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The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles (2011)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,6773541,387 (4.17)4 / 904
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
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)

  1. 140
    The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood (1morechapter)
  2. 100
    The King Must Die by Mary Renault (wrmjr66)
  3. 90
    The Iliad by Homer (alalba)
  4. 50
    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.
  5. 50
    The Mask of Apollo by Mary Renault (shaunie)
  6. 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)
  7. 30
    Ransom by David Malouf (jbvm)
  8. 30
    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
    Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin (knhaydon)
    knhaydon: Modern retelling of a classical myth, narrated by a character with a less central part in the original source text(s).
  14. 00
    The Love Artist by Jane Alison (jbvm)
  15. 339
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: Because Song of Achilles is Homer's Illiad as a Twilight novel. Sorry.

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English (339)  Dutch (6)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (348)
Showing 1-5 of 339 (next | show all)
A historical fiction book following Patroclus's relationship with Achilles. The book is written well and really humanizes the Iliad story. There is still mythological elements, as the characters interact with the gods. It is a slightly different tale then the Iliad or other popular retellings, with a focus on romance. I enjoyed it very much. ( )
  renbedell | Oct 18, 2021 |
If you enjoy Greek myths, you'll love this one. Loosely based on the epic of war, the The Illiad, this is a completely different take following Achilles rather than Odysseus. Some favorite scenes from the original are left out, but I truly loved the creativity put into this storyline. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Oct 12, 2021 |
This is Achilles from the perspective of his forbidden lover, Patroclus. We see Achilles as an unwilling hero, fulfilling his fate. He is pushed by his mother, a fierce sea goddess, and by the other Greek leaders into a war he doesn't want. But the option would be to be a nobody, to be passed over by history. He is loved and loving to Patrocolus, who tempers his pride and anger. Their love making is handled poetically rather than blatantly.
The writing is excellent. Miller brings her characters alive with depth and complexity. Her imagery takes you there. ( )
  bookfest | Oct 12, 2021 |
I resisted this novel for the longest time, as I really don't get the point of re-writing old myths, but in the end, I was pulled into this story, with its larger-than-life characters, inscrutable gods, and a beautiful, heart-wrenching romance. Rather stunning. ( )
  RandyRasa | Oct 3, 2021 |
My love for Greek history has increased after this beautiful book. ( )
  VipashaAiyer | Sep 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 339 (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
First words
My father was a king and the son of kings.
I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth.  I would know him in death, at the end of the world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English


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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Book description
Achilles, "the best of all the Greeks," son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Haiku summary
Short introduction

To the classic Iliad

With misplaced passion.


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