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The Song of Achilles

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  128,695 ratings  ·  17,099 reviews
Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, ‘best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cr
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Kindle Edition, UK, 369 pages
Published September 5th 2011 by Bloomsbury
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Kiara I have just finished the book, and I think it is not that improbable but I wouldn't wish it for us.

Tyler Durden said it first; "We’re the middle…more
I have just finished the book, and I think it is not that improbable but I wouldn't wish it for us.

Tyler Durden said it first; "We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. (...)" Such love is common when we're kids, and more common still under extraordinary circumstances. Achilles and Patroclus were boys still when they reached Troy and grew up under the most extraordinary of circumstances; a war. Death in close proximity always robs us of our over-thinking, our scheming or doubts. It leaves behind only the most primary of your thoughts and emotions, and if we're lucky they are love and concern for our loved ones and a singular desire to protect them from harm.

Maybe I am not yet rubbed raw from life that I believe in such love, but the ideal love we always read and watch about always happens with a plot that puts a deadline to it, and the running time makes everything else irrelevant. I am sure such great love stories were lived but not written during WWII, or back when smallpox was taking lives. It is all too possible that, had they survived, Achilles and Patroclus might have had problems with the demands of being a prince, or keeping things secret or the fact that at some point one of them might want kids.

And I wouldn't wish it for us because great love stories seem to come at the cost of a happy life. Health, prosperity, order, a bright future for the next generations are all important too. And such love stories seldom have happy endings too. There is this saying in my country: "Love is when you can't unite."(less)
Holly This is not a Twilight-like book. The Song of Achilles sticks pretty closely to the plot of the Iliad. I think the one major difference was that…moreThis is not a Twilight-like book. The Song of Achilles sticks pretty closely to the plot of the Iliad. I think the one major difference was that Patroclus was a capable warrior in the Iliad but while he's less of a fighter here, though he does ok when he's forced into the role. The society and attitudes portrayed here are very close to traditional Greek myths, such as the sexism of the time, how honour and glory are treated as more important than life itself, etc. I was a big fan of how the gods were portrayed in this book, which I think is very close to the myths. They're mysterious and capricious, extremely vengeful and I think Madeline Miller did a great job of portraying how very far from human they are.(less)

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4.32  · 
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Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”We were like gods, at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.”

This book!!!
Gosh I loved this book!!!

The moment I read the first page I was already certain of two things:
1.) This would become one of my all-time favourites and I’d gush about it like crazy.
2.) It wouldn’t only leave me devastated and heartbroken but also sobbing like a little child.

Well, both of those things came true, even way earlier than I had initially anticipated. I was
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Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new take on the Iliad, written by a high school classics teacher -- how could I not read this? The Song of Achilles retells the story of Greece's greatest hero from the point of view of his best friend Patroclus. The big twist: Madeline Miller casts the story as a romance between Achilles and Patroclus. While staying true to Greek legends and the works of Homer, Miller creatively and convincingly fills in the blanks, giving Patroclus a back story that makes perfect sense, and tracing the frie ...more
Lola
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel so much. And perhaps my emotions are not my own this time? Madeline Miller for sure implanted them deep inside of me, without my consent, and now I'm urging her to withdraw them, or I will not be able to sleep through the night.

It took me a month to read this book, as I needed to take multiple breaks during the experience that is ‘‘The Song of Achilles.’’ I was about to curse the lyricism for welling too many emotions inside my body, too often, and therefore thwarting my reaching the endi
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Madeline Miller did what the movie producers of the film Troy (2004) were too cowardly to do; she stayed true to the homosexuality of Homer’s Iliad rather than writing a censored version of the story which stank of homophobia. Achilles and Patroclus were passionately in love, which resulted in their respective destructions. They were not cousins or man at arms, but soul mates. The watering down of this in the film Troy was an insult to the LGBT community. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The attract
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Navessa
"Achilles. Who was he if not miraculous, and radiant? Who was he if not destined for fame?"




Reading this is like reading Romeo and Juliet. We all know the story. We all know the outcome. We all know that our desperate prayers for someone, anyone to step in and save these characters from themselves will fall on deaf ears.

Gods. What a bloody trainwreck. Even though I knew how it was going to end, I was not prepared for how much I cared.

