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Circe: The No. 1 Bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles Paperback – 30 April 2019

4.4 out of 5 stars 21,052 ratings

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Review

A novel to be gobbled greedily in a single sittingObserver

Circe is poised to become the literary sensation of the summer, as much for the quality of its writing as its timeliness ― Sunday Times Magazine

Enough magic, enchantment, voyages and wonders to satisfy the most jaded sword-and-sorcery palate. Miller approaches Odysseus's story from Circe's point of view, richly evoking her protagonist's overlapping identities as goddess, witch, lover and mother -- Adam Roberts ― Guardian, Books of the Year

A triumphThe Times, Books of the Year

Circe back as superwoman . Homer's witch get a kickass modern makeover. Miller's Me Too-era, kickass portrait of a woman trying to defy the men and Fates arrayed against her is enchanting. Blisteringly modernThe Times

In a thrilling tour de force of imagination, Miller makes her otherworldly heroine a complex, sympathetic figure for whom we cheer throughout. Circe is a truly spellbinding novel, the mesmerising shimmer of ancient magic rising from it like a heat haze ― Mail on Sunday

A brilliantly strange work of mythic science fiction, as effortlessly expressive within the palaces of gods as it is about the world below . Superb . This is both a fabulous novel and a fascinating retelling; the best compliment, perhaps, that any myth could hope for ― Daily Telegraph

This year's novels were filled with the angry clamour of women's voices: ignored, idealistic or excitingly ambivalent. Madeline Miller reflected the mood for feminist revisionism with her lissom follow-up Circe, which casts the witch goddess in the Odyssey not as a bit player in a man's epic but as the star of her own show -- Claire Allfree ― Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

It was a big year for creative retelling of myth and pre-modern literature; a favourite was Madeline Miller's Circe, a distinctive, lyrical novel about power, agency and reponsibility, from the point of view of this crafty, much-misunderstood goddess -- Emily Wilson ― Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year

The writing is lovely, the tone assured, and the touch just right -- Alexander McCall Smith ― Independent, Books of the Year

It is out of these insights that Miller achieves real narrative propulsion . Supple, pitched in a register that bridges man and mythGuardian

The first witch in Western literature sets Homer straight as she tells her life story, from her unhappy childhood to her lonely island exile. The woman who emerges is complex and sympathetic. A spellbinding tour de force of imaginationMail on Sunday, ‘Sizzling summer reads’

Miller has effected a transformation just as impressive as any of her heroine's own: she's turned an ancient tale of female subjugation into one of empowerment and courage full of contemporary resonances -- Lucy Scholes ― Independent

What more could you wish for on holiday than this fabulously written re-imagining of the myth? Gods, monsters and mortals are lushly evoked in a page-turner that is as gripping as a soap opera and which triumphantly fuses myth with our contemporary concerns -- Elizabeth Buchan ― Daily Mail, Books of the Summer 2018

Dubbed the 'feminist Odyssey', there's so much to like about Circe. From the author of the much-loved The Song of Achilles, this novel puts a feminist spin on Greek mythology, recasting Circe, the vilified witch infamous for turning men into pigs, in a sympathetic light. Subverting the usual masculine tropes of epic adventure narratives, Miller tells the story of the women who have been historically silenced. And on top of that, she makes Greek myths and culture, which is often perceived as impenetrable and intimidating, accessible. A real page-turnerElle Magazine

Illuminates known stories from a new perspective . Miller has determined, in her characterization of this most powerful witch, to bring her as close as possible to the human, as a thoughtful and compassionate woman who learns to love unselfishly . A highly psychologized, redemptive and ultimately exculpatory account of the protagonist herself -- Claire Messud ― New York Times

The Orange prizewinner Madeline Miller reimagines Circe, the witch from The Odyssey. In Miller's retelling Circe is a suitably bolshie character who is not going to be bossed around by men. The writing is beautifulThe Times

An epic that's also a page-turneri

Fabulous . Bold and sensuously written, it plays brilliantly with the original myth of Circe

Daily Mail

I've been waiting for Circe by Madeline Miller for what feels like forever. Since her 2011 debut, The Song of Achilles - a queer retelling of the Iliad from Patroclus' perspective - I've been crowing about the wit and magic of Miller's prose. Circe did not disappoint. It's a feminist tale of the nymph child of Helios, the sun god, who is exiled for practising witchcraft. Circe lives for hundreds of years, encountering heroes, gods and legends, but it never feels like a Greek mythology lesson. Actually, it feels more like a splashy, gossipy memoir written by a celebrity who has met everyone. I suspect this will be my book of the year -- Caroline O'Donoghue ― Irish Times

Greek myth is fertile fictional terrain for Miller, who won the Orange Prize with her debut, The Song of Achilles. Her new novel is narrated by Circe, the witch from Homer's Odyssey, who is banished to a remote island and there learns how to survive as a woman alone in the world -- Anita Sethi ― Independent, Books of 2018

A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right ― New York Times

[Miller] gives voice to Circe as a multifaceted and evolving character ... Circe is very pleasurable to read, combining lively versions of familiar tales and snippets of other, related standards with a highly psychologized, redemptive and ultimately exculpatory account of the protagonist herself ― New York Times Book Review

God though she may be, here she faces life - and its love, heartbreak, loneliness and motherhood - with immensely relatable humanity. The definition of female strength in all its fractured, fragile glory**** Stylist

Offers opportunities for feminist revision of famous characters both mortal and divine, especially the egotistical Odysseus and the irresponsible and laddish Hermes. It also leads to a suspenseful metaphysical dilemma . Polished diction and descriptive powers ― Prospect

Absorbing ... One of the most amazing qualities of this novel [is]: We know how everything here turns out -we've known it for thousands of years - and yet in Miller's lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected. The feminist light she shines on these events never distorts their original shape; it only illuminates details we hadn't noticed before. In the story that dawns from Miller's rosy fingers, the fate that awaits Circe is at once divine and mortal, impossibility strange and yet entirely human ― Washington Post

A look at mythology with fresh eyes ... In Circe the female perspective sharpens into focus in a way that doesn't happen in the original ― Wall Street Journal

Miller excels at reworking myths and legends for a modern audience . Miller conjures up a cast of strong, relatable characters, from cold-hearted gods and flawed heroes to deadly monsters-and best of all-a strong female protagonist. Fabulously readableScotsman

Beautifully written throughout . Miller has broken [Circe] free of the conventions of the masculine epicLiterary Review

A refreshingly complex and utterly compelling portrait of one of the most intriguing women in western literature . Miller's depiction of what it feels like to work magic is extraordinarily vivid and convincing . What elevates Circe is Miller's luminous prose, which is both enormously readable and evocative, and the way in which she depicts the gulf between gods and mortals . Circe can be part of that cycle of cruel and pointless conflict, or she can choose to break it. In this unforgettable novel, Miller makes us care about that magical, mythical choice ― Irish Times

In Circe, Miller gives depth and history to the title character, how it was she came to be on her island, and her struggles as an independent woman. The "heroes" of Greek myths - the gods, Odysseus and so on - get shoved to the side, as Miller brings to the forefront a fascinating, captivating female character. This is wonderfully detailed and well worth the more than five year wait since The Song of AchillesStylist, The 20 must-read books to make room for in 2018

A mesmerising, fiercely feminist and lyrical retelling of a story from Greek mythology - as enchanting as the enchantress herselfPsychologies

Circe is the utterly captivating, exquisitely written story of an ordinary, and extraordinary, woman's life -- Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

An epic spanning thousands of years that's also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner -- Ann Patchett

Horror, heartache and grit pour from the pages of this exquisitely written and compelling novel. An alchemist with words, Miller continues to rejuvenate the classics with her exceptional talent . Circe is one of the best and most rewarding books of 2018Attitude, 'Book of the Month'

Gives Greek mythology a modern, feminist twist ― Elle

Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation ― i

Gorgeously written ... It leaves you thinking about it for weeksGrazia

Book Description

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019

The captivating Sunday Times top ten and New York Times number one bestseller by the Orange Prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles; 'spellbinding . a thrilling tour de force' (Mail on Sunday)


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Publishing (30 April 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1408890046
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1408890042
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 19.7 x 2.2 x 13 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 21,052 ratings

About the author

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Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She also studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. She currently lives near Philadelphia, PA. The Song of Achilles is her first novel. Her second novel, Circe, will be published in April 2018. Visit her website at: www.madelinemiller.com

Photo credit: Nina Subin

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