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The Song of Achilles by [Miller, Madeline]
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The Song of Achilles Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 628 customer reviews

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Review

"At once a scholar's homage to THE ILIAD and a startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist. Madeline Miller has given us her own fresh take on the Trojan war and its heroes. The result is a book I could not put down."--Ann Patchett, bestselling author of BEL CANTO and STATE OF WONDER

"Although the details of the story are Miller's own, the world is one that all who love the Iliad and its epigones will recognize. Reading this book recalled me to the breathless sense of the ancient-yet-present that I felt when I first fell in love with the classics."--Catherine Conybeare, Professor of Classics, Bryn Mawr College

"Miller somehow (and breathtakingly so) mixes high-action commercial plotting with writing of such beautiful delicacy you sometimes have to stop and stare."--The Independent

"A modern take on The Iliad, full of love and feats of glory and told in an open, lyric, loose-limbed fashion that should appeal to many readers.... Next up from Miller--the story of Circe...historical fiction fans, get in on the ground floor."--Library Journal

"Mary Renault lives again! A ravishingly vivid and convincing version of one of the most legendary of love stories."--Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of ROOM

"You don't need to be familiar with Homer's The Iliad (or Brad Pitt's Troy, for that matter) to find Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles spellbinding....her explorations of ego, grief, and love's many permutations are both familiar and new....[A] timeless love story."--O magazine

"Masterfully brings to life an imaginative yet informed vision of ancient Greece featuring divinely human gods and larger-than-life mortals. She breaks new ground retelling one of the world's oldest stories about men in love and war [and] extraordinary women."--Publishers Weekly (starred review), Pick of the Week

"I loved this book. The language was timeless, the historical details were slipped in perfectly. I hope SONG OF ACHILLES becomes part of the high school summer reading lists alongside PENELOPIAD."--Helen Simonson, bestselling author of MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND

"A psychologically astute Iliad prelude featuring the heady, star-crossed adolescence of future heroes Patroclus and Achilles."--Vogue

"Extraordinary... Beautifully descriptive and heartachingly lyrical, this is a love story as sensitive and intuitive as any you will find."--Daily Mail

"THE ILIAD turns on Achilles' pride and his relationship with Patroclus, but Homer is sparing with the personal--so much so that, though we believe in their friendship, we do not understand it. THE SONG OF ACHILLES brings light to their love. This is a beautiful book."--Zachary Mason, author of THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY

"A captivating retelling of THE ILIAD and events leading up to it through the point of view of Patroclus: it's a hard book to put down, and any classicist will be enthralled by her characterisation of the goddess Thetis, which carries the true savagery and chill of antiquity."--Donna Tartt, THE TIMES

"[Miller] makes a persuasive argument for the timeliness of her subject. ...Miller's winning debut focuses on Patroclus, a young prince living in Achilles' golden shadow. Miller also gives voice to many of the women who were also consigned to the shadows."--Publishers Weekly, Spring 2012 Preview, Top 10 Literary Fiction

"Miller's prose is more poetic than almost any translation of Homer... This is a deeply affecting version of the Achilles story: a fully three-dimension man - a son, a father, husband and lover - now exists where a superhero previously stood and fought."--The Guardian

"In the tradition of Mary Renault... Miller draws on her knowledge of classical sources wisely... Well-paced, engaging and tasteful."--London Times Literary Supplement

"A masterly vision of the drama, valor, and tragedy of the Trojan War. Readers who loved Mary Renault's epic novels will be thrilled with Miller's portrayal of ancient Greece. This reviewer can't wait to see what she writes next."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Beautifully done. . ..In prose as clean and spare as the driving poetry of Homer, Miller captures the intensity and devotion of adolescent friendship and lets us believe in these long-dead boys...deepening and enriching a tale that has been told for 3,000 years."--Washington Post

"Powerful, inventive, passionate, and beautifully written. "--Boston Globe

"Fast, true and incredibly rewarding...A remarkable achievement."--USA Today

"One of the best novelistic adaptations of Homer in recent memory, and it offers strikingly well-rounded and compassionate portrait of Achilles....[Miller] injects a newfound sense of suspense into a story with an ending that has already been determined."--Wall Street Journal

"Wildly romantic [and] surprisingly suspenseful....[B]ringing those dark figures back to life, making them men again, and while she's at it, us[ing] her passionate companion piece to The Iliad as a subtle swipe at today's ongoing debate over gay marriage. Talk about updating the classics."--Time magazine

"Madeline Miller's brilliant first novel...is a story of great, passionate love between Achilles and Patroclus....[R]ewriting the Western world's first and greatest war novel is an awesome task to undertake. That she did it with such grace, style and suspense is astonishing."--Dallas Morning News

"One of 2012's most exciting debuts...seductive, hugely entertaining....[I]magining the intimate friendship between Achilles and the devoted Patroclus...Miller conjures...soulmates. The resulting novel is cinematic--one might say epic--in scope, but refreshingly, compellingly human in detail."--Vogue

"The Song of Achilles...should be read and enjoyed for itself, but if Madeline Miller's novel sends the reader back to Homer and his successors, she is to be thanked for that as well."--Washington Independent Review of Books

