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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

Critic Reviews

“[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 Ratings

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  • Bonnie
  • Bellmore, NY, United States
  • 12-03-12

One of the best Novels about Achilles

Would you listen to The Song of Achilles again? Why?

I love historical novels, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this, and I never read anything by Madeline Miller before. I purchased on sale, and I was blown away at how great this story was.The knowledge of the history and persons at that time were obvious. Ms Miller did her homework, and made it a very entertaining and moving story.

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

When Patroclus and Achilles are in the mountains with the centaur Chiron. They really grew from boys to men. It was a very happy time for them.

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

I had never heard Frazer Douglas narrate anything prior to this. He was fantastic with each character. Even the voices of the younge Patroclus and Achilles. The women the gods and goddesses. you always knew who was speaking.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were many moments, and anyone who knows the story of the Trojan war, also knows that Patroclus went out to get the Greeks hyped to fight again with Achilles on their side. When he is killed Frazer Douglas does such a great job of expressing emotion of each character., you have to be croaked up

Any additional comments?

I would love to get another book by Ms Miller, and I'll certainly look for narrations by Frazer Douglas.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Surprisingly suspenseful!

A genuinely beautiful novel, reasonably well-read. The familiarity of the story never diminishes the suspense; the writing is evocative of time and place. Characters are well-developed and believable throughout. The performance by Frazer Douglas is always more than acceptable, but never quite memorable. As others have pointed out--both in reviews of the book and the audio--the last paragraph is unfortunate and diminishes the effectiveness of the narrative. Overall however an excellent audiobook and highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Greek Legend at its' most compelling!

I loved the whole package here!
The magnetic voice and performance drew me in; and the story,even though I remember bits from school years ago, is written so interestingly that I am compelled to keep listening & listening!
This is another of those rare audio books that I couldn't wait to listen to every day & was actually a little sad when I reached the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 11-02-12

Touching New View of the Great Epic

Any additional comments?

This book (and the pitch perfect audio) embodies the magic of The Iliad, with its larger than life, complicated characters. Here is a short quote that could sum up The Song of Achilles:“There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles,” Chiron said. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?”Miller is absolutely believable in her mythology writing. The only downside is that I don't think the sex scenes match up to the rest of the writing, and they jerk you out of the story rather than become a part of it. But that is not a big criticism, I just hope she grows in that area next time; overall, it didn't take away from the overriding power of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Olympic Perfect Ten

The Song of Achilles, as read by Frazer Douglas, is pure lyricism--a love song for the ages. Madeline Miller's simple poetic phrasing soared thanks to Douglas's tender, understated narration. I was enraptured from the start--and spent the last chapters in tears. This is the first audio book I finished, then immediately started again. Now I know how audiences must have felt as they listened to bards reciting the Iliad: entranced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Manchester, CT, USA
  • 07-28-12

I keep going back to this book.

Wow. I can't stop listening to it. Chapter 4 is my favorite and I keep going back to it. This entire book is perfectly read. Often I listen to a book and think the inflections of the reader are inaccurate, changing the feel of a story. But not this time, Frazer Douglas nails it and brings the right color to the poetry that is Madeline Miller story. It will be a while before I delete this story from my iPhone.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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my poor heart.

absolutely amazing. every line had me ensnared. stunning work, brilliant dialogue. loved the audio book, the speaker was clear and great to listen to

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loved

I loved everthing about this, the reader the story. very hard to stop listening. I tell my friends they have to get this one

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  • ChrisW
  • Washington DC
  • 12-24-17

Very enjoyable

I recommend this historical novel.

I little overly decorated. But great story.

I’d buy it again.

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great book

loved it. narration was good. brings the other side of the war to light. thoroughly enjoyed it