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

by Madeline Miller (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,3032861,919 (4.14)4 / 856
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.
Member:MMKY
Title:The Song of Achilles: A Novel
Authors:Madeline Miller (Author)
Info:Ecco (2012), 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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. 90
    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. 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)
  6. 30
    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.
  7. 30
    Ransom by David Malouf (jbvm)
  8. 20
    Circe by Madeline Miller (sturlington)
  9. 42
    Grendel by John Gardner (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another brilliantly retold classic by a modern author.
  10. 10
    Alcestis by Katharine Beutner (rarm)
  11. 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.
  12. 10
    The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar narrative idea
  13. 00
    The Love Artist by Jane Alison (jbvm)
  14. 335
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Because Song of Achilles is Homer's Illiad as a Twilight novel. Sorry.
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English (278)  Dutch (5)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  All languages (285)
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
This book was recommended if you like Mary Renault's "The King Must Die." As it is one of my favorites I had to dive in. I was interested too in a book set in historical times, situated around male lovers who were recognized as male lovers even in their own time (even if those who read it that way were probably the fan-shippers of their time).

The book is interesting, but it's no Renault. It is told from Patroclus's point of view, which was probably the best way to view it, although a second telling from Achilles's point of view would be of interest too.

Overall Patroclus is a more likeable character than Achilles, too the extent that toward the latter half of the book I wanted him to simply walk away from Achilles.

If you are a fan of mythology, particularly of Greek mythology and the Odyssey, etc. and are not uncomfortable reading fairly G to PG rated gay stories it's a fun, fairly easy read. (Yes, I honestly believe in the 21st century that we should all either be over our terror of viewing gay/lesbian/transgender/etc. lifestyles, or working toward acceptance and comfort with the facts but let's face it, some of us can't even handle heterosexual PDA and we're exposed to that daily, so there's your trigger warning: gay people here! And blood, gore, discussion of rape, death, war, and on and on. Seriously, if you can't handle the Odyssey this book is not for you.) ( )
  lclclauren | Sep 12, 2020 |
Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles. Bloomsbury, 2011.
I am a sucker for any retelling of a Homer that brings new insight into his epic stories and characters. Anyone reading The Iliad wonders at times about the awkward triangle of Achilles, Patroclus, and Briseis. Achilles goes on strike when Briseis is taken from him, and he goes back to war in a rage when Patroclus is killed. Homer gives us little insight into either of Achilles’s companions. Telling the story from Patroclus’s point of view gives Madeline Miller a chance to flesh out all three characters. The Song of Achilles presents Achilles first as a boy with a weak father and a mother, who as a goddess sets impossible standards for him. He is a draft dodger hanging out with his boyfriend when he is dragged to Troy where semi-divine skills as a killer will be appreciated and allowed to flourish. In the end, he learns what every Greek hero learns, that the Gods always stack the deck against us. Patroclus is an older boy exiled into Achilles’s household after he accidently kills another well-connected boy. Tradition says that Patroclus is a kind of surrogate elder brother and the dominant figure in their sexual relationship though he is subordinate in rank and reputation. But that is not the way Miller tells it. For her, Patroclus is a hero-worshiping little brother who is much more emotionally open than Achilles and not a dominant figure in their romantic relationship. Miller must make the character of Briseis almost out of whole cloth. She is a war captive given to Achilles as a prize. Living in the tent with Achilles and Patroclus, she falls in love with Patroclus and offers him a chance to envision himself as a heterosexual husband and father. The choice is analogous to the choice between long life and fame that Thetis gives her son Achilles. In the end, both men make the same choice. Achilles becomes the absent father of Pyrrhus, a heartless, vengeful killer, and Patroclus dies, as Homer tells us, wearing Achilles’s armor. ( )
  Tom-e | Sep 10, 2020 |
“This title is unlikely to be ready for you to borrow for at least 6 months” -Libby

see you in 6 months
  themoonwholistens | Aug 31, 2020 |
this should be named patroclus the martyr

i feel overwhelmed

( )
  jocelynchu | Aug 30, 2020 |
Uma das “regras” sobre se contar uma boa história é: mostre, não diga. Se um personagem muda seus ideais, mostre como isso aconteceu ao invés de dizer que isso aconteceu. Se há um dilema impossível permeando a narrativa, mostre o porquê de esse dilema ser tão pungente ao invés de nos dizer que ele simplesmente é. Se dois personagens entram em um romance, mostre como e porquê eles se apaixonam de tal maneira. A Canção de Aquiles faz exatamente o inverso disso.

Quando Patroclus vê Aquiles pela primeira vez, já há um encanto imediato e não há nada mais para desenvolver tal romance, seja por parte de Patroclus ou de Aquiles. Uma outra pessoa aparentemente se apaixona por Patroclus e é simplesmente isso, sem um porquê ou um como isso aconteceu. Patroclus, que vive o livro todo numa postura puxada pro pacifismo, toma decisões que vão de encontro a isso sem que as motivações sejam justificadas. E esse tipo de coisa acontece durante toda a narrativa. É dito para o leitor o que os personagens sentem, mas nunca é mostrado o como ou o porquê, nunca é desenvolvido além de “é assim porque é assim".

É frustrante ver isso acontecer porque há boas ideias, um conceito de releitura atrativo, com enorme potencial, e uma história bem contada. Mas, quando os personagens não tem suas motivações, suas ações e suas emoções realmente bem desenvolvidas, justificadas e contadas, mesmo num âmbito implícito, eu não consigo me envolver com a história de forma intensa como muitos parecem ter feito, como era a intenção da autora ao escrever essa história. Assim, só me resta apreciar um digno primeiro livro de uma escritora, mas sem o mesmo fervor que muitos possuem em torno dele. ( )
  kk3thess | Aug 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 278 (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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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.

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Short introduction

To the classic Iliad

With misplaced passion.

(legallypuzzled)

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