This is the story of the fall of Troy. Or rather, a part of
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jessica
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
‘we were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.’

i must be a masochist because i can think of no other reason to endure the emotional and stunning pain of this story for a second time. but here i am. crying for my sweet, sweet patroclus. the best of men. the best of the myrmidons. <3
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its been nearly 12 hours since i finished this and i still am at a loss for words at the beauty of this book. i
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Jeffrey Keeten
”He was a marvel, shaft after shaft flying from him, spears that he wrenched easily from broken bodies on the ground to toss at new targets. Again and again I saw his wrist twist, exposing its pale underside, those flute-like bones thrusting elegantly forward. My spear sagged forgotten to the ground as I watched. I could not even see the ugliness of the deaths anymore, the brains, the shattered bones that later I would wash from my skin and hair. All I saw was his beauty, his singing limbs, the ...more
megs_bookrack
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


This story took me completely by surprise. WOW.

I knew nothing about it going in besides the fact that it is based off events in Homer's, The Illiad. Despite the fact that I took 4-years of Latin in high school, I couldn't tell you the first thing about The Illiad.



I was completely floored by the absolute beauty of this story.

The center of the tale is the love between Achilles and Patroclus. I am not a romance reader AT ALL and oftentimes the romance will be my least favorite aspect of a given st
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Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana O
{BR with Anne and McKenna}


Those seconds, half seconds, that the line of our gaze connected, were the only moments in my day that I felt anything at all.


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Oh cruel, cruel fate! I had found myself thinking why there was so much heartache. Then I remembered this is Greek mythology. Few things interest me more than the monsters, heroes, gods, semi-gods and creatures of the greek myths.

I easily get caught up in reading the fates of the legendary heroes. Achilles, Heracles, Odysseus, Hector, Per
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Lia  °on a summer hiatus but don't worry I'll be back°
ACHILLES, it reads. And beside it, PATROCLUS.






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Can anyone please call my boss and let her know I may not go to work for a week or so? I need time to recover from this book that m u r d e r e d me.

No kidding, here. I think getting a Brazilian wax wouldn't have hurt this much.
I'm an ugly sobbing mess, running nose and hair pulling included.
Wow.
What a-wow! I have no words.
I can't remember the last time a book made me weep so much.
This is the kind of books I like: zero dull moments, fast-paced
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Whitaker
*This review is dedicated to Kelly without whose question I would not have thought so hard about why I loved this book.


Miller has called this book “The Song of Achilles”. The title could refer to a song sung by Achilles. It could also refer to a song sung about Achilles. This double meaning is significant as the book retells the story of the Illiad but with a very different focus. The title is significant too because it deliberately recalls the start of the Illiad: “Sing, goddess, of the wrath
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✨    jamieson   ✨
“We were like gods at the dawning of the world, & our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.”


way back I said there was a review of this beautiful book to come and I never did it. So now it's June and finally, finally I am ready to review this book.


deidamia: marry me ach-
achilles: in case you haven’t noticed, i’m gay. i’m gay as fuck. i don’t like girls and i don’t want to... like girls. have you ever seen me without patroclus standing right beside me? that’s gay


In a
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Melanie


“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood, like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun.”

I read The Song of Achilles many years ago, before I got into book reviewing, but it always bothered me that I didn’t have a proper review for this beautiful book. I was a little apprehensive about rereading it, because I wasn’t sure if it would hold up and impact me the way it did many years ago. But, friends, this story is
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Elise (TheBookishActress)
“Why would I kill Hector? What has Hector ever done to me?”

Fun Fact of the Day: I was in a Latin class my freshman year where the teacher mentioned how gay Achilles was every single sentence. She could not bring up these two without mentioning that they were believed to be in a romantic relationship. That's honestly at least half the reason I picked this book up, so thanks, Magistra Vasquez, for being so extra. Can't wait to have you again next year for AP Latin. Can probably wait for the
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Sabrina
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“ACHILLES, it reads. And beside it, PATROCLUS”




“IN THE DARKNESS, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun”


This book was just utterly heartbreaking and breathtakingly beautiful. I’m in love with every aspect of it.
The end, the end broke me💔! In the best and worst way possible.



BR with Khadidja (sorry, I just couldn't wait, had to finish this💗).
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aqsa (On Hiatus) by: ✨Luna✨
RTC

Just finished this masterpiece and I don't think I wanna think about anything else for a long while. I wanna drown and drown in it over and over again. I'll never forget this book. Never.

