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The Song of Achilles Audiobook

The Song of Achilles: A Novel

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 steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.
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Publisher's Summary

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 steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must 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 Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

©2012 Madeline Miller (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

“[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)

“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)

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (674 )
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4.5 (620 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Doug Santa Rosa , CA, USA 06-17-12
    Doug Santa Rosa , CA, USA 06-17-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bait and switch"
    Any additional comments?

    Before buying this title I listened to the first few minutes and was caught like a fish on a hook. It was fast paced and fascinating—historical fiction that promised to take me back to the birth of civilization. Turns out, that was just the back story. The rest of the book, or at least the rest that I could stand to listen to, was an insipid boy's account of his romantic homosexual desires for an impossibly perfect cliche of a character, who may or may not be a god. Yes the gods, not to mention centaurs, are real in this book. The plotting is tedious, merely an excuse to separate the lovers briefly, then conveniently unite them again. And when they are united BTW, the author jumps to the dawn every time. She hasn't the nerve or imagination to give account to the sex. But she's very good at describing pounding hearts and sweaty chests. The narration is not helped by the readers' attempts to portray feminine voices.

    6 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claus 03-05-14
    Claus 03-05-14
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    "Would happily return for a refund if possible..."
    What disappointed you about The Song of Achilles?

    Personally I have nothing against homo erotics or homo sexuality - but honestly I don't really have an interest in it either. The title and the description indicates a story about the greek hero Achilles - but the reality of the book is very much different and not something I would have bought if I had known.


    Has The Song of Achilles turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not from stories about classic heroes - but I'm still not interested in homo erotiscism...


    What three words best describe Frazer Douglas’s voice?

    Over-acting.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was cheap - but unfortunately cannot be returned for a refund. 10 USD of experience... :-/


    Any additional comments?

    Have noticed that most of the positive reviews are from women. If you aren't one, you might want to check reviews made by other blokes before putting down money for this book, which is something completely different from what it looks like.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    howard 11-06-13
    howard 11-06-13
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    "not what i expected"
    Would you try another book from Madeline Miller and/or Frazer Douglas?

    no


    What could Madeline Miller have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The narrator's tone is very monotonous. Even at 1.5x speed, his delivery is slow and too measured.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Frazer Douglas?

    I just finished a book narrated by Bryan Cranston and he was fabulous. His delivery was paced based on the action in the scene and his tone was varied based on the character.


    Any additional comments?

    I purchased this book for a long business trip expecting a chronicle of two boy's/men exploits in ancient greece. The plot (about halfway through) seems to be focused more on the potential love affair between the main character and Achilles than daily life in ancient greece. I'll likely continue to listen, however, this book is not at all what I expected, is not consistent with the description and the plot seems to be moving very slowly.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Marshall 12-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Poor narrator, excellent story."

    This fantastic book deserved a much better narrator. A must read in print, skip the audio.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri Bremerton, WA, United States 04-25-13
    Teri Bremerton, WA, United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Golden"
    Where does The Song of Achilles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really liked the story : it kept me going


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Song of Achilles?

    When they met the menator


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are so many parts it is hard to find just one


    Any additional comments?

    I couldnt stop listening : in car , at home , on patio I was really involved ; i wanted to hear more

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki United States 02-22-13
    Vicki United States 02-22-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Story"

    This book and narrator conveys such longing. The love between the main characters is so pure and strong, I really enjoyed this story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon 02-05-13
    Gordon 02-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Achilles and his boyfriend Patroclus"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. The homosexual lust became more of a distraction than an enhancement. This book read more like a gay Harlequin bodice-ripper than an historical fiction. Although there have been centuries of speculation whether Achilles and Patroclus were lovers or just comrades in arms, Miller removed all doubt -- in more detail than I prefer. The first incident I dismissed as youthful androgynous fascination of the plain for the beautiful, regardless of sex. The second was more specific, and other occasions were even more graphic. An analysis of the fascination with feet would power a master's thesis for a literature major, or a psychologist. Although I commend Miller's ability to write about sexual encounters without devolving into crass profanity, I still would have preferred this story -- which is otherwise very well written -- to avoid the thrusting, sticky, strokes that occupied so much of the text.


    Would you recommend The Song of Achilles to your friends? Why or why not?

    No.


    What about Frazer Douglas’s performance did you like?

    He was able to vary the voices of the characters in ways that helped paint their personalities very realistically.


    Was The Song of Achilles worth the listening time?

    No. I would have preferred to read this book as text, so I could skip over the tedious grope and moan sections and get to the real story.


    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony 01-14-13
    Tony 01-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LET'S GO HECTOR !!!"

    Beautiful language and a familiar story but I never really cared for the characters. Frazier Douglas did an admirable job and despite knowing the classic tale I couldn't for the life of me understand why thoughtful Greeks would want to spend 10 years trying to capture Troy. At the end I wish that Hector had overcome Achilles and his meddling Goddess mother!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Hayward, CA, United States 12-26-12
    Sarah Hayward, CA, United States 12-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A new perspective on an old story"

    This is really a love story with the background of war and mythology. The heart of the novel is the romance between Patroclus and Achilles, which is at first confusing to them, then sweet and full of joy, and then adult and full of sacrifice and acceptance.

    I enjoyed the character development and the vivid description of the sights, smells and sounds of the time. There were parts of the novel that dragged a little, but it soon picked up. In general, it was an entertaining story, and for anyone who has read The Iliad or seen the movie Troy, it was a new way to look at the character Achilles, the origin of his personality and his motivation, and an honest look at a relationship between two men.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara Saur Sharon, MA, US 12-05-12
    Tara Saur Sharon, MA, US 12-05-12
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    "Achilles - aristos achaeon!"
    What did you love best about The Song of Achilles?

    I'd been waiting for years for a telling of the Achilles/Patroclus story the way I had imagined it - and Miller has delivered! And it is a sexy, sexy book. Miller is supposed to have been working on this book for ten years - and it shows. Not only did she rely on Homer's Iliad, but she used books from the entire extant Trojan cycle (Cypria, Little Iliad, et al.).


    What does Frazer Douglas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    To preface, I think that Douglas did a great job. His voice is nice to listen to. However, this is Miller's first book, and it shows in the tone of the first few pages. It's not distracting, but Frazier Douglas' wistful performance didn't help. Also, I was definitely not a fan of the baritone voice he gave to Achilles, especially prepubescent Achilles. I get that it's mostly a class thing, but it didn't do much for me.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Song of Achilles and why?

    Briseis, whom I hated (HATED) in the movie Troy by the way, was very much a strong character here.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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