Circe

Circe

by Madeline Miller

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316556347
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 113
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She lives in Narbeth, PA with her husband and two children. The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages.

What People are Saying About This

Author-The Woman in the Window - A.J. Finn

“Rapture. Utter rapture. Exquisite, live-wire prose; a wave of a story, surging and ebbing and surging afresh; and above all, Circe herself — once inscrutable, now indelible. Miller has shaken the dust from Homer’s tapestry, blasted it with air and light, and exposed glorious new colors, new textures. A magnificent novel. A privilege to read.”

Customer Reviews

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Circe 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable Fast out of the gate and a page urner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love Mythology and the mystery of language, then read this fine book. You will be richly rewarded. —. G. L. River
Millie_Hennessy More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! Miller’s writing is captivating and I loved how she wrote Circe’s character. I really enjoy Greek (and Roman) mythology, but it tends to be a subject/genre I forget about. Like fairytales, myths can be sparse when it comes to character development and setting. I usually find myself wanting more details and Circe hits the spot. Circe is stubbornly ignorant, determined and altogether too kind-hearted for her brethren. She’s scorned by her family for her “mortal” voice, which sounds shrill compared to the booming, commanding voices of the other gods. She doesn’t seek to scheme or gain power and most of her family looks down on her or flat-out ignores her. But when she meets a mortal on the beach, she finds companionship for the first time. It’s easy to see why she would fall in love, given how she was raised. Her refusal to see how things truly are persists throughout much of the novel, causing her grief – but I loved that. Yes, sometimes I wanted to smack her, but it made her relatable…human even! Considering the book is told from her POV and centers around her life, I’m glad I found her an enjoyable character. I really cared for her. Despite Circe’s banishment, we do get to see more than just her island. Familiar tales weave their way around her life, including Troy, the isle where the Minotaur lives (totally forget the name and I’m not looking it up, deal with it) and of course, the halls of Helios. There’s a wide cast of characters too and they all felt so real! I loved seeing the gods and the myths fleshed out. I’m no pro when it comes to mythology, but it felt like Miller added realistic details to the old tales and stayed true to their roots. I don’t care how much she’s embellished; it’s clear she’s done research and is passionate about mythology. If you like Greek mythology, character journeys, magic, romance, drama, feels and female leads then I highly recommend you pick up Circe! I, for one, can’t wait to read more of Miller’s work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly thorough and melodic with the stir.
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Growing up, I devoured as many books of Greek mythology as I could find. My copy of D’Aulaires Book Of Greek Mythology is literally falling apart due to repeated readings. Because of that, reading Circe felt like coming home. However, Miller’s stunning prose and insightful characterization elevated the familiar to the extraordinary. As with The Song of Achilles, Miller brings her characters to vibrant life. They are not perfect, but they are perfectly flawed. Circe was such a complex character. She was strong but humble, fierce yet impetuous, and determined but lost. She was relatable at an entirely different level than most literary protagonists. Although this story has monsters, heroes, and magic, it’s ultimately about figuring out who you want to be and creating a place for yourself in the world. While some readers may not like the slower pace of the writing, I felt liked it allowed me to truly immerse myself in the world. Miller explores a wide variety of themes in the various myths she chose to incorporate. Although they seemed a tad disjointed at first, I absolutely loved how seamlessly everything came together at the end. Circe is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read. If you’re looking for excellent characters, an immersive world, and remarkable prose, definitely pick this one up. *Disclaimer: I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
queenivanka More than 1 year ago