"I loved it."--J.K. Rowling

I loved it. --J.K. Rowling"

Fast, true and incredibly rewarding A remarkable achievement. --USA Today"

Wildly romantic [and] surprisingly suspenseful....[B]ringing those dark figures back to life, making them men again, and while she s at it, us[ing] her passionate companion piece to The Iliad as a subtle swipe at today s ongoing debate over gay marriage. Talk about updating the classics. --Time magazine"

One of the best novelistic adaptations of Homer in recent memory, and it offers strikingly well-rounded and compassionate portrait of Achilles....[Miller] injects a newfound sense of suspense into a story with an ending that has already been determined. --Wall Street Journal"

Powerful, inventive, passionate, and beautifully written. --Boston Globe"

Beautifully done. . ..In prose as clean and spare as the driving poetry of Homer, Miller captures the intensity and devotion of adolescent friendship and lets us believe in these long-dead boys...deepening and enriching a tale that has been told for 3,000 years. --Washington Post"

You don t need to be familiar with Homer s The Iliad (or Brad Pitt s Troy, for that matter) to find Madeline Miller s The Song of Achilles spellbinding....her explorations of ego, grief, and love s many permutations are both familiar and new....[A] timeless love story. --O magazine"

Madeline Miller s brilliant first novel...is a story of great, passionate love between Achilles and Patroclus....[R]ewriting the Western world s first and greatest war novel is an awesome task to undertake. That she did it with such grace, style and suspense is astonishing. --Dallas Morning News"

The Song of Achilles...should be read and enjoyed for itself, but if Madeline Miller s novel sends the reader back to Homer and his successors, she is to be thanked for that as well. --Washington Independent Review of Books"

A psychologically astute Iliad prelude featuring the heady, star-crossed adolescence of future heroes Patroclus and Achilles. --Vogue"

[Miller] makes a persuasive argument for the timeliness of her subject. Miller s winning debut focuses on Patroclus, a young prince living in Achilles golden shadow. Miller also gives voice to many of the women who were also consigned to the shadows. --Publishers Weekly, Spring 2012 Preview, Top 10 Literary Fiction"

Masterfully brings to life an imaginative yet informed vision of ancient Greece featuring divinely human gods and larger-than-life mortals. She breaks new ground retelling one of the world s oldest stories about men in love and war [and] extraordinary women. --Publishers Weekly (starred review), Pick of the Week"

A masterly vision of the drama, valor, and tragedy of the Trojan War. Readers who loved Mary Renault s epic novels will be thrilled with Miller s portrayal of ancient Greece. This reviewer can t wait to see what she writes next. --Library Journal (starred review)"

A captivating retelling of THE ILIAD and events leading up to it through the point of view of Patroclus: it s a hard book to put down, and any classicist will be enthralled by her characterisation of the goddess Thetis, which carries the true savagery and chill of antiquity. --Donna Tartt, THE TIMES"

I loved this book. The language was timeless, the historical details were slipped in perfectly. I hope SONG OF ACHILLES becomes part of the high school summer reading lists alongside PENELOPIAD. --Helen Simonson, bestselling author of MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND"

Mary Renault lives again! A ravishingly vivid and convincing version of one of the most legendary of love stories. --Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of ROOM"

At once a scholar s homage to THE ILIAD and a startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist. Madeline Miller has given us her own fresh take on the Trojan war and its heroes. The result is a book I could not put down. --Ann Patchett, bestselling author of BEL CANTO and STATE OF WONDER"

Although the details of the story are Miller s own, the world is one that all who love the Iliad and its epigones will recognize. Reading this book recalled me to the breathless sense of the ancient-yet-present that I felt when I first fell in love with the classics. --Catherine Conybeare, Professor of Classics, Bryn Mawr College"

Miller somehow (and breathtakingly so) mixes high-action commercial plotting with writing of such beautiful delicacy you sometimes have to stop and stare. --The Independent"

Miller s prose is more poetic than almost any translation of Homer This is a deeply affecting version of the Achilles story: a fully three-dimension man - a son, a father, husband and lover - now exists where a superhero previously stood and fought. --The Guardian"

In the tradition of Mary Renault... Miller draws on her knowledge of classical sources wisely Well-paced, engaging and tasteful. --London Times Literary Supplement"

Extraordinary Beautifully descriptive and heartachingly lyrical, this is a love story as sensitive and intuitive as any you will find. --Daily Mail"

One of 2012 s most exciting debuts...seductive, hugely entertaining....[I]magining the intimate friendship between Achilles and the devoted Patroclus...Miller conjures...soulmates. The resulting novel is cinematic one might say epic in scope, but refreshingly, compellingly human in detail. --Vogue"

A modern take on The Iliad, full of love and feats of glory and told in an open, lyric, loose-limbed fashion that should appeal to many readers.... Next up from Miller the story of Circe...historical fiction fans, get in on the ground floor. --Library Journal"

