Circe Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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The daring, dazzling and highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times best seller The Song of Achilles
One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018
"An epic spanning thousands of years that's also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner." (Ann Patchett)
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur; Daedalus and his doomed son, Icarus; the murderous Medea; and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from or the mortals she has come to love.
With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and pause-resisting suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, and love and loss as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 8 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||April 10 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #441 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#26 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#26 in Family Saga
#31 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Reviewed in Canada on January 7, 2021
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Top reviews from Canada
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I will caution if you do not read this genre often, it is a hard read and may take longer to finish.
If you want to start reading more greek myth would recommend starting with this book.
So far, this is the BEST book I've read this year. Madeline Miller creates such a wonderful, intricate, and beautiful story and I was hanging on every word. It made me fall in love with a goddess I didn't overly care much for, before this book. I'm greedy and I want more from this fabulous author. 😍
honouring the groundrules of the Odyssey , while revealing Circe as a complex character in her own right , facing the challenges ( as well as the conveniences) of her divinity and her many contacts with mortals over the centuries.
She even manages to drag boring old Penelope into a more independant life.
Top reviews from other countries
I’m not usually a fan of stories told in first person, but this was, without doubt, the best way to tell this story. Ms Miller has taken someone who was a minor character in ‘The Odyssey’ and given her a larger-than-life story. I think what makes this book such a riveting read is the total focus on Circe. There are no unnecessary side stories. We’re drawn into Circe’s life; we’re privy to her thoughts… nothing is hidden from us. She’s far from perfect; she can be unreasonable, and gives in to her negative emotions, but I found her very easy to like.
Although the focus of the story is all on Circe, we’re still treated to an astounding cast of characters – Scylla; Daedalus; Circe’s sister, Pasiphae, mother of the Minotaur; Medea; not to mention the Titans, gods and goddesses. And, last but by no means least, Penelope – another well-written woman, she quickly became my second favourite character.
Ms Miller uses straightforward, simple words, yet her descriptions are lyrical and evocative, like her description of Helios’ halls, which also conveys something of the sun god’s nature…
‘My father’s halls were dark and silent. His palace was… buried in the earth’s rock, and its walls were made of polished obsidian. Why not? They could have been anything in the world, blood-red marble from Egypt or balsam from Araby, my father had only to wish it so. But he liked the way the obsidian reflected his light, the way its slick surfaces caught fire as he passed. Of course, he did not consider how black it would be when he was gone. My father has never been able to imagine the world without himself in it.’
I liked that her witch powers don’t appear to her in an instant; she has to put in the work and practice, practice, practice.
Circe’s interactions with the other characters, especially Daedalus, Odysseus, her son, Telegonus, even Penelope and Telemachus are all richly told. In Ms Miller’s hands, they become real people, each one a distinct character, strong and memorable in their own way. The gods are portrayed as illogical and capricious, which is how the Ancient Greeks saw them, but they don’t come across as stereotypical or two-dimensional.
Although a minor deity, Circe isn’t portrayed as an unattainable goddess. We get to know this remarkable woman extremely well because we’re allowed to share her most personal thoughts. For me, that’s what makes this book – we’re shown Circe as a woman, with the same needs, hopes, desires and dreams as humans.
A scholar of the Classics, Madeline Miller knows her Greek mythology inside and out. She’s amassed all that’s out there about Circe and spun a very believable tale. I read this book slowly, not because it was difficult to read, but I was savouring every part of it; I did not want it to end. When I got to the ending, it made me cry; it was exactly how I’d wanted it to end.
At the beginning of May, I was lucky enough to attend a talk at the British Museum with Madeline Miller, Bettany Hughes and Kamila Shamsie. Ms Miller said she’d wanted to reclaim Circe’s story; she wanted to bring the focus back to this very clever woman who had the wit to surpass Odysseus in their verbal sparring. I suppose one can say, if ‘The Odyssey’ was a man’s story then ‘Circe’ is the woman’s story of that same time including the ages before and after.
