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The Song of Achilles
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The Song of Achilles

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  97,194 ratings  ·  13,308 reviews
The legend begins...

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become ste
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Kindle Edition, US Edition, 389 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published September 20th 2011)
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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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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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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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Bookdragon Sean
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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Claudia Ramírez
Pa-tro-clus.

This and this and this.

HOW CAN MY HEART BE MENDED AFTER THIS!????

Sólo edito esto para decirles que TIENEN QUE LEER ESTE LIBRO OMG. Favorito del año hasta ahora. Lo amo lo amo lo amo y no hago más que pensar en él. Definitivamente lo voy a releer.
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
Will Byrnes
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana
{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  (a paper pigeon)
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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Lucía
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Mi reacción al terminar el libro:



✨    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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jessica
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
when i die and they open me up, they will find this story engraved on my heart.

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 dont think i have ever read anything as gorgeous as this and nothing i write will even come close to describing its loveliness. truly, a touching masterpiece. and i will forever be singing its praises until the end of my days.

5 stars
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 The Trash Queen
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 breathtaking 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 could wait, had to finish this💗).
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Rating: 4.5 stars
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.
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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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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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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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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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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Arah-Lynda
This feeling was different. I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head. My tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom. This and this and this, I said to him. I did not have to fear that I spoke too much. I did not have to worry that I was too slender or too slow. This and this and this! I taught him how to skip stones, and he taught me how to carve wood. I could feel every nerve in my body, every brush of air against my skin.


Do you
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Judith Starkston
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
See this review and more at www.bookbastion.net!

"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."



Stunning. Wonderfully written and absolutely transcendent.

Madeline Miller managed to transform the essentials of the story of Achilles into a fresh and heart-wrenching examination of love, pride and vanity that does great honor to the mythology that inspired this wor
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Brian Yahn
It's pretty hard to mess up The Iliad, and Madeline Miller's magical narration and unique perspective definitely don't. She manages to tell the tale from angles never before seen and put a fresh spin on one of the best known stories of all time. On top of being mostly accurate, what Madeline Miller does especially well is make this story accessible to anyone. A lot of the sybolisms that make The Iliad great are easy to miss, but in this version, that's not the case. And the way she structures se ...more
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4 Stars

"He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.”


Honestly? I've never read the Iliad. I've never seen Troy. (I barely made it through The Odyssey in high school, okay?) So I had no idea what was going to happen, and had only two expectations:

It'd be beautiful
It'd break my heart

Starting during his childhood, the book revolves around Patroclus as he befriends Achilles, who is fated to be the greatest fighter of
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6,482 followers
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.” 1801 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.”
1371 likes
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