THE ILIAD turns on Achilles pride and his relationship with Patroclus, but Homer is sparing with the personal so much so that, though we believe in their friendship, we do not understand it. THE SONG OF ACHILLES brings light to their love. This is a beautiful book. --Zachary Mason, author of THE LOST BOOKS OF THE ODYSSEY"

Review

'Mary Renault lives again! A ravishingly vivid and convincing version of one of the most legendary of love stories' Emma Donoghue, author of number one bestseller, Room 'The Song of Achilles is at once a scholar's homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist. Madeline Miller has given us her own fresh take on the Trojan war and its heroes. The result is a book I could not put down' Ann Patchett, author of the Orange Prizewinning, Bel Canto

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1501 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (5 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408821982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408821985
  • ASIN: B005FPWUSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 628 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,870 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is very well-written and very involving in places but I did have my reservations about it. Patroclus's narrative voice is believable and gives a convincing account of his childhood misfortunes, the events which lead up to the Trojan War and the War itself. I like the depictions of characters like Odysseus and Agamemnon very much, place and mood are very well evoked, and there are some exciting and very interesting episodes.

Madeline Miller is very keen to portray the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles as one of deep, enduring love, both spiritual and sexual. Whether or not this is justified by the source texts is arguable, but it is a noble aim. However, what we actually get is long, long periods where Patroclus moons around after Achilles like a love-sick puppy, to the point that I felt that the author herself was the one in love with Achilles and wasn't going to miss an opportunity to write a beautifully constructed sentence about his muscles, his hair, the curve of his chin or the soles of his feet (which seem to hold an endless fascination for her) and so on, which I eventually found almost unendurably tedious in places.

There were sufficient good things about this book to make a three-star rating seem very churlish, but it's only just four stars for me. Many other reviewers here have obviously enjoyed it very much, but I can only give it a qualified recommendation.
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By Hiraethus o Gymru VINE VOICE on 23 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Song of Achilles is the first novel (hopefully of many more) by a very talented author, Madeleine Miller. Anyone who has read The King Must Die and The Bull From The Sea by the legendary Mary Renault will lock in immediately to the style of this narrative. Achilles is brought to life from his childhood to his exploits at Troy, but this version of his life is told from the view of Patroclus, his friend, companion and lover. The love aspect of the relationship is handled sensitively and in a manner that will not offend the most sensitive of readers and the action scenes and characters of the heroes, both Greek and Trojan, are well addressed. Once started, I found it difficult to put this book down, and was reluctant to close it at the end. A very different approach to Homer's immortal story has hopefully launched a new literary star into ascendancy and I look forward to more of this lady's work in the near future.
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Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a teenage girl who absolutely fell for the poetic prose of Madeline Miller. It had me crying at the end. I must say the first half of the book, when the pair are children, was far more enjoyable than the second for me - it is written so simply but so beautifully, and I found it utterly compelling and gentle. Yes, there is recurring adoration from Patroclus - but that's the point. it wouldn't work otherwise. I would thoroughly recommend this book. wonderful!
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Format: Paperback
From beginning to end, The Song of Achilles is gripping and emotive in a way I have never yet experienced from another novel. From Patroclus' flawless and poetic narrative, we see the world - and most importantly, Achilles - in a different way to one presented by other depictions of Troy and the events surrounding it. It is indeed a love story, so I am bemused by the reviews that find it hyper-romanticised; Miller has said that she wanted to write an evocative and intimate tale of the two lovers, not just re-tell the Illiad in modern prose.

This novel is a success on many levels, from its narrative voice and wonderful style of prose to its characterisation of all the characters, minor or major. I found this book to have rich and complex characters despite it being in first person, a feat not to be sneered at. It is fascinating and heartbreaking to see the rise and fall of Achilles through the eyes of his lover, and one that has no doubt brought many a reader to tears, myself included.

It is not necessary to have read the Illiad before reading this book, though vague knowledge of the story of Achilles and Patroclus helps the fantastic lines of foreshadowing hit far more emotional blows. Indeed, '"What has Hector ever done to me?"' must be up there with the most heartwrenching extracts from the novel, such as '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.'

Beautiful, tragic, and sublime, this novel is the first I would recommend to anyone looking for something to read. Madeline Miller, in her debut novel, has managed to capture the gilded world of gods and mortals whilst telling one of the most passionate and loved stories from Greek mythology. This book is more than 'worth' the read: it is a vital must.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This song gives flesh and bone to an old story, Heroes have, glory, honour and love, and we have this book to remember and expand one of the great stories of men, women and gods.
The language is modern but beautifully lyrical used.
Patroclus introduces himself from the union of his parents, and expands the tale farther than human frailty would permit, but he never is anything but real and human, that credit goes to Madeline Miller whose love for this character gives us the pleasure of rediscovering, a world where destiny is inescapable, gods are openly meddlesome in the affairs of men and Centaurs educate young men in the arts of war, medicine, and philosophy.
This book explores openly the love Patroclus had for Achilles and vice versa, no excuses are made but it is delivered in a very tasteful way, because this book is about love not sexual titillation or exploitation, the motivations are of the heart and Eros is always more prevalent than Cupid in all the relationships.
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