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Circe

Written by: Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally best-selling author of The Song of Achilles comes the powerful story of the mythological witch Circe, inspired by Homer's Odyssey

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.   

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Madeline Miller (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Amazing writing, beautiful narration! Loved it!

I've always been interested in mythology and the concept of witchcraft. So when I heard of this book I knew I had to read it sometime soon. And I'm so glad I spent my credit on this one. Its beautifully written, transports you into another world. There were too many beautiful moments to be bookmarked. Honestly, this one's a treat! I laughed and I cried but more than that when Circe felt powerful, I felt the power in me, I was always trying to look for danger signs for Circe, anticipating what comes next. Loved it and now is over. Now coming to the narration, Perdita Weeks 😍 Oh. My. God. In the middle of the book I searched for any other books that she has narrated but I was disappointed to see there were only a couple others. Now I'm unable to decide which book to spend my credit on next, one that I have wanted to read for a long time or one whose co-narrator is Perdita Weeks. I guess that should say it all about how much I love the narration.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A myth made new

The book places front and center a woman who has been pictured in mythology as a seductress waylaying innocent travelers and using her power to create monsters. But Miller’s Circe is different and therefore, isolated and abused. But she is also a woman of agency, who eventually scripts her own life and learns to live on her own terms in defiance of gods and goddesses. Miller rewrites her story almost entirely, changing even the end. And it is a story I enjoyed thoroughly. Bewildered by where her life takes her, Miller’s Circe comes into her own after she is exiled. Little by little, she learns her own power, what she can and will do, and to what she will say no. I think, it might well supplant the original myth in my mind because I like this one so much better.

A brilliant pace and some skillful writing make this tale thoroughly enjoyable. Although it troubled me that Miller does not allow for the re-imagining of many other women. Pasiphaë, Scylla, Medea, Athena, all fulfill their original mythological destiny with little to redeem them. Penelope seems like the only exception, but her rather late appearance in the book leaves little room to get to know her well. It’s also a little troubling that Daedalus is almost saintly in this tale, with no mention of the mythical tale of him killing his nephew, a young prodigy who he was worried would emerge as a rival.

The highlight of this read for me though was Perdita Weeks. This was my first Audible book, and I discovered why the listening app is so popular. The quality of the book is brilliant. Weeks’ narration is magical. Weeks seemed to have employed some witchcraft of her own to inhabit the skin of Miller’s Circe effectively and powerfully. I think, Weeks played a strong role in the imprint the book left on me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Serene Storywriting!

I did not think that it would be such an enjoyable journey. The story has it ups and downs but the author keeps you bound. Offering more in every chapter. Urging you to go explore the characters in greater detail. I would say a perfect end to a perfect story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a nice beautiful experience

an honest story and equally good performance..this performance will stay with the reader as a friend one meets after a long day .

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Wonderful tale

The Greek mythology as seen by Circe. Great story & narration. Revisited all those stories read & movies viewed on Greek gods including Percy Jackson

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A beautiful story of wisdom and growth

This was my first time listening to an audiobook, and what a book. What an endearing story of a woman with uncensored struggles. You understand where she goes wrong, and how she grows from it. It was an inspiring book.

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Engaging and imaginative

Let me start by saying that the oratory skills of the narrator is superb. That was one of the reason I held on to this book. Overall I enjoyed the story. There were too many characters of gods and that was little baffling at times but the main character Circe was the anchor.

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I'll keep coming back to this book.

It was confusing at first.. Many characters, many stories... But it turned quite gripping soon. Perhaps I'll write a more details review once I sit still with it bit longer.

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  • HJ
  • 06-08-19

Thoroughly enjoyed it

Beautiful take with lovely and deep emotions. What made it better was the narration. Just loved it.

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Magical story!! Great narration . <br />

AMAZING STORY. WHAT AN IMAGINATION!!!
NARRATION IS EXCELLENT WHICH MAKES THE EXPERIENCE EXTRA SUPERIOR .

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-05-18

Magical yet so real!

I can not emphasize enough on how much I loved this book and I am so glad that I got to listen to it. Madeline Miller has created an exceptional retelling of the story of Circe, the witch of Ayaya and Perdita Weeks breathed life into the narrative. Every single chapter bound me to its story and the concise, exactly on the point modulation of the narration transformed my living room into that island so beautifully described.

I was most excited about Circe's meeting with Odysseus that Homer wrote about in Oddessey. Not only did I get that story, the event was retold in a way that did not define the story of the goddess, it effortlessly enhanced Circe's might and character.
Circe was powerful and though there were so many events involving all powerful gods and mortals, the story never wavers from her. She is the one who drives the narrative and at no point what so ever did I feel her character lost in the story.

