Join Madeline Miller to talk about THE SONG OF ACHILLES, November's Book of the Month, on Tues 4 December, 9-10pm

(105 Posts)

It is non-stop prize-winners this autumn... November's choice is the 2012 Orange Prize-scooping THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller, a hugely enjoyable, rip-roaring tale that zips along with great pace. Miller has taken The Iliad and reimagined it through the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus, his best friend. All the set pieces are here: Helen choosing a husband, the gathering of kings to go to war, the fight for Troy, the death of Hector. And all the familiar faces too: cruel Agamemnon, cunning Odysseus, vengeful goddess Thetis. But the truly epic nature of this novel comes from the relationship that grows between the two young men, first as young boys, then as adolescents and finally as lovers. Even though the story is as old as the hills, Miller's imaginative power gives it a rollickingly fresh approach. Gloriously good fun.

Our book of the month page has lots more about THE SONG OF ACHILLES and Madeline, including our 50 copy giveaway...

If you're not lucky enough to bag one of those, you can get a Kindle edition or paperback copy here

We are thrilled that Madeline will be joining us to discuss the book and answer any questions about THE SONG OF ACHILLES, the Orange Prize and her writing career on Tuesday 4 December, 9-10pm. See you there...

HullyChristmasgully Wed 07-Nov-12 09:15:50

The Song of Apollo <snigger>

I've got this too <massive sulk>

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Nov-12 09:20:58

Duly amended! Have you read The Song of You Know Who, then, Hully?

HullyChristmasgully Wed 07-Nov-12 09:28:40

You forgot the one in bold... <double snigger>

HullyChristmasgully Wed 07-Nov-12 09:32:31

No, I haven't read it, it's been sitting around looking at me for some time. But others have jumped up and down waving their little booky arms and been read first...

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Nov-12 09:52:26

Well, g'wan, read it now and then you can join in the discussion. <wheedles>

HullyChristmasgully Wed 07-Nov-12 09:56:27

I'll try. But you know how when books have been sitting around for a while you start to develop a resentment and unreasoning prejudice against them because they have become a reproach? I'll get some therapy.

Pinkforever Wed 07-Nov-12 13:01:53

I love this book-probably my favourite read this year! I got it when it was the Times book of the week.

My question to the author is-did you always intend for the main love story to be a same-sex one?

Can I just say again-I LOVE this book!! hurry up with the next one please....

DuchessofMalfi Wed 07-Nov-12 13:26:40

Like you, Hully, I bought a copy ages ago (on my kindle) and it has sat there being ignored. But I'm going to read it now, well after I've finished the book I'm currently reading grin

Badvocsanta Sun 18-Nov-12 18:03:33

Oh, I read this a few months ago!
Loved it.
I will admit to only buying it because it was a kindle daily deal blush but I was very pleasantly surprised.
The author has managed to retell (I will not use the term reimagine!! smile) one of the most well known story in history and make it seem new and fesh.
We all know what happens to Patroclus. We all know what happens to Troy.
And yet...this book kept me turning the pages.
Recommended!

Badvocsanta Sun 18-Nov-12 18:04:01

Yes...do hurry up with the next one! smile

An interesting review in the Guardian from a while back, which gives a bit more insight into how and why Madeline wrote the book...

Hully, thought you might enjoy the Daniel Mendelsohn quote, a digested read digested...

My question might be rather like the one at the end - which Greek classic should I be reading? When I was little I was obsessed by Greek and Roman myths. What with Mary Beard's webchat and this, I'm all ready to go back there.

HullyEastergully Tue 20-Nov-12 08:12:29

I 've just finished Helen de Witt's The Last Samurai. Will get to Achilles.

The Last Samurai is SO GOOD.

HullyEastergully Tue 20-Nov-12 08:28:20

I know it's not very helpful but I could do you a digested of that?

elspethmcgillicuddy Tue 20-Nov-12 15:39:50

Ooohh! I too have had this on my kindle (since it was the Daily Deal blush). I've been wanting to read it since before then though- since I heard Madeline Miller talking about it on Women's Hour ages ago. This will give me a little kick to actually start reading it!

Gigondas Tue 20-Nov-12 15:44:52

How did you balance using some very old myths with bringing your own story ? Your Achilles is quite different to the man in the illiad.

Loved the book- have read it twice , the second time when I was particularly stressed and unhappy and have found it gave me a great deal of comfort.

Badvocsanta Tue 20-Nov-12 16:47:37

Not sure I am brave enough to try and read the Iliad.
I remember reading quote which I think was from the Iliad many years ago in a book by Clive James:
"Husband, you are gone so young from life and leave me in your home a widow. Our child is still but a little fellow, child of ill fated parents, you and me. HOw can he grow up to manhood?.....And you have left woe unutterable to your parents Hector, but in my heart above all others bitter anguish shall abide. Your hands were not stretched out to me as you lay dying. You spoke No word that I might have pondered as my tears fell night and day"
It has stayed with me all these years....
His father was killed in WW2 when he was an infant. He never knew him.
Amazing that a book written so many centuries ago is still so relevant to so many.
There truly is nothing new under the sun.

gazzalw Wed 21-Nov-12 18:33:12

Did anyone get a copy of this?

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 22-Nov-12 10:29:53

gazzalw

Did anyone get a copy of this?

The publisher says the copies were posted yesterday (Wed) so should be arriving any time from now. Just under two weeks to read it before Madeline Miller chat.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 24-Nov-12 10:40:09

I finished reading it last night. Absolutely loved it. Will think of a question to post later.

jennywren123 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:53:05

I received one in the post this morning. Thank you Bloomsbury and Mumsnet!

gazzalw Sat 24-Nov-12 11:25:51

Thank you I got a copy this morning just now grin

lilibet Sat 24-Nov-12 15:21:58

Got mine this morning - thanks!

thehamburglar Sat 24-Nov-12 20:55:59

Got mine! Thank you grin

WomanlyWoman Sun 25-Nov-12 20:26:47

I started reading it today and dropped it in the bath shock, it's currently drying out on a radiator. At least it wasn't the kindle edition.

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