Listening to these 3 continuously now.
https://youtu.be/KzvOJtq1FfM

https://youtu.be/1w1u9VYDKyk

https://youtu.be/l2rrzNwMwlk
Thomas
We despise spoilers. We avoid them at all costs, cover them with spoiler tags, and castigate those who share them. But a great book is one that we can appreciate even when we already know the ending. That's how it was with The Song of Achilles: I knew the fates of the characters beforehand, but no matter how much I tried to brace myself, the last few chapters still broke my heart in the best possible way.

What had Deidameia thought would happen, I wondered, when she had her women dance for me? Ha
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Annet
I will wait for you among the shades… ..
Just finished the last pages. As said to a good Goodreads friend here earlier today: Beautiful, brutal, raw, mythical, extraordinary and heartbreaking. How can I not give five stars?!
The fifth star did come in the last part of the book, which I loved. The final pages surprised me, emotional. This type of book is not immediately my genre, but after reading Circe, I find myself intrigued by Greek mythology and this writer knows how to tell great stories. Thi
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Lucy Langford
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5*****
"Pride became us- heroes were never modest."

Patroclus, an awkward and shy young prince, is exiled from his family due to a misfortunate incident and is sent to the court of King Peleus, where his perfect son Achilles resides. Patroclus and Achilles are very different; Patroclus is shy, alone and an onlooker to others activities, whereas Achilles is confident and destined for greatness. Despite these differences, Achilles befriends the shamed Patroclus and it is the start of a blossoming fr
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Richard Derus
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 6* of five, 2012's best read by a mile.

It's National Book Lovers Day! A day to bask in the amazing power of books to inform, amuse, educate, and alter our views and viewpoints.

This review can now be seen at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud!

And how wonderful it is.
Caz (littlebookowl)
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Rating: 4.5 stars
may ➹
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to may ➹ by: ☼ amelie ☼
imagine being me and rereading this and having no care for my own emotions and wondering why I’m crying at 2 am

(I already want to reread it again)
Lily ☁️
“When I die, bury my ashes with this book.”—every person who finished reading The Song of Achilles, ever.

“IN THE DARKNESS, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”


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Raeleen Lemay
*2.5*

DON'T HATE ME. I know I'm in the minority here, but this book really wasn't my jam. I think when it comes to ancient history and mythology like this, I prefer to see it rather than read it. I found the plot to be way too dry and dull, at least for the last 2/3 of the book. I really enjoyed the beginning! I loved reading about the childhood years of the boys, and their friendship and romance that blossomed. Oddly enough, I was hoping there would be MORE romance, and I feel like it was lost a
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Charlotte May
“We were like gods, at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.”

The hype was real with this one guys! This book was wonderful. Heartbreaking yet powerful. Violent yet with some of the softest hearts.
I’ve read The Iliad. I studied Classics at University. I know the story of Achilles and the Trojan War like the back of my hand. But that didn’t stop me from being entirely swept away by the epic love story of Achilles and Patroclus. I watched th
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Whitney Atkinson
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.

so wow. I've heard for years that this book is sad but so, so powerful, which I understand. I think it was a leeeeeettle overhyped for me, but it was still a magnificent read.

This story had such a great aesthetic. Set in ancient Greece but told through the lens of a quiet, conflicted main character. I thought it was beautiful. The writing, the way that Achilles is described, the first half of this book developing the characters was just absolu
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Paula Kalin
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance and mythology fans
Recommended to Paula by: Women’s Prize
The Song of Achilles is a stunning historical retelling of the life of Greek mythology legend, Achilles.

Seen through the eyes of Patroclus, an exiled young prince sent to King Peleus of Pythia, Madeline Miller’s story is beautifully written. We see the golden boy develop a special bond with Patroclus that turns into a life long passionate relationship. The book is very much a poetic love story.

Achilles, however, must make a choice as to his fate: live a long life and be forgotten, or become a le
...more
anna (readingpeaches)
"i feel like i could eat the world raw" vs. "i will kill u & eat u raw"

(but actually, the only thing that was eaten raw was my heart)


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Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of ...more
“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.” 2000 likes
“Name one hero who was happy."
I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason's children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus' back.
"You can't." He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
"I can't."
"I know. They never let you be famous AND happy." He lifted an eyebrow. "I'll tell you a secret."
"Tell me." I loved it when he was like this.
"I'm going to be the first." He took my palm and held it to his. "Swear it."
"Why me?"
"Because you're the reason. Swear it."
"I swear it," I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes.
"I swear it," he echoed.
We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.
"I feel like I could eat the world raw.”
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