However, I found it jarring, to say the least, when phrases such as ' go get' and 'go fix' - were constantly repeated throughout the book. These are just two examples of the 'Americanisms' that have crept in, albeit under the noses of the seemingly vast number of advisers and publishers who got the book published. Did they read the text?
Details like this may seem unimportant, but to me they undermine the authenticity of the story and for that reason I can only award three stars.
Facing off against the plaintive scenes of loss and abandonment are the withering parodies of the gods. Hermes passes over every quarter of the world like a wicked Alan Whicker, 'picking up gossip as hems gather mud' and Athena and Helios, in spite of all their swaggering nectar-dribbling lifestyles, are petty and pusillanimous in the end, leaving Circe to negotiate her exile as she sees fit. Her chutzpah when she defies the big cheeses will give you read-rage, so have some ice cubes handy!
'We should,' Miller's Circe says, 'take pleasure in the simple mending of the world', and the message resonates ever more clearly as the narrative evolves. The abiding image that sticks is of Circe weaving at Dedalus's loom, pulling threads and making amends as she goes. It's a great read, so leave the sprouts alone for a while and open the doors into this mythical emporium of herbs and heroines. The poodle can wait too.
Madeline Miller has now been added to my auto-buy author list as her books are amazing. This was a masterpiece and when I think about it the one word that comes to mind is beautiful. Utterly and stunningly beautiful and one of my favourite reads of the year.
This book is a retelling of The Odyssey and follows the story of the witch Goddess Circe from her life living within halls of her father the Sun God and Titan Helios to her life of exile on Aiaia.
This book is very character driven which is what I loved about it and I adored Circe as a character. As the book is so character driven we get a really deep insight in to Circe’s life, her thoughts and feelings, her relationships with her family and the other Gods, the mortals who come upon her island Daedalus, Odysseus. Her experiences of love, loss and loneliness and I loved every second of it. I also loved watching Circe learn what it means to be immortal and what it means to be a mother.
Madeline Miller’s writing is phenomenal, it is so poetic and lyrical and I could have easily the whole book as it is so beautiful.
Overall, this book is a complete masterpiece that I highly recommend and I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
AUTHOR: MADELINE MILLER
PUBLISHER: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING
IF I COULD REVIEW IT IN A SINGLE LINE: The best money you’d ever spend
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe's place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe's independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.
I am not usually a fan of mythology reads but this particular book was so talked about on bookstagram that I knew I had to get my hands on it; and obviously was practically squeaking when I father gave it to me as one of my birthday presents.
It is one of those reads that collectively makes the fam agree on a stellar rating. The Circe has been read and re read over the past couple of months by as many people as possible out there and has been reviewed by oh so many of us but none of the reviewing including this one can do justice entirely to the book because it has the most epic and novel and yet enticing background with plotlines that there ever has been. Circe is the daughter of Helios, the Sun God and Perse, a naiad and thus a goddess herself but with a catch that she is a nymph with no powers of her own in the initial years or so everyone thought, she suffered at the hands of her siblings. What no one knows is the that she is a powerful witch with a supreme power lying dormant in her. When situation asks for it she rises beyond and shows her true colors. She is a witch so powerful she turns a mortal into God out of her endearing affection and sheer will. Pharmaka or witchcraft is frowned upon by gods and hence Circe is exiled into the land of Aiaia to lead a solitary life and we go on a journey through her immortality.
The true power of the book you may say is in the fact that Circe doesn’t just lead a solitary life but a life unparalleled to any other purely based on the fact that she answers to no one and her land is hers, everyone has to be there with her permission and she has no one to order her about. Madelline Miller the genius uses this story, the life of Circe to show case the faculty of feminism, estrangement and making the best of her life.
I cannot put into words how much I fell in love with this book purely out of my admiration for the author to show case a story of an immortal not so important to many in the Greek mythology but yet with her very own strength, uniqueness, will power and above all the very ability to fight all odds.
Also I thought this is worth mentioning I ordered the hardcover edition of the book and OH MY GOD is it pretty.
Writing and Presentation: 5/5
Overall: 5/5; I can’t even tell you how much I loved the book.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy for @thatbooknerdyouknow. This review is my own and hasn’t been influenced by anyone else.