't together.

Fucking hell. That is all. I actually tried to procrastinate for as long as possible just so I wouldn't have to put my thoughts and feelings about this book into words. Because this book shattered me in every possible way. I'm not much of a crier but boy, did I grossly sob into my pillow after finishing this story.

First of all, the author really managed to build up her own world within the greek mythology; which is quite an achievement considering how complex it is. It does make more sense when you have more knowledge about greek mythology but she has managed to capture and explain it so well that most would get buy on little to no experience when it comes to mythology.

Her language is so... gah. Her descriptions are wonderful and I had a very hard time not being completely swallowed up by the world presented in her novel. The characters are so well-written and complex that you have a hard time really disliking any of them... almost, at least. Both Achilles and Patroculus have their flaws – Achilles can be a real selfish bastard and Patroculus can be a bit annoying but that's what makes them feel more.. real? It's not the right word but it's the first that comes to mind. I can relate to Patroculus because of that very reason; he sees himself as less worthy than Achilles to a point where I just want to pinch his cheeks and tell him that I love him.

The one thing I really do like about this story as well is that whilst their relationship might not be that expected in some ways, it is also accepted in others. The story doesn't focus on them struggling to keep their love hidden. It's refreshing to read a gay romance that actually acknowledge that the gay experience is more than trying not to get killed by angry homophobes. But at the same time, it feels realistic for the time period. It's not like they keep it secret but they don't flaunt it either – which I feel leaves most of the people around them assuming they are just very close friends. Ding dong. You are wrong. They are so gay for each other and it's heartbreaking.

Read it. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 245 (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

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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.


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