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The Song of Achilles

Narrated by: David Thorpe
Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (902 ratings)

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Summary

Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing. As they grow into young men, their bond blossoms into something far deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men 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. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned.

©2011 Madeline Miller (P)2011 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

gripping and beautiful

This is so well written and such a gripping story it is worth getting. Has made me laugh and cry! The narration is clear and easy to get into. Though I am not sure the plot is everyone's cup of tea if you are even vaguely interested give it a go

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

A fantastic story, told simply and beautifully read. Well worth a listen - you won't regret it :)

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful retelling of the story of Achilles

Beautiful tale of the Greek hero and the siege of Troy, told by Patroclus Achilles' lover. The reading is sensitive and warm. Absolute perfection.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good

I recommend this one warmly: I like what Miller does with Homer's story very much. Despite being a tiny bit suspicious about any attempt to read modern sexual categories into a world where they do not belong, I was won over completely by her telling of the love story: tender but not mawkish, and the scenes of lovemaking don't for a minute seem out of place. Thorpe is a good reader for the most part (his Patroclus stutters more than is necessary, and he mispronounces Iphigenia...), but the voice he gives Odysseus is very good indeed.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Spellbinding!

I loved everything about is book: the romance, the history, the betrayal, the love, the beautiful writing. It's one I'll be rereading over and over again.

David Thorpe's narration does justice to the characters and the story with a distinct voice for each character. Perfect!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Astonishing.

I was hoping for good writing. I found it. This book is lyrical and yet direct, astonishingly beautiful and well read too. It is also a work of great imagination throughout; the last scenes of war and loss are so rich with depth and with sadness that I am in Ms Miller's debt... she has enriched me.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful all the way

Though the Antique period has always fascinated me, I'm not one for historical fiction usually. But I don't regret picking up this book. I was hooked from the start and David Thorpe, a narrator I already like, did a very good job. This is one of the most beautiful love stories I've read and a lovely fictional account of the Trojan war.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mythology as you've never imagined it

Where does The Song of Achilles rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Really enjoyable and unexpectedly high

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator as he tells the story from boyhead and thourghout his life including the afterlife.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The battle of Troy

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't bear to pause the recording - it was compulsive listening

Any additional comments?

Well worth a read and some beautifully descriptive passages.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better than anything

Would you consider the audio edition of The Song of Achilles to be better than the print version?

I was worried that this version wouldn't hold it's own against the book, having already read it and created what the characters look and sound like in my head but this was just amazing. The voice of David Thorpe sounds as young as I imagined Patroclus to sound and it did this amazing and sometimes very emotional book the justice that it deserved. One isn't better than each other, they accompany each other perfectly

Who was your favorite character and why?

Choosing a favourite character in a book is like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. They all have their moments and they all have their flaws. Patroclus, as the narrator, gives you his side of all events but can be seen to be childish and naive at some points however he does grow a lot when they are stuck in Troy. Achilles can be seen to be big headed and almost too sure of himself but he has such a strong sense of humanity that, as the book progresses and you find out his fate, you just want to almost pluck him out of the book and protect him. If I did truly have to pick one it would be Chiron. He teaches the two men when they are only boys and gives them almost a sense of normalcy that neither experienced before they stayed with him and never experienced again once they left. He helped them grow into young men and thought Achilles how to be properly human, instead of just a Prince and the Son of a Sea Nymph.

What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The emotion. Obviously when you read a book you feel the emotions of the characters as you read on but the voice of David Thorpe was heart wrenching at some point, especially emotional parts of the story. He added another depth to the original print book that I'm glad I haven't missed out on.

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

Their first meeting, their first kiss. Patroclus and Achilles first anything. Reading The Iliad along side this audiobook has really helped me add in anything that is missing and understand the characters as well as adding an element to the original epic that was only an undertone before. The ending always moves me because of how it's written but I won't say anymore so not to spoil it for any first time readers.

Any additional comments?

Even if you don't know the story of The Iliad I would really recommend this book, the way it is written and read is just amazing, something no one should miss out on.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A beautiful story

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

I will definitely be listening to this audiobook again, it was a wonderful story and the narration was lovely.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Silindiwe
  • 28-09-18

Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful

I have just finished listening to it and I am going to start listening to it all over again RIGHT AWAY! Oh so beautiful, my heart still hurts but I don't I care I am going to listen to it again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mer Boy
  • 19-09-19

Incredible story, great performance

I’d already read the paperback, and thought it was the best book I’d read all year- now that I’ve listened to the audiobook I can honestly say it’s one of the best audio performances as well. David is amazing as Patroclus, and brings the story to life- will probably listen to it again right away!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-03-19

A fun story

I’m not one who enjoys sex and swearing in books and have only marked this down because of the sex.
It was a different take on the Achilles story. I wasn’t expecting the homosexual relationship. But it was well written and overall I would say I enjoyed it.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 29-07-18

Shallow and self conscious

Patroclus as a dim, passive, shallow slugabed. Homoerotic soft porn that doesn't have the courage of its convictions. No character development whatsoever.
If this won a prize, what on earth came second?
Homer's story remains brilliant and complex. The rest of this is dreadful.

0 of 12 people found this review helpful