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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    Brief summary, no spoilers.I know it may be odd to talk about “spoilers” when this is the story of a mythological character, but there are reasons for that and I will explain in the is book is told from the point of view of Circe, daughter of the sun Titan Helios. Her mother was Perse, a sea nymph who was the granddaughter of the Titan Oceanos.We mainly know of Circe from the Odyssey and her interactions with Odysseus. She was known as a sorceress who lived on an island and turned men into pigs. We know from the Odyssey that Circe was often seen working at a large loom surrounded by risky animals such as wolves and lions, yet they were all under her control. We also know from the Odyssey that Odysseus - by virtue of his wiles - not only avoids Circe’s sorcery but beds her as well. When he leaves she gives him tip on how to survive the perils on his seaward journey home to his homeland of Ithaca, such as Scylla and Charybdis, so he can reunite with his beloved wife Penelope and son why did I like this book so much? Well, stand back, because I’m about to gush.I am a huge fan of Greek mythology, and I was a huge fan of this author’s previous book, The Song of Achilles. Yet this one was even rce was not a major figure in the Odyssey; in fact when I first opened the book I realized I got her mixed up with Calypso. But I won’t create that mistake anymore. This minor hero has now become my favorite hero of all thanks to this author’s brilliant cause this book is told from Circe’s point of view, we obtain to intimately know her - not just her history and story but her thoughts as well. The reason this is so necessary is because we come to empathize with Circe. We tend to think of the Greek Gods as so fickle and often cruel - and indeed they are often depicted that method - yet with Circe, we meet a goddess who is so human and so very, very e reason I created the “no spoilers” comment at the start, is because Circe’s experiences contain her meeting and interacting with different other figures from Greek myth, and it’s a huge part of the enjoyment of this novel to experience it the method the author intended, without knowing what is going to happen next.I took a few days to read this book but that was not because it was a slow read. Just the opposite; I was so satisfied while reading it that I would stop myself after each chapter just to pace myself so it wouldn’t end too soon.I highly (obviously) recommend this to any fans of Greek mythology and for sure to anyone who enjoyed The Song of Achilles. But you don’t have to know much about the Odyssey or Greek mythology to love this book. Although this novel is about a god, it’s really a story about what it means to be human.

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    I’ve been waiting for Circe since I closed the endpapers of The Song of Achilles. Miller has the expert’s eye and a storyteller’s touch - a female storyteller at that, which makes her remarkable among the other writers and rewriters of the classic Greek , her bonuses are used in telling the story of Circe, kid of Helios and one of the lesser gods, the first witch of the world. She spins a tale of bravery, gullibility, fear and courage; she tells the tale of a goddess who has the heart of a mortal. I don’t wish to give anything away and thus ruin Miller’s spellbinding tales, but it’s not a spoiler to say that I was astounded by the ways in which Miller was able to imbue her heroine with the same human frailties and fears as those of us mere mortals: the love of a mother, the burning shame of disgrace, the slow and quick at once finding of ones identity and center, the ways in which we all reach for more than perhaps we know, the giddy ness of losing ones fear and with it, the donning of grace and rce’s tales are big, and they’re writ huge here. And yet they feel so true and common even as they burn with a strange ler deserves to be mentioned among the greats. I look forward to her next creation with excitement and of course more than a small ve yourself the attractive opportunity to see Circe as she has never been seen. Read this book right away!!

