The Song Of Achilles: A Novel

The Song Of Achilles: A Novel

Paperback | August 28, 2012

byMadeline Miller

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“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

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The Song Of Achilles: A Novel

Paperback | August 28, 2012
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$15.60 online $19.99 (save 21%)

From the Publisher

“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”—Ann Patchett“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelli...

From the Jacket

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, despi...

Madeline Miller grew up in Philadelphia, has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Latin and Ancient Greek from Brown University, and has been teaching both languages for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specializing in adapting classical tales for a modern audience. She lives in Cambridge, Massachuse...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.94 inPublished:August 28, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062060627

ISBN - 13:9780062060624

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Customer Reviews of The Song Of Achilles: A Novel


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtakingly Beautiful! This book is beautiful and tragic and every wonderful thing in between! A must read!
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly, a must-read The author has a beautiful way to write, very poetic. It had me completely hooked only a few paragraphs in. The descriptions of the sceneries, the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus, and the unfolding of the story were absolutely--stunning. I often felt breathless when reading the book, impressed by the beauty of each and every single element of it. The ending is no spoiler, but I couldn't help but bawl my eyes out when I reached it. I truly, truly loved this book, and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to read a fresh, new take on the story of Patroclus and his philtatos... Achilles.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from just lovely This book is a must read for any lover of greek mythology and romance.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ONE OF MY FAVOURITES ACHILLES>..... PATROCLUS.... OMGGGG. In the tradition of Mary Renault, Madeline Miller breathe new life into a tale that already endures.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful The Song of Achilles is beautifully written with a beautiful story. Loved it!
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEAUTIFUL the writing style is just so utterly BEAUTIFUL. LIKE IT'S JUST <3 AND THE STORY & THE END JUST KILLS ME EVERY TIME <3
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful! An amazing retelling of a classic tale. It was so beautifully written, engaging from beginning to end, I couldn't put it down!!
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Just amazing. Really great work.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. The characters grow so much in this book, as you see them through their childhood into adulthood. Everything about this was fantastic. Eternal ship (Achilles & Patroclus ). <3 I need to read the Iliad now.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking and Passionate, My Favourite Book Honestly, I could read this novel over and over again! Miller brings the characters to life vividly, in turn making hearts soar and plummet over the course of the protagonists' trials and moments of peace and tranquility. I've recommended this to at least five friends, and every one of them said the same thing. You can never be the same after reading this book, it's phenomenal
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lyrical and poignant story I cannot even express how much I LOVE this book! Telling all the familiar mythology through the eyes of Patroclus, with the caveat that Patroclus and Achilles were genuinely in love, Madeline Miller has written a masterpiece. I laughed, I cried, and I devoured this book. If you like historical fiction, classical mythology, or love stories, you MUST read this.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book is one of my favourite pieces of historical fiction. The storyline and the characters envelop you 100% and even though you knew about achilles and patroclus before, now you care about it and see it new light. Far from dry, historical myth, this is a beautiful story. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AHH Oh my god, I love this book so much, I already knew the original story of Patroclus and Achilles, but hearing the story from Patroclus' point of view is WOW. I cried. So much. The narration is well written, and right from the start it hooked me in, and I could not put this book down. It made me want to just know more about the characters, it's so engaging. Brilliant!!!
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written, Wonderfully Executed This was a beautiful novel. I'm glad my friend lent me her copy because even after she had recommended it to me a while back I still hadn't managed to get myself a copy (I had intended to right after I finished it, too, if not for her generosity in gifting it to me afterwards). The narration and writing style was perfect from the very beginning. I was hooked from page one and I loved every second I read. There was no scene that was boring and though I may have skimmed through fight scenes I still did my best to pay attention to the writing. The author's descriptions were great, too; it was precise enough that I knew the image the author wanted to present yet vague enough that I could use my own imagination to fill things in (like descriptions of Thetis). The friendship and romance between Achilles and Patroclus was so well done. The characters were made individuals first, shown how their identities were before their relationship began, and then they blossomed and changed from simple children to the men they became in tales. The sexuality was done simply but effectively and the sex scenes were just the right amount of intriguing without being vulgar (in fact, my favourite scene might be the "tell me again" scene). I cared for their relationship and was bothered by Achilles' experience with a woman and annoyed with Patroclus' own first-hand narration of sex with a woman (although I think it was more