The Song of Achilles: A Novel PDF AZW3 EPUB MOBI TXT Download

A New York Times Bestseller“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art….A book I could not put down.” —Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch HouseA thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War from the bestselling author of CirceA 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.“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

Madeline Miller
August 28, 2012
416 pages

File Size: 19 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese

“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“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“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“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“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“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“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 From the Back Cover 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, despite risking the gods’ wrath. They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice. About the Author Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Circe and The Song of Achilles, which was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages. She lives in Narberth, PA with her husband and two children.  Read more <div id="

  • I have never read the Iliad, and I thought it might be fun to delve into a modern treatment of the story. This book had so many great reviews that it seemed worth buying. However, I stopped reading the novel when I was about 30% of the way through. By this time it became clear that the author was going to make the romance between Patroclus and Achilles the centerpiece of the book. For instance as teens, Achilles and Patroclus spend two or three years in the wilderness with a centaur who is supposed to be instructing Achilles in the art of war… except he doesn’t. Patroclus is not supposed to be in the wilderness with them, but he tags along anyway. This means that Patroclus himself has the opportunity to learn the art of war from this great centaur who taught Heracles how to fight, but Patroclus doesn’t either. It appears that the only reason these two were with centaur in the wilderness for a couple years was to allow the author to crate a bucolic love nest for the boys. And for unexplained reasons, Achilles’ mother, Thetis, seems to have always hated Patroclus. Again from a Romance-novel point-of-view, her intense animosity seems to exist only to create a “forbidden love” situation between Patroclus and Achilles. It all seemed so contrived.
  • Thought i was buying a new conception of a Homeric myth. Instead I found myself muddling through a homoerotic romance novel about a weakling, a “jock” and an overbearing mother. Yeah some mythological reference is tossed in the salad but I quit this self indulgence about a third of the way through. Don’t be fooled by the title. Positive reviews are a mystery to me. I got nothing against love stores whoever the lovers are but I don’t enjoy romance novels, historic, contemporary or pseudo-mythological, especially where the partners are unequal. This is not a retelling of myth. Speculation into the private lives, loves and bedrooms of classical gods, demigods and heroes does little if anything to enhance understanding of the ground upon which classicism was built. At best it grants insight into the authors’s fantasies in which I am frankly not interested.
  • I thought the writing and wording was very fanciful and evocative. The story seem very interesting and there was a lot of build-up. Yet, I think I was misled because the story is really about gay love. Which is fine, but I wish this was made more obvious in the reviews. I guess I was expecting something else but after reading through the first seven chapters, I knew I didn’t want to continue anymore because I thought the subject matter should have been made more clear. Most of the reviews make it about a story that retails the illiad. However, it’s really about the manlove between achilles and his partner. There’s also a war and battles that surrounds their romance, but that’s all background material.
  • Starting this book I was at a strong 3.5 stars, then it bumped up to 4, and then the end had me in such a mess that it suddenly became 5. A miracle this is.The story and plot revolves around the Trojan war and the moments before and after where Patroclus meets Achilles and laters waits for him. The flow is actually quite gentle, even during the war fighting. I had expected more action and heart racing moments, and that is maybe why I did not rush into a higher rating.However, even though I had a feeling of who and the knowledge of death, I was still struck hard. It did not come on suddenly, no. It crept slowly, clung to my heart and then watered in my eyes. It was the reaction to death that got me.The end is beautiful and sweet. It brings together the readers and the characters who are in pain and comforts us and makes us allies.The writing is also wonderful. It’s poetic and lovely at times. Of course if you do not like things being compared to unrelated things, such as the plumpness of lips to that of a bee, then you will disagree with me here. Regardless, this is the writing style I most adore in moderation and thus have loved this book.