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    {My Thoughts}What Worked For MeA Classic Tale Reimagined – Taking a classic story and reinventing it with a modern twist is nothing new. We see it time after time, but the usual reimagining locations the characters and plot in a contemporary setting as the story plays out. With Circe, Madeline Miller kept the characters and the setting, and instead shifted the focus, placing it solely on Circe. Those of you with a background in mythology will see many, a lot of elements from classic Greek mythology (especially The Odyssey) popping up in this book. However, if you’ve lived under a rock and never even knew there was such a thing as mythology it won’t matter. Miller gives you everything you need to know and she does it seamlessly.A Woman with Attitude – If you’re anything like me, you will come to adore Circe, the book and the woman. Born into one of the two most strong families of gods, Circe adored her father, Helios, but never quite measured up. Where her siblings were gorgeous and strong from an early age, Circe was plain and seemingly powerless. Tormented by her own family, Circe grew more and more fascinated with mortals. Falling in love with one, brought out her previously unknown powers of witchcraft.“I was too wild to feel shame. It was true. I would not just uproot the world, but tear it, burn it, do any evil I could to hold Glaucos by my side. But what stayed most in my mind was the look on my grandmother’s face when I’d said that word, pharmaka. It was not a look I know well among the gods.”This girl had gumption and she used her fresh power to punish her rival, creating a creature all came to feared. But, she paid a price for going too far. Circe was banished to the little island of Aiaia for eternity. This is where the book Circe really took off for me. On the island, I found it impossible not to admire and root for this woman who year after year, century after century, faced her fears, honed her powers, and learned to stand up for herself.“She was gone. But I said it anyway, to that amazing empty room and my son’s dreaming ears: “You do not know what I can do.”Soap Opera of the Gods – You might think a story of a woman alone on an island could obtain dull, but you would be wrong. Circe lived a lonely life, but was not without the occasional visitor, a lot of bringing adventure and challenges to her life. Hermes flitted in and out with news and gossip from the worlds of gods and mortals. Her sister, Pasiphae, granted Circe temporary exile to support deal with her small Minotaur problem. Shipwrecked sailors soon discovered the wrath of Circe. And then came Odysseus, perhaps her most well known visitor, bringing to Circe a lasting love she was willing to die for. The level of drama never failed!That House – I really can’t say any more, but for those who have read Circe: I wish that house!What Didn’tAbsolutely EVERYTHING worked for me in Circe!{The Final Assessment}Madeline Miller is definitely a writer to admire. Reinventing the life of a minor goddess into a remarkable woman while remaining faithful to the original mythology can be no little feat. Miller did it in the best method possible, by knowing her star hero and sticking to her story. From begin to finish Circe was all about Circe, no long tangents, no veering off into some other god’s story. Just Circe: her life, her feelings, her mistakes, her heart, her choices. I haven’t yet read Millers’s debut, Song of Achilles, but I will. I’m already looking forward to that next trip to ancient Greece. If it’s anything like Circe, I’m sure to search the journey immersive, entertaining, exciting, everything! Just incase I haven’t been clear, I loved Circe. She will be one of my top ten books this year. Grade: A

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    I was never a Greek mythology scholar and and most of what I once knew from needed reading at school has been lost to a faulty memory. What I'm now left with is very general, sketchy knowledge. Take Circe, for example. She's still there in my memory bank, but just broadly as a witchy woman living on an island who turned Odysseus' men into pigs when they stopped off on their method home to Ithaca after the Trojan Madeline Miller, who is an actual classics scholar, fills out Circe's life to create her more real, with feelings, motivations, life experiences that created her into that witch who was so inhospitable to sailors. Matter of fact, Miller's Circe, if she were around today, might well be a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement. After all, if some men are going to behave like pigs, imagine the satisfaction of turning them into the true thing.We are first introduced to Circe, a very minor Greek goddess who tells her story in 1st person POV, as a young girl, daughter of Helios, Titan god of the sun and Perse, an Oceanid naiad. For being god of the sun, Helios is a beautiful cold and distant father, and Perse is a particularly unkind mother who favors her other kids over Circe. And those other children, in particular the twins Pasiphae and Perses, are cruel to is it any wonder that Circe, although a goddess, is drawn to the company of mortals? Her first romantic crush is the fisherman Glaucos, who is friendly to her. She falls so in love with him that she begs her father, and then her grandmother, to create him a god so they can live together forever. No luck there, so Circe, ever determined, turns to witchcraft and does it herself. Well, that doesn't turn out as well as she would have liked, since Glaucos becomes a rather full-of-himself god who falls in love with a much lovelier nymph than Circe. Unlucky in love and resentful of the other nymph, Circe again turns to witchcraft, this time to take her revenge on this Other Woman. What happens next is Miller's take on how a very well-known and particularly vicious sea creature came into existence.Well, "pharmaka", or witchcraft, is frowned upon by Zeus, so he has Helios exile Circe to the island of Aiaia, to live a solitary life. And it is here that Circe begins to fully develop her skills with herbs and plants and her abilities to cast spells. We all know how that impacted a portion of Homer's The Odyssey. What I didn't think about when reading that classic is the why of her actions. That's what Miller is interested in and that's what makes this a compelling read. The author creates a fully-fleshed-out Circe. We see how her life experiences have informed her character. Part of this contains her love life, with three mortal lovers and one god who becomes an untrustworthy mate with we read Circe's acc of her life, we search her meeting up with a lot of popular mythological characters. There are encounters with Prometheus, Daedalus and Icarus, Hermes, Minos and Pasiphae, the Minotaur, Jason and Medea, Athena, Penelope and Telemachus, and different and sundry other gods, mortals and monsters. Miller doesn't strictly follow well-known myth storyline, giving Circe more active participation in a lot of happenings, such as the Minotaur's containment, or her interactions with Daedalus, or how the sea creature Scylla met her destruction, for example, but they're just myths anyway. Why not play around with them a little?So there may be a slight amount of revisionist mythology here, especially by giving motivations and feelings and depth to Circe and playing around slightly with some of the stories, but this gives the book more relevance to modern day themes of women, their treatment, their reactions, and their burgeoning empowerment. This all makes for a compelling read. Who doesn't have fun a amazing tale of gods, creatures and mortals? And the tale is told in lovely, descriptive prose, at time lush. Characters are well drawn and the pace never lagged for me. A amazing read from beginning to end.