uncharacteristic of him in general; I don't believe that scene did much besides show how compassionate he was but it didn't feel necessary to me). I cried at the end. The way the novel fell into place so perfectly, and how all the characters met with fates so befitting to them, was just beautiful. Foreshadowing and the narration in general (like how Hector had never done anything to Achilles) was so well done that even though I knew what was going to happen the story compelled me to hope for a different ending. More so, I was almost hurt by what I thought was going to be a tragic end for Patroclus but the way Thetis gave in and saved his soul was so perfect that I cried even more at the finality of all the threads. I wish I knew more about Greek mythology to appreciate the novel better but it wasn't necessary in order to fall in love with the writing and the plot. I wasn't sure whether a five star rating was too high for this book, but from the way I was captivated and how I cried at the end I felt like it deserves a place with my other five star books because it is definitely reread worthy and more so just a good book in general.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Even if you don't generally gravitate towards history, you should still read this book! A beautifully written tale of Achilles told through the perspective of his lover. Very well written, with imagery that sparks the imagination!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't question, just read it A retold story of Homer's Iliad, so beautifully written, one of the most wonderful books I haven't read in recent years.
Date published: 2016-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GO READ IT One of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. The imagery and language used is astounding, and the unique but still accurate depictions of Illiad characters are two of the reasons that I had to hide my ugly sobbing in public while reading it. You fall so in love with the characters and the world that its hard to let go of it once its finished!
Date published: 2016-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS If you're thinking about buying this, DO IT!!! Definitely one of the best books I have ever read. The plot was fast paced but not difficult to understand, and the romance aspect of it was perfect! I read it in one sitting :)
Date published: 2016-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LIT i love this book with all my heart i will be buried with it
Date published: 2016-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great summer reading Even though I knew what was coming, I was still surprised at how the author weaved this story. Very entertaining read.
Date published: 2015-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This and this and this I loved this book so openly and publicly that three of my friends immediately started reading it and texted me their experience. It's so wonderfully done and hurt-y and lovely and perfect.
Date published: 2015-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Song Of Achilles I found this to be my favorite version of the story of Achilles... let the reader be warned it does have some homosexuality in it but nothing prolific.... Its a very enchanting story with lots of sentiment felt that only a good story of Greek Gods and mortals can tell... I highly recommend it...
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Song Of Achilles This was an astounding story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from the first page to the last. This book was interesting, refreshing, absorbing and surprising. quite a few tears too.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well written Pretty good for the authors first book ever written.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well written In all the books I have read, (which is a lot ) I have never found a book as captivating as this . The action packed ,fast pasted style of writing really leaves you wanting to read and read . The delicate love story of a Greek Demi god and his unlikely companion touches the heart and you do fall in love with the characters..... Splendid book with a tragic yet heroic ending which I found tear worthy .... A MUST READ
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Song of Achilles This book is a masterpiece. Miller draws us into the story, the relationships and their outcomes, exactly as the title says, like a song. The pacing reminds me of Duras' "Moderato Cantabile". So many writers have been fascinated by the fall of Troy from the Trojan perspective, but this looks at the long, drawn out destruction from the Greek side. The way Miler paints the love between Achilles and Patrocles binds us into their emotions. The skilful weaving of the human and the divine, richly enhances the narrative, as does the insight into the very human psychology of both gods and people.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Song of Achilles A great retelling of an ancient classic
Date published: 2013-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to follow, makes you feel like you were there I thought this book was very creative in weaving mythology, heroes and gods all into one flowing story. I noticed that I held my breath when reading about what Thetis said, or what Apollo did. Very well written! Interesting story that is easy to read and just "go with its flow"
Date published: 2013-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Song of Achilles A different take at an old tale!
Date published: 2013-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love comes in many different ways. An amazing story of love. It was a great read! Not what I expected at all. Truly a great surprise. The author has a great gift for settings and describing them.
Date published: 2013-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I have read This is one of the best books I have read. Ever. The plot was fascinating and the writing was mesmerizing. It tells the story of the famed Achilles from the point of view of Patroclus, Achilles' closest companion, who is usually mentioned in passing. This book made me feel and it made me think. I cannot recommend it enough.
Date published: 2013-04-29

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Editorial Reviews

“Extraordinary… Beautifully descriptive and heartachingly lyrical, this is a love story as sensitive and intuitive as any you will find.”