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Publisher's Summary

In fierce, textured voices, the women of Ovid's Metamorphoses claim their stories and challenge the power of myth

I am the home of this story. After thousands of years of other people’s tellings, of all these different bridges, of words gotten wrong, I’ll tell it myself.

Seductresses and she-monsters, nymphs and demi-goddesses, populate the famous myths of Ovid's Metamorphoses. But what happens when the story of the chase comes in the voice of the woman fleeing her rape? When the beloved coolly returns the seducer's gaze? When tales of monstrous transfiguration are sung by those transformed? In voices both mythic and modern, Wake, Siren revisits each account of love, loss, rape, revenge, and change. It lays bare the violence that undergirds and lurks in the heart of Ovid’s narratives, stories that helped build and perpetuate the distorted portrayal of women across centuries of art and literature.

Drawing on the rhythms of epic poetry and alt rock, of everyday speech and folk song, of fireside whisperings and therapy sessions, Nina MacLaughlin, the acclaimed author of Hammer Head, recovers what is lost when the stories of women are told and translated by men. She breathes new life into these fraught and well-loved myths.

©2019 Nina MacLaughlin (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Wake, Siren

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  • Overall
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Great twist on Epics

I enjoyed the modern day spin the author put on the deities and their subjects. Very creative, touching and powerful.

1 person found this helpful

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Why Greek stories with Roman gods?

The writing is wonderful and I love the idea of a feminist retelling of these stories from the perspective of the female victims. BUT. I'm really confused why she uses the Roman names for the gods, when all these stories are Greek. The Romans didn't really care about the myths and stories, they just hit copy+paste on the Greek pantheon. So it doesn't make any sense to stick to the Roman names. I have to have a chart up to know who is who, because who gives an eff about the Roman god names.

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Very thought provoking.

I loved listening to such familiar stories from a different perspective that, even as a woman, I hadn't considered before. The modern twