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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-08-11 18:08
Circe Review
Circe - Madeline Miller

** spoiler alert ** First of all, this was a well-written book and a joy to read.
That said, I wanted to point out that I looked for something original but this was merely a connect the dots of all mention of Circe in various Greek Mythology tales, with a few changes. The author picked and chose different tales of Circe and other tales from the ancient authors and put them all in one novel, constructed around a great base story. Kudos to her on that. 
Not mentioned were her other supposed sons or daughter. Here I felt she is painted as not that attractive but in many tales she was considered the opposite. I always thought she might give Helen of Troy some competition.
Unanswered to me was - Who really was Circe? Was she really an offspring of a Greek God, Helios, merely a witch invented for the Odyssey? Or something more? While I'm aware there is no way to really answer that question factually, I was hoping for some new slant on who she might have been, besides being depicted as a sorceress on some deserted island. Because so much was written of her in ancient times by various writers through many tales, I've always felt that maybe she wasn't some mythical goddess but a real person painted into these tales. Just my two pence. By my observations, I in no way mean to cast dispersion on the book, it was an enjoyable read.

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review 2018-08-10 15:51
Circe
Circe - Madeline Miller

Review to Come.

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text 2018-07-18 14:21
Circe
Circe - Madeline Miller

Book Three for my Paris Trip.

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text 2018-06-20 19:17
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 383 pages.
Circe - Madeline Miller

I think it's just that I'm not really interested in Greek mythology -- never have been.  I'm not enjoying this story so far, but I'm not giving up.  I will forge on, with hopes that I will be drawn in eventually.  

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review 2018-04-27 19:06
CIRCE REDISCOVERED
Circe - Madeline Miller

A few minutes ago, I finished reading this book. (It is 1:11 PM EST as I write this.) I feel a deep reluctance to have to take leave of what was truly a wondrous, fantastic, and engaging story. "CIRCE" had become more than a story rooted in myth; it became real in my consciousness.

Before reading this novel, what little I knew about Circe came from the Edith Hamilton book 'Mythology' I had read in high school. That book conveyed to me a vengeful and capricious enchantress (somehow the word 'witch' never entered my consciousness, perhaps because I always imagined Circe to be alluring and beautiful - as well as powerful) who took a dim view to mortals coming to her island. So much so, that many a marooned sailor upon meeting Circe was transformed by her into a snorting pig.

But through reading this fantastic novel, I came to learn so much more about Circe and her origins. Daughter of Helios the Titan god of the Sun and the nymph Perses, she grew up in a family that thought little of her and didn't expect much from her. Yet, unlike her immortal siblings, Circe had some humility and compassion about her that showed that she had a heart. With the passage of time, Circe went on to do something that, as an immortal, she shouldn't have done. It probably would've been to her benefit to lie or simply not speak to anyone of what she had done. But one of the things I found remarkable about Circe was her willingness to speak truth to power (in her case, her father, who had never hid his disdain for her), and to bear the punishment imposed on her by Zeus. That meant eternal exile on the deserted island of Aiaia. And there is where Circe - through the centuries - came truly into her own, honing "her occult craft" and "tam[ing] wild beasts."

Madeline Miller has an amazing skill in crafting prose that breathes life -in all its richness and complexity - into this novel. She relates in compelling detail the varied adventures Circe had, as well as the encounters she had with a number of the gods and mortals (including Odysseus with whom Circe would eventually enter into an intimate relationship) who ventured to her island. There were also some unexpected surprises that I'll leave to the reader of this review to discover for him/herself. (No spoilers here.)

This is a novel that once read you'll want to read again. IT IS AMAZING.

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