Hushed Roar: Madeline Miller’s “The Song of Achilles”

In Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, the tale of Achilles is heard from the mouth of his beloved companion, Patroclus.  The marvel of the book for this reader is how gracefully it unites its varied strains into a single voice.  That voice is then wonderfully played by Frazer Douglas in the audiobook.

Just as Achilles is son of a man but also son of a goddess…

Just as Achilles is prophesied to have a short life but immortal glory or a dimmer brilliance and a greater longevity…

Just as Achilles is known for his wrath but he tends a love for kind-hearted Patroclus–

Medline Miller The Song of Achilles

So the book is a contemporary fantasy about ancient myths…

So it testifies to scholarly research and boasts the originality of a literary talent…

So it uses Patroclus’ hushed self-consciousness to magnify the roaring effusion of Achilles’ glory.

There are so many things to be said for the book that I can do no better than to offer my recommendation.  Nonetheless, perhaps I can indicate some of those things by comparisons to other works of fiction.

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