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    As an old man who has devoured the Greek myths since earliest youth, I can only say Thank you Madeline Miller for another fabulous read, for sharing rarest talent, underlying goodness, and simply lovely ere is a reason the ancient myths have proved immortal. We are still enchanted by them because they speak to our longings, our aspirations, our humanity and indeed to our higher angels--completely free of dogma. Circe’s autobiography wondrously reimagines it all and stitches it all together.

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    Inspired. Lyrical. Erudite. Fun.I have both Madeline Miller's Kindle ver and the ASTONISHING companion audible book narrated by Perdita Weeks. In truth, you will really wish both. I followed along in the Kindle as I listened. I frequently stopped the narration to luxuriate in one of Miller's translucent passages, reading it over and over ler's writing and descriptions flow like a stream across waterfall rocks, burbling and splashing and happy. Bejeweled writing. Bewitching writing.And no one brings that to life as Perdita Weeks does.Her quiet, whispery voice; her inflections; her cadences complement Miller's writing in ways that are difficult to explain. (You'll also appreciate Weeks' pronunciation of myriad Ancient Greek names and places).Miller (read her bio) has found an unexplored niche in the popular Homeric poems that most of us have read. She finds those small "throw away" locations in the stories and asks, "but why? What else happened here?" Women, who usually obtain short shrift from Homer, are fully formed and fleshed in Miller's of Achilles was imaginative, filling in the backstories of Achilles and Patrocles to "round out" the tales where Homer left gaping Circe, however, Miller takes a minor encounter between Circe and Odysseus (at least compared to the 7 year detour he had with Calypso) and, using her detailed knowledge of the stories and of the Greek and Latin languages, constructs compelling and interesting backstories. In the end, she recasts all the characters in a new, more human light.I highly recommend both Miller's book and Weeks audio ver as companion pieces. One without the other is cheating the reader of a truly memorable experience.

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    This book caught me by surprise. I was swept up in the tale of Circe, a goddess, and amazed by the easy truths of human life revealed. Madeline Miller captured both the beauty and bitter futility of being human, and I will be philosophically turning these thoughts over in my head for years to come. Timeless masterpiece that will only become sweeter with each read.

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    If you have had it with the toil and problem of life in 2018, escape to an island of endless magic with a too-human demigoddess. Madeline Miller’s Circe weaves its own ough Circe is born of the Titan Helios and a nymph, she suffers from feelings all too human. She lacks confidence as most young women do. But she is destined to be forever e impetuously offer support to a mortal (Prometheus) and uses her magic to punish the nymph Scylla. Helios agrees that his rebellious daughter should be banished from the halls of the rce’s life begins in earnest as she learns to live on her own island, Aiaia. Alone, she toys with seashells, flowers, herbs, and more magic. She sings her songs to please herself. Though Hermes drops by to dally with her feelings and teach her bedroom arts, Circe is somewhat content. A shipwrecked squad impels her to use her magic for self-protection and even retribution.Enter another shipwreck some time later, this one carrying Odysseus. Whether you are a scholar of the classics or only vaguely remember some of the incidents of The Odyssey, Miller uses the relationship between Circe and Odysseus to develop fresh feelings within the ancient l that spins out is foreordained. Yet, I felt an urgent need to know how and why such things would happen. Even when Odysseus is sent on his way, the echoes of the love between Circe and Odysseus continue to weave their e ending to this magical journey, a closing Telemachia, held me spellbound. After finishing the book, I read the whole book over again. This is my method with books that enrapture me. I must read it again, more slowly, for the pure pleasure of the artistry as well as the surprises and action of the rce is a book of endless wonders. Thank you, Madeline Miller, for this deep and twisted tale of love and fate. This book follows her Song of Achilles (The lliad), which is equally compelling.

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    Today I’ll be reviewing Circe, which is by the same author who wrote The Song of Achilles. Even though I had the eARC since…forever, I actually didn’t read this until release day. Before I go into my review (if I even know how to DO that anymore), I wish to mention that I literally read this all in one day. So if anything, you should at least take away that it was THAT good. But, this honestly might just be me. I’m currently in a Greek mythology phase at the moment, with playing God of Battle and all, and so maybe I enjoyed Circe so much because I was in the right mood.Let’s talk about Circe. For one, she’s awesome, not doubt about it. Yet, this is the first time I've heard about her story, as I never read Odysseus in high school (let alone spell it). And though I do know the primary storyline of Odysseus, this is my first time learning about Circe. Well, the author’s take of the story, at least. But nevertheless, the author tells it as if it were really part of Greek Things I Liked:• This book is all about Circe. And she is awesome, as I’ve mentioned before.• How Circe’s life prospered even though she was all alone on an island, thanks to Zeus. And her relationship with everyone who visited her• In regards to these relationships, the people and gods Circe met were from various myths. Though I’m not overly familiar with them, the stories of the Minotaur, Medea, Daedalus & Icarus, and Odysseus all intertwined with Circe’s. Honestly the only thing I know about Icarus is from a song by Bastille, so that’s how I obtain my Greek mythology.Overall, even though I have no idea how close this compares to the actual mythology, I fell in love with this book. It’s definitely a fresh favorite. And I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loved The Song of Achilles, or just loves mythology in general (in which that case, read both).

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    CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) review [Book]  2018-6-24 18:0

    After having fallen in love with Miller based on her Somg of Achilles, I began this book with amazing anticipation. And I eagerly waited for a heroine-goddess, feminist for our time, to emerge. And I waited, and waited, and waited... until about 60% through the book (Kindles are such handy devices), when I finally grew so tired of Circe that I just couldn’t go on, in spite of the fine prose. This is a nymph who spends the first 40% of the book being kicked around by Titans and other nymphs and who, upon being rejected by her first crush, takes her jealousy out on the object of his lust rather on the jerk himself - thereby creating a creature who ends up killing untold thousands. Yeah, she regrets it, for about three sentences. Later, she becomes a strong witch who mostly uses her power to turn all the men who land on her island - every one of whom we are to read as presumptive thieves and rapists - into pigs and killing them. She shares her island with other nymphs, but not a single one of them, we are given to understand, is with her time or attention. So much for passing the Bechdel test, at least during that phase of her existence. I stopped reading when she found Odysseus and went all love-struck - I couldn’t shake the feeling that this alleged strong, strong woman was falling into the “yes, I am strong, until I meet an even stronger man” trope. Ugh.I am clearly in the minority in my view, so take my review with a grain of salt, I guess. The prose is lovely, to be sure. But the story plods and the protagonist is, at the end of the day, a huge yawn for me.

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