This is a story of the making of a powerful woman, a goddess, and extremely engaging.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen Rowe
  • 08-11-18

Beautiful narration

An amazing book. The narration is perfectly suited to the book’s tone and I think the best that I’ve heard. Perdita Weeks did a beautiful job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bianka Walter
  • 11-09-18

Best narration I've heard in a while

Circe is one of the many children of Helios, god of the sun. She is misunderstood and bullied for most of her life. This coming of age story lets you climb right into the life of Circe, and feel her every emotion. I absolutely loved the narration of this book. Perdita Weeks is effortless in her telling and she really made the book soar. Without her unpretentious narration, I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed this story as much as I did.
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys Greek mythology as well as character-driven novels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joey
  • 13-08-19

Excellent story + narration

This is my second Madeline Miller book and it is in every way just as brilliant as her Archilles books. A sweeping, multiple-life long story of gods and mortals and those that walk the line between. Written touchingly and powerfully and so evocative. I’m a huge fan of Madeline’s writing style and Perdita Weeks’ excellent narration. Her skills and bringing the characters to life and giving each character a unique tone and style made for a truly vivid listen.

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  • ML
  • 17-07-19

Loved this book

This is a thoroughly engaging book, beautifully written and the narrator seems a perfect choice.

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  • Yvette Anderson
  • 02-07-19

I WANT TO START FROM THE BEGINNING AGAIN

I loved this book, written with wisdom, insight and a easy grip on the muddled world of Greek gods
I am eager now to explore Madeline Miller's other books or start this one again. Thank you for writing books like this, it makes us mortals very happy ))

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  • Derrick Theophille
  • 30-06-19

The story of a God who learned to live as a human

Circe is not a human or a hero but she is no less magnificent as the greatest or as vulnerable as the lowest.

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  • Michelle
  • 29-05-19

Silk for the ears and soul

I can’t tell you how much I loved listening to this book. The stories of gods and titans interwoven with a simple tale of a woman finding her way through life and love. Beautifully written ... and the reader (Perdita Weeks), her voice is like silk. I was at a loss when the story ended. Thank you Madeliene Miller for releasing this gem into our world.

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  • I Leaver
  • 01-05-19

Enchanting

This enchanting tale brings a complex web of ancient Greek myths to life in a very human and accessible narrative. Circe's journey draws on the history of the Titans and the Olympians as well as key mortals like Daedalus and Odysseus in a timeless story of epic proportion. This is a wonderfully well written work that is beautifully narrated. The combination of Madeline Miller and Perdita Weeks is joyous. It isn't often that I listen to a book and don't want it to end but that is how this one struck me. I know already that I will return to it again and again.

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  • Muhammad Mohsin
  • 11-01-19

Remarkable

My first book ever with a female protagonist. But by god this was such a wonderful listen. I have to say that the narrator has an unbelievable talent of capturing the essence of each and every moment . Would highly recommend to all. Especially anyone who is interested in the Greek mythology

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  • madeleine davitt
  • 06-05-18

Brilliant

This is the first audio book I have bought. I thought the book was one of the best books I have read and listened too in years. It’s stunningly beautiful and outstanding in terms of the theme and tread of the story. It rates for me as the best book I have read in years. I will without doubt buy her other books. It was also beautifully read the reader was captivating. I would read and listen to this book again and again to remind me of what a good author can do. Thank you

40 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. S. Shayle
  • 26-04-18

Outstanding

I wondered if this would be as good as Song of Achilles. In a word yes it is. It has quite a slow start where you can get lost in all the different gods and their petty vengeances. However once Circe is exiled to her island it becomes more profound and Millers descriptive powers are highly evocative. Better to listen than read.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Sofie
  • 19-01-19

A unique retelling of Greek myths

Circe by Madeline Miller is an interesting, unique tale based on the Greek myths. Miller has taken a character and made their story her own. I felt that this was a very original story, but that at times I was not completely gripped. It was a solid 3* listen on Audible. Circe by Madeline Miller is out now from Hachette Audio.

The story
Circe is a Greek goddess and daughter of the Titan, Helios, who causes trouble and gets banished to live on the island of Aiaia by herself for eternity. However, humans do as they please, and when their boats start washing up on the shores of Aiaia, Circe will learn what it means to be human, to be a man and to be a woman. With other gods passing through, changing both their fates and hers, Circe will have to protect herself and the things she holds dear if she wants to live independently.

My thoughts on Circe…
Circe by Madeline Miller is essentially clever and well-written, with many anecdotes about various Greek gods and goddesses, nymphs and witches alike. I enjoyed the way Miller has woven the stories together and ensured that this novel feels like a real Greek myth, as the reader is faced with mounds of intertextuality and broken stories glued together. I particularly enjoyed the anecdote of Circe’s sister and the birth of her child/monster, which shows Miller’s strengths as an author. Unlike Stephen Fry, Miller ensures that Circe is involved in every story, whether she is hearing and commenting on things, or she travels somewhere and witnesses various extra things as she goes.