  • For better or for worse, the Homeric epics are a bedrock part of the Western literary canon. Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles looks at The Iliad from a fresh perspective: that of Patroclus, Achilles’ closest companion. Since this is a retelling of a classic story (a genre to which I am predisposed), we already know how it’s going to play out: Agamemnon will steal a slave girl claimed by Achilles, leading to the hero refusing to fight for the Greeks, leading to Patroclus donning his armor and being slain by Hector of Troy, leading to Achilles killing Hector and dragging him around the walls of his city, only to be killed himself by an arrow from Hector’s brother Paris. What’s different is what comes before and between.As most of us know, it was not uncommon in Ancient Greek life for older men to have sexual relationships with younger men. Homosexual relationships between men of the same age, however, were rarer. When I was taught The Iliad, even in college, the bond between Patroclus and Achilles was usually described as just a deep friendship (lip service was paid to the idea they could have been lovers but it was never taught as being the more persuasive interpretation). Miller’s novel, however, roots itself in the alternate interpretation: she presents us with Achilles, the most gifted warrior in Greece, as a man in a loving and stable lifelong relationship with Patroclus.It would actually be more accurate to say she presents us with Patroclus as the romantic partner of Achilles: the story belongs to Patroclus, it is told through his eyes. Patroclus as created by Miller is a gentle soul, a disappointment to his aggressive father, who is banished when he kills another child purely by accident. He is sent to Peleus, father of Achilles, to be fostered, and is chosen by Achilles of all the young men at court to be his companion. Their relationship only gradually becomes romantic, much to the disgust of Achilles’ river goddess mother, Thetis. She conspires more than once to break the couple apart, but their love is too strong and they remain together until the end. Miller explains Achilles’ rage over the theft of his slave girl as being not about being deprived of a lover, but as being disrespected as the greatest soldier in the army by having his rightfully-claimed prize taken away.I found it a much more enjoyable take on the story than the original. Miller really gets the time to develop Patroclus and Achilles as characters in depicting them from boyhood all the way through adulthood. She paints a very devoted relationship between them: though both briefly experiment with sex with women, they never stray from each other and Achilles refuses to leave Patroclus despite strong maternal pressure to do so. Since Miller’s Patroclus isn’t a skilled or enthusiastic warrior and instead serves the Greek contingent at Troy as a healer, most of the battlefield scenes that I find so boring to read are left out entirely. This is a solid read for fans of historical fiction and/or classical retellings.
  • I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with the Iliad because it’s been out a while, so, Spoilers, I guess?The Song of Achilles is a retelling, one which takes the myth and runs with it. Here Achilles really is the son of a sea nymph, he is trained by a centaur, and gods play their part in the lives of man.I used to know my Classics a lot better that I do now – Roger Lancelyn Green’s books were a staple of my childhood library – so this was a book which unfolded for me. I remembered each plot point as we hit it, so I’m entirely the wrong person to ask if it makes any logical sense. It probably doesn’t. It certainly could have done a better job of selling ancient motivations to a modern audience.The story is told by Patroclus, a prince and, when he begins this story, unlikely candidate for Helen’s hand in marriage. I am super here for a room full of men deciding what will happen to a teenage girl, as you can imagine. This is a male story, though, and Miller doesn’t attempt to change that.However, when Patroclus inadvertently kills another boy, he is exiled to the court of Peleus where he falls swooningly in love with Mary Sue Achilles, who’s super perfect at everything (as one expects from a demi-god). Thetis, Achilles’ mother, really hates Patroclus. The boys go off to learn things on a mountain. They are swoonily swoony. They come back. Thetis hates Patroclus. Then she hides Achilles because she doesn’t want him to go to Troy as he will be killed.Once the war actually begins, a good half way through the book, things improve, in part because there’s actually things happening. There is air of inexorability to the whole thing which really gets into its stride in the last third as we make the drive towards what is fated to happen (and we’re no longer reading rambling scenes about how swoony teenage Achilles is).When Miller hits the predetermined narrative events, she’s good. When she’s making her own way between, she’s… less good.For a book which treats the gods as real, there’s an awful lot of “something’s happening because the gods are displeased” conversations, followed by “here’s the solution to that” conversations. Obviously there’s no one correct version of many of the myths, but sometimes Miller takes the path of most boredom, such as the demand for the sacrifice of Iphigenia. Apollo’s appearance on the walls of Troy especially charmed me, so the omission of the gods involvement in other ways, even as a background, felt disappointing.I am also critical of the characterisation. Odysseus is great, true, but everybody else? Eh.Achilles lives his whole life chained to the prophecies made about him, but whatever this does to him remains unexplored. He’s just some guy. Admittedly one who is super good at everything and jolly good looking. And when we’re reading the narrative of a boy, then man, who is in love with him, I’d really have preferred to grasp the appeal.Thetis is especially poorly done. Like her son she is chained to the pronouncements of the Fates, but here she is a pure JustNoMil. She’s such a central figure in the original myth – the Trojan war begins because of a prophecy made about her: the son of Thetis will be greater than his father, hence “marriage” to Peleus, hence somebody not doing the invitations right, hence golden apple etc etc etcI was also unreasonably annoyed that Miller chooses to not use the one thing everybody knows about our demi-god: that he really should have invested in some foot armour. Google assures me Homer doesn’t include the story of Thetis’s attempt to make her son invulnerable and immortal, but Homer doesn’t include Achilles’ death, either. Or the romantic relationship between him and Patroclus. It felt like a massive oversight rather than a deliberate decision.The beginning was interesting if not grippy. Then it got a bit dull. Then a bit duller. Then, by the end, it was very good indeed. I don’t rule out reading Circe, Miller’s second full length novel, but I could just as easily not. Overall?3 stars
  • OMG, I held my breath for the second half of this book. My memory of the events was enough to know what had to happen, but that simply doesn’t spoil a thing.She’s managed to take everything we know of the story from the existing texts and build a world that is thoroughly absorbing and beautiful. It’s a story of epic soul binding love, so beautifully rendered.I really enjoyed how there was no modern lens put onto the story. She just tells it. Ideas and concepts that mean something to us would have been meaningless to the ancients, and behaviours we find unacceptable were normal. So some bits are difficult, there’s human sacrifice, and slavery including sexual slavery, but nothing is gratuitous or too graphic.Just read it it’s beautiful.
  • I didn’t choose to read this book. It was chosen for me as a book-club read. I don’t like books about mythology (school in the 1960s put me off for life.) Or ancient history, or wars in any period of history, apart from maybe the two world wars. So, I bought this book with trepidation, not knowing what to expect. I didn’t quite believe all the good reviews, and thought I would hate it.I actually loved it. This is a beautifully-written, very descriptive book. It was easy to read, and a real page turner. I felt that I learned a lot about ancient Greece and the Trojan war. I can’t fully remember the story of Achilles from school (it has been erased from my memory, along with Jason and the Argonauts, and the Minotaur) but I loved this re-telling and couldn’t put the book down. The simple, striking cover is beautiful too and I would thoroughly recommend this book. A wonderful read.
  • A very short review, I’m afraid. Not worthy of this book.Does this count as historical, or mythological, or pure fantasy? Don’t care – brilliant, brilliant book. It was positively painful to read it if I’m honest but I couldn’t put it down. One of those books that I felt a true and consuming sense of loss for a few days after reading it. Recommended to EVERYONE.
  • How is it that really crappy books are garlanded with “incredible” awards and lavished with undeserved praise???? This thing is really, really crappy. It is puerile in its writing style and it is sooooo boring!! I couldn’t stomach it, let alone finish it. Life is way too short to waste on such hollow and unrewarding nonsense. It’s a book that leaves you feeling: “Frankly, I really, really don’t care!!” I didn’t care about or for the characters. I didn’t care for the plot, such as it is. I don’t care about the author. And I sure don’t give a tinker’s cuss about the content. Yep. Really that bad. Honestly, do not waste your time on this garbage. Or your money. Go for a walk. Go to the gym. You could even go shopping. But give this book as wide a berth as you possibly can. You will, I guarantee, be far happier with any other choice you care to make!!
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