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The Song of Achilles

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The Song of Achilles Cover

ISBN13: 9780062060617
ISBN10: 0062060619
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

The Song of Achilles revisits the sprawling story of the Trojan War but focuses on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. It is a love story so intensely searing, the brutal 10-year Trojan War somehow takes a backseat: the love they share means more than Helen, the war, and all of Greece put together. While Patroclus learns that he is much stronger than he ever imagined, Achilles learns, the hard way, about pride. Miller's take on this slice of Greek history is a passionate view of love amid disaster.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Millers page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

Review:

"Following in Mary Renault's footsteps and adding some surefooted steps of her own, Miller debuts with a novel that combines the poetic drama of The Iliad with a 21st-century understanding of war, sex, sexual politics, and Trojan War heroism. Miller's tale begins with Patroclus' unhappy childhood as the disappointing son of an ambitious king. Exiled to Phthia, the 10-year-old is befriended by confident Prince Achilles. Over time their friendship blooms into love, while Achilles' mother, the sea nymph Thetis, grows jealously resentful. Patroclus and Achilles follow Agamemnon to recapture Helen from Troy, but the siege wears heavily on Achilles, who awaits the destiny his mother has foretold and his mentor, the centaur Master Chiron, has forewarned: to become the greatest of Greek warriors. In addition to the central story of Achilles and Patroclus, Miller offers a complex study of Briseis, the trophy beauty who inspires a rift between Achilles and Agamemnon; evokes Iphigenia's sacrifice at Aulis in one quick, brutal image; and probes relationships Homer only hinted at. With language both evocative of her predecessors and fresh, and through familiar scenes that explore new territory, this first-time novelist 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, but it is the extraordinary women — Iphigenia, Briseis, and Thetis — who promise readers remarkable things to come as Miller carves out a custom-made niche in historical fiction. Agent: Barer Literary." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

“At once a scholars homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Millers thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homers enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Millers monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fictions brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCulloughs Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

About the Author

Madeline Miller grew up in Philadelphia, has bachelors and masters degrees in Latin and Ancient Greek from Brown University, and has been teaching both languages for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specializing in adapting classical tales for a modern audience. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

newyorkcityguy, January 8, 2013 (view all comments by newyorkcityguy)
This is truly my favorite novel of 2012. Brilliantly written and enormously entertaining. I can't wait to see what Ms. Miller writes next.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mtanez, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by mtanez)
To say I absolutely loved this book is an understatement. I was hesitant at first to read it, being a fan of Greek Mythology and Achilles being one of my all time favorite heroes. Once I started the book, it was impossible to put down. In fact, I kept going back to reread several passages, in order to prolong my reading. The writing is impeccable and seeing Achilles through the eyes of Patroclus was refreshing. For me, it gave a new meaning to the word love and how far one will go for it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
alchymyst, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by alchymyst)
Simply a fantastic book, probably the best one I've read this year so far. It is a coming-of-age story and also a love story. I loved the writing style and basically swallowed it in just a couple of sittings. It will make you want to go read (or reread) the Iliad and Greek mythology, but you don't need to be a Greek scholar to appreciate this terrific novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780062060617
Author:
Miller, Madeline
Publisher:
Ecco Press
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.05 in 22.8 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling

The Song of Achilles Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Ecco Press - English 9780062060617 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Song of Achilles revisits the sprawling story of the Trojan War but focuses on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. It is a love story so intensely searing, the brutal 10-year Trojan War somehow takes a backseat: the love they share means more than Helen, the war, and all of Greece put together. While Patroclus learns that he is much stronger than he ever imagined, Achilles learns, the hard way, about pride. Miller's take on this slice of Greek history is a passionate view of love amid disaster.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Following in Mary Renault's footsteps and adding some surefooted steps of her own, Miller debuts with a novel that combines the poetic drama of The Iliad with a 21st-century understanding of war, sex, sexual politics, and Trojan War heroism. Miller's tale begins with Patroclus' unhappy childhood as the disappointing son of an ambitious king. Exiled to Phthia, the 10-year-old is befriended by confident Prince Achilles. Over time their friendship blooms into love, while Achilles' mother, the sea nymph Thetis, grows jealously resentful. Patroclus and Achilles follow Agamemnon to recapture Helen from Troy, but the siege wears heavily on Achilles, who awaits the destiny his mother has foretold and his mentor, the centaur Master Chiron, has forewarned: to become the greatest of Greek warriors. In addition to the central story of Achilles and Patroclus, Miller offers a complex study of Briseis, the trophy beauty who inspires a rift between Achilles and Agamemnon; evokes Iphigenia's sacrifice at Aulis in one quick, brutal image; and probes relationships Homer only hinted at. With language both evocative of her predecessors and fresh, and through familiar scenes that explore new territory, this first-time novelist 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, but it is the extraordinary women — Iphigenia, Briseis, and Thetis — who promise readers remarkable things to come as Miller carves out a custom-made niche in historical fiction. Agent: Barer Literary." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , “At once a scholars homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Millers thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homers enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Millers monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fictions brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCulloughs Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

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