However, I will say that the story as a whole felt a bit long, as I was not completely gripped by all of the anecdotes and woven in stories as I was the main one. I got very into this audiobook when Circe would lure the men to her island, and I particularly enjoyed Miller’s sense of character that came apparent through this story line. Circe herself is an independent and fierce woman, but fell a little bit short as I felt that she came across a bit entitled at the beginning and never truly understood how to let go of the things she cares about, at least not without something new to distract her.

Overall, Circe by Madeline Miller was an enjoyable read for me. I would recommend it to people who enjoy Greek myths, but without as much graphic content as in Fry’s Mythos. This story does fall more into the young adult range, which makes it accessible for a wide range of audiences who will love it. I enjoyed listening to this book on Audible, and would encourage other fans of Greek mythology and adventure tales to read or listen to this title.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Beatleclaire
  • 25-09-18

Excellent

Starts well and maintains it momentum. Very well read by Perdita. I would recommend this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • TP
  • 15-05-18

Good but not as Song of Achilles

Once the scene was set( took rather a long time) Circe's story was enjoyable. The narration was good as was the story..good but not great hence 4 stars.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • 03-10-18

Bingeworthy

Couldn’t stop listening! Only to sleep and even then I didn’t want to, such a beautiful book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Muggie
  • 31-07-18

Lacking main story thread

Enjoyed the book from a mythology point of view, but felt the book lacked a strong story line. Circe never really did anything particularly exciting...

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • J Ralphs
  • 18-09-18

Wonderful

From start to finish I couldn't stop listening. I'm a fan of Song of Achilles and Circe did not disappoint. Gripping, beautifully written and sensationally performed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • weasal
  • 03-10-18

Very well written but lacks in character strength

This is excellently written. The story flows beautifully and you learn so much of Greek mythology. I had however hoped to read of a strong, more feminist leaning Circe. Instead the author has her constantly controlled and dominated by males. In fact mostly all of Circe's thoughts are solely about obsessing over all the males that cross her path, whether it's her father, her lovers, and then her son. It was a bit tiresome and it would have been nice to see a different twist on the mythology.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Bookworm
  • 31-10-18

Fantastic book

I’ve listened to this book about 8 times now its seems to be addictive. Perdita Weeks performance is amazing and I think partly why this book is so easy to listen to. I dont know anyone who would t like this book. I loved it and probably will listen to if for a 9th time

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen Wilson
  • 26-12-18

An absorbing book beautifully read

Circe comes to life as she did not in Homer’s rendition of her. She is a sympathetic character who’s story is utterly compelling. The language of the book is poetic, the writing a constant delight. The reader is perfect for character and story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. K. Skarbek
  • 03-12-18

Wonderful Retelling of the Myths

Beautiful story, wonderfully read and engaging right up until the end.

If you love mythological stories or fairy tale re-imaginings, this book is for you. Better than The Song of Achilles (imho), rich in imagery and really, really entertaining.

Highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alma M
  • 06-11-18

Captivating and Well Written

Perdita Weeks has the most soothing and captivating voice! Story was excellent and incredibly interesting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan Hamilton
  • 05-11-18

Loved it

Loved it. Miller makes the old Greek tales relatable to the modern audience and revives what can sometimes be stuffy legends and myths in a beautiful way. Along with Circe's story we hear of the old Titans and their powers as well as heroes such as Achilles, Icarus and Odysseus as their lives touch each other. Beautifully written and well read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ginaya Chaston
  • 03-10-18

Fantastic storytelling!

Loved everything about this book and the storyline. Could listen to this narrator for hours!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tori Hazelwood
  • 18-09-18

Absolutely loved it

Perfect story telling, love the accurate spin on greek mythology! would recomend! can't wait to read it again xD

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Josephine Kelman
  • 15-09-18

Delightful tale

Loved this book for its sweet retelling and weaving of old myths and legends into a personal tale of a long life

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • bookreviewer
  • 06-09-18

Pure Magic

Wonderful weaving of myth from a relatable female voice recounting the superhuman stories through a very human wisdom. I did already know quite a bit of greek mythology but Miller's storytelling is so skilful that I believe if you knew nothing of myth the story and characters would be as alive and would pass on the mythological underpinnings along the way. Circe is a kick ass character and the story, being both contemporary and ancient, encompasses enduring human themes as well as contemporary social issues. I really enjoyed!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • paula king
  • 02-09-18

engrossing story, brilliant narration

recommended to me by Ali Edwards as one of her recent reviews & I'm not disappointed. Easy to get lost in the lyrical narration & story. A different view on the Ancient World.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. Valerie Lewis
  • 24-08-18

A magical tale

Wonderfully written and beautifully performed, the story of a minor goddess, her travails, loves and banishment. ..I enjoyed it immensely.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful