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The Song of Achilles

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  892,181 ratings  ·  102,590 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 cross.
Paperback, Bloomsbury Modern Classics, 352 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Bloomsbury (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 child…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 Patro…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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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 wa
Paz R.M.
1.5 stars.
Aw man, where do I start with this one?
I know that the big majority of people love this book. They cried and were heartbroken and it was the best thing they ever read and shit, but for me? It was just so boring. The characters were horrendous, if I wanted to read about the most useless, passive and boring narrator being in love with this attractive, golden god, dude with no personality, and when he does have one, he just turns to a selfish prick, I would reread Twilight. Seriously, can
Sean Barrs
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

Watch the video review here:

"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 f
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
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hereby award ALL THE STARS in the universe to The Song of Achilles, a story equal parts epic and heartbreaking.

Furthermore, this is absolute audiobook gold!!!

I knew nothing about this going in, besides the fact that it is based off the events in Homer's epic, 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, which centers around the love between Achilles a
Tharindu Dissanayake
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tharindu by: ☾Sabrina♡༄
"The never-ending ache of love and sorrow."

There are a few books I come across everyday while going through my GR feed, and The Song of Achilles is at top of that list. Rightly so, I have to agree, the heart-wrenching ending notwithstanding. Spoiling this book for future readers would be a crime, so while I'm sharing my thoughts, I'll do my best not to overshare.

"We obey our kings, but only within reason."

Patroclus - the lesser known hero - being the protagonist helps narrate the story of Achill
Jul 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Name one hero who was happy . . . You can't . . . I'll tell you a secret . . . I'm going to be the first."
Achilles is destined to become the greatest warrior of his generation. But before that, he is just a boy growing up in Phthia with his devoted companion Patroclus by his side. The two are sent away to the mountains to be trained, but it isn't long before war comes calling when Helen of Troy is kidnapped. Achilles is forced to choose between eternal glory and mediocrity, but with greatne
Aug 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K by: Orange Prize and high goodreads rating
I am going to disagree with the Orange Prize committee. I am going to disagree with thousands of goodreads reviewers. This book is crap.

Okay, all you trolls. Go ahead and tell me what a philistine I am, how ignorant I am of Greek literature and mythology, and how my failure to appreciate this book reflects my limitations rather than those of the book. You don't really need to bother defending this book, because the masses seem to agree with you.

But if you ask me, this was a Harlequin. Boring Pa
booksnpenguins (wingspan matters)
ACHILLES, it reads. And beside it, PATROCLUS.

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.
What a-wow! I have no words.
I can't remember the last time a book made me weep so much.
This is honestly the kind of book I prefer: zero dull mome
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 fifth time. but here i am. crying for my sweet, sweet patroclus. the best of men. the best of the myrmidons. <3

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
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
yall remember tht part where it was like:

achilles: lol listen my mom can’t spy on us anymore 👅

patroclus: 👀

achilles: 👀
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Achilles is kinda dramatic ngl
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
patroclus: constantly gushing about achilles' outer and inner beauty, like 80% of the time
me: *remembering brad pitt's chiseled abs and legs in troy (2004)* same boi
chai ♡
So I did it. It’s done. I can finally say I read The Song of Achilles but... at what cost?
***2 stars***

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I did not like this book. And I must confess that the fault partly lies with me, because I did not read the blurb before I dived in. After having loved Miller's Circe, it was a no-brainer that I'd want to read her take on the Trojan War - so I left it at that and just began reading. Lesson learned, because I wanted this to be more historical fiction, yet it was basically just romance fantasy - hence my disappointment.

In this tale the narrato
“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.”
Dec 29, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is great and I enjoyed reading about the tender relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, but I'm not a fan of Greek mythology and thus couldn't care enough for the story unfortunately (especially since it gets so slow-paced during the war). I dig the ending though for the drama! ...more
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
Real fans already know: I'm heartless. I'm soulless. My resting temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit and I have a deep abyss where my cardiac system is supposed to be.

So it shouldn't be surprising to anyone who is familiar with me that this book didn't make me feel much of anything.

I didn't read the Percy Jackson books in elementary school (I was too busy sneaking into the teen section at the library and reading books that would cause me to ask my mom what a blowjob is at 9 years old). I don't r
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.5/5 stars

Beautifully heartbreaking and tragic, Madelline Miller’s first novel burst with palpable emotions.

Countless amazing things have been raised and sang for the Miller’s craft on The Song of Achilles and Circe, and that speaks volumes on how ridiculous it is that it took me this long to finally get around to reading it. In truth, there was a hesitancy inside me; The Illiad, the stories of Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus are stories that I’ve read and heard about so many times before in sev
Lisa of Troy
Mar 16, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please don’t start a war but Lisa of Troy rates this 5 stars

The Song of Achilles is a retelling of classic Greek mythology involving Patroclus and Achilles, specifically covering the battle of Troy.

Earlier this week, I read some original Greek mythology, a play called Medea by Euripides (and yes Medea and her husband Jason are referenced in The Song of Achilles). It was written in 431 BC, more than 2,400 years ago. Greek mythology is incredibly interesting. The characters are unique, imperfect,
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
the vibe of "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

rep: achillean mc & li
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elle (ellexamines)
“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 wai
Margaret M
A fate prophesised by the gods, but a song that still needed to be sung, and music that future generations would continue to play !!!

‘The Song of Achilles’ is a beautifully orchestrated retelling of one of Greek Mythology’s best known and best loved stories of the Siege at Troy and life of the legendary demi-god Achilles. A lyrical masterpiece that portrays the human side of the man, the lover, and the warrior who is destined to fulfil a prophecy that sees him fall after the death of Hector, su

“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 s
Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
my heart 🥲 that was even better than the hype made me think it would be 😭♥️
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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

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