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Galatea (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost...
Pygmalion's story has moved millions through the centuries, inspiring George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and later the beloved musical My Fair Lady. Ecco is proud to publish Orange Prize-winning author Madeline Miller’s E-book original short story Galatea which will appear in the forthcoming anthology xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths to be published in October. This retelling of the Pygmalion myth from the statue’s perspective is a tale that will make readers rethink how they relate to the great myths of our time.
- ASIN : B00DY4SJKM
- Publisher : Ecco (August 13, 2013)
- Publication date : August 13, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 3368 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 27 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #82,682 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Is it worth reading? Yes. Is it worth 4 bucks... you decide. If you love Miller's work, then you will likely be happy and four dollars poorer, like I. If not, who knows? Short stories are actually harder to write, and are rarely appreciated for the efforts of the author. I do appreciate her efforts and I will not begrudge a few dollars to read a well-told story.
How about you?
As Always I Wish Happy Reads to All from the Unapologetic Book Junkie 😉!
Brief myth summary: Pygmalion was a sculptor who avoided and scorned all women based on his revulsion towards the local prostitutes. As such, he invested himself completely into creating the perfect woman out of ivory. He ended up falling deeply in love with this female form made of stone. After witnessing Pygmalion's devotion, Aphrodite: Goddess of Love gave life to the statue who was named Galatea. Pygmalion and Galatea married and had a son: Paphos. (Use your favorite search engine for more details.)
In Madeline Miller's retelling, she removes the glow of myth off this story and reveals its bare bones. Misogyny, ownership, power imbalance, abuse. Through Galatea's POV, readers feel the effects of it all and then watch as she problem solves how best to protect her children, who are female in this retelling. Although I wish this story was longer, it communicated its message beautifully. Check it out
I'd love to see the same themes explored here developed into a full-length novel -- and surely they could be. Instead, rather than a narrative that has a clear beginning, this seems more like a snapshot of a random time in the story. (Though it does have a pretty definitive end.) And while I'm not squeamish about sex, there's a LOT of sex here -- maybe overmuch for such a short piece when some of that time could have been used in describing the title character's thoughts.
I settled in under the covers for a nice, juicy read. Afterthe very first page, I was hooked. I was reading and the world disappeared as it does when it's a good story. Then, suddenly, after LESS THAN 30 PAGES, the book abruptly ended.
At least when you go to the theater and they play a "short" you're AWARE that it's going to be short. I feel robbed of more than my $8.99; I need to know what happens to the characters now; I was so upset I couldn't nap.
Extremely disappointed by this.
Top reviews from other countries
The overall premise is that of Galatea, a statue sculpted into the form of the perfect woman who later becomes a human, married to the sculptor who created her. In part it is certainly a very obtuse look at objectifying women, domestic abuse and frankly a consideration of society's view of what the perfect woman even is. But this idea, despite being pretty good actually, is completely overshadowed by the execution.
The plot is confusing, but moreover just odd. Galatea spends most of the novella in a bed being tended to by a nurse and pretending to be a statue to appease her misogynistic husband who enjoys the idea of her being a statue coming back to life before he then gets on with sleeping with her. It's just messed up and really confronting to read - both good and important things to come across in literature for the most part. But whilst this absolutely is the point Miller is trying to make, the approach is just really messy and feels underwritten, rushed and simple - Galatea later decides now is the time to stand up to him and takes off on an impulsive adventure to retrieve her daughter from him which slightly alleviates this problem, but still maintains a basic yet somehow messy narrative. It makes sense, in large part, but just lacks the usual intricacy and compelling nature of Miller's usual writing.
I was so disappointed by this novella and whilst I really appreciate that Galatea's story showcases mistreatment of women as possessions, and does so reasonably well in concept, I think the writing and overly deliberate telling of that detracts heavily from what could have been a stark and compelling look at this. Not for me.
The story is told from the point of view of the statue - Galatea - and set a few years after she came to life and got married to Pygmalion. This gives the story a unique perspective and also a quite tragic twist.
Only downside for me is that the story was really short - only 20 pages - and therefore felt like it could have been expanded a bit more. It would probably be more suited for an anthology or collection of Greek myths, but still a nice read!
This story I feel was written to be ambiguous. Throughout my reading I could never tell if Galatea was the victim of her own delusion or whether she really was sculpted. The writing is very clever that way.
The themes of the story really hit home for me on several levels especially reflecting on today’s society and its obsession with beauty and aging.
This is a short read but I would advise anyone who has a few minutes spare to sit down and read this book.