My synopsis: Circe, daughter of Perse and Helios, was born “less than pleasing” and thus was neglected by her mother, father, and siblings. In her desire to love and be loved, she discovered a hidden talent: witchcraft. Threatened by her power – for Helios was a proud god, and Zeus, even more so – Circe was banished to the island of Aiaia. Isolated from everyone, she cultivated her art, cursed insolent mortals, raised her child, and stood against the gods. Madeline Miller proves once again that she is a master weaver of words – she gives us Circe – a tale of a fierce woman, a daughter and a sister spurned, a goddess who is incredibly human, a formidable witch, a mother. It is a tale of self-discovery, of love lost, of motherhood, and of the power of love. The underlying sensuality of Miller’s prose is deeply captivating, and ultimately, it left me bewitched, charmed, and enchanted – as if Circe herself has put a spell on me. Another thing I really appreciated were Miller’s apt characterizations: even with just one or two appearances within the text, told only in Circe’s point of view, in a couple of sentences here and there, the characters are complete. It is admirable and very difficult to achieve; I’ve read books where the author isn’t able to present a coherent or sound main character within the span of the entire work, let alone its secondary characters. Ultimately, what made Miller’s version of Circe so interesting, is that instead of exploring the goddess side of Circe, Miller presented a very human account of Circe’s tale: even in her immortality and formidable power, Circe is compassionate, she craved companionship, and she admitted her weaknesses. Circe is for lovers of mythology, of strong female protagonists, and simply, it is for lovers of beautiful prose. If you liked The Song of Achilles, I can’t imagine you not liking Circe – I really liked The Song of Achilles, but I loved Circe!
JMTJTC 7 months ago
“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.” Genre: Mythology. Number of Pages: 394. Perspective: First. Location: Greece. This is a Greek mythology retelling from the perspective of the witch, Circe, from The Odyssey. It is similar to how Wicked gave backstory to the Wicked Witch. I have mixed feelings on this one. Let me start by saying that I never enjoyed Greek mythology (except the Disney version of Hercules). So I really thought I would hate this book. The only reason why I even read it is because it was my book club’s pick. But Miller’s way of writing is captivating and hooked me from the beginning. I was caught up in it and loved all the action in the first half. I give the first half five stars. But the middle part slowed for me once she was on her own island. Then once Odysseus arrived, it was even worse (maybe I have some lingering feelings of hatred toward him because of my high school English class dissecting The Odyssey at great lengths). After he arrived, I felt like we went over the same stories multiple times. It all felt very redundant (but I understand Greek mythology is based around storytelling). So the second half was 3 stars for me. The last little part redeemed the book a little, which is how I ended up at 4 stars. For someone like me who blacked out all knowledge of Greek mythology from high school, the glossary of names in the back was EXTREMELY useful. I checked that thing at least 200 times. Without it, I probably would have given up on the book. (Not to mention several very similar names—which is a Greek mythology problem, not a writer problem). Read the rest of the review at: http://judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.com/2018/09/circe-madeline-miller.html
Anonymous 7 months ago
Such a fun read and beautifully written. Characters were imagined and drawn just the way I felt they should be in my head. I found myself saying, YES, that’s how he or she would talk. That would be their reaction. It was wonderful. A book I was sad to get to the end of.
Scarls17 8 months ago
Madeline Miller is brilliant! Like A Song of Achilles, Circe is beautifully written and is a page turner even though it tells the story of the incredibly long life of Circe. But it's also different than ASOA because of its epicness and how many other great characters from mythology we get to encounter. Have wikipedia open while reading because there are a lot of names and stories you will want to fall down the rabbit hole reading.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Outstanding book so happy she wrote another after the song of Achilles and hope she continues writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt such a connection with Circe. It just goes to show that even a godess an feel alone and go through difficult times! Worth a read for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first few chapters have ignited much conversation in our household about the different relationships of the gods and similarities to other creation stories in our Tlingit Raven stories.
jmchshannon More than 1 year ago
If anyone needs to look back to find out just how long men have feared strong women, one need look no farther than ancient Greece and the gods and goddesses worshipped. For every Athena, who struck fear into men and women and gods and goddesses alike, there are hundreds of minor goddesses described as lesser and therefore are considered minor to any narrative. Then there is Circe. As any good student of history and sociology knows, humans and gods fear different among all other attributes. Unfortunately, Circe is the embodiment of that fear, and her treatment at the hands of man and gods alike confirms how long men have tried to control and oppress women into minor roles. As a mythology fan, there was no way I was going to be disappointed in Ms. Miller's retelling of Circe's famous story. However, in spite of the fact that I knew I was going to enjoy the story, I found myself utterly entranced at the world Ms. Miller created. She goes beyond the gods versus man situation. In fact, you quickly forget that Circe is a goddess given how realistic she is. Yes, she may never die and never face any sort of injury, yet her struggles are our struggles. She still faces the most brutal of crimes against women and must deal with the same shame and rage that millions of women endure every day after such attacks. She must prove herself in a world where women are minor, good for breeding and running a household. She faces abuse of every magnitude, isolation, doubt, and worst of all, indifference. She is so feared that her own father and uncle banish her to a deserted island for eternity. Her story is the blueprint for every strong woman who comes after her, just as the men who persecute her are for any man who has found a way to subjugate a woman in some fashion. The success of Circe hinges on Ms. Miller's ability to make commonplace beings and events that were not, something at which she succeeds. She makes the mythical normal, the magic commonplace, and the extraordinary mundane. This allows us to focus less on Circe's eternal lifespan and more on her actions. I mentioned earlier that it is easy to forget she is a goddess, and this is a good thing for it allows you to become her, to experience her pain and humilation, and celebrate her triumphs. In addition, Ms. Miller puts as much effort in establishing the backdrop as she does her characters so that you get an island that you can easily visualize, feel its breezes, smell the various scents, and hear the sounds the permeate the silence. The ocean becomes something to be feared and simultaneously pitied. Her mountains are soothing friends. Circe's story is nothing without the nature aspect of it, which she uses to create her magic. Hence, the fact that nature takes on a life of its own and becomes something more than a backdrop against which the rest of the story unfolds fleshes out her story and makes it a three-dimensional one. I knew I would enjoy it, but I tore through Circe faster than I expected. I did this not just because Circe is such a fascinating character nor solely because Ms. Miller does such a good job of bringing her to life. It is the amalgamation of everything which caused me to voraciously read this particular novel. It is the combination of Circe and her island and the writing and the gods and goddesses and heroes and monsters. It is the addition of magic and pain and power and sacrifice. It is inclusion of loss and love and fear and doubt and the human experience.
litpixie More than 1 year ago
I have to write this sentence: I won a copy from Goodreads for a review. Before reading Circe I had seen a number of people raving about how good the book was. And after I finished The Buried Giant I needed another fantasy book, so I pulled Circe up from my TBR pile and read it. The last time I read any Greek mythology was in high school, when I was introduced to Homer. And I'm more familiar with the Roman names for the Gods so it took me a bit to get used to the names and get familiar with the locations. The book opens with Circe's parents' meeting and her birth. Then the years of her living with the Titans. I found this a bit boring, only because there were so many feasts, so many power games being played. Once Circe starts out on her own and especially when she is exiled to Aiaia the action actually picks up a bit. (Which does seem odd since she's supposed to be in exile.) But Circe finding herself alone on her island and how she becomes the woman she becomes is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this book. Plus, I've always loved the fact that she turned men into pigs. It's an interesting book and one I'd recommend if you're traveling or looking to travel via the comfort of your chair.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 One of the things I really loved while reading Circe what how unapologetic she was. Often in Greek myths its women being taken advantage of or the “big” name Gods doing something without remorse. And I love that Circe embraces this kind of reality. I’d also like to mention that I love Greek mythology and the way it is encompassed in the story makes me smile so hard. Her character development is probably the best thing I’ve ever read. It’s honestly such a great ride to be along while she becomes who she truly is. I feel like this story also embraces the dark aspects in mythology and storytelling. And this is deeply embedded in the character development. Not sure if it’s the right word, but I feel that this story, and Circe herself, are gritty. Details aren’t glossed over for the sake of niceties, they show how she is constantly changing. Which is something new for Gods that live out eternities. The reason I took off half a star is because there were a few slow parts while reading that made me want to skip ahead. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book! It gripped me and my emotions and I was overwhelmingly consumed in the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting twist on the legend of Circe fast read and very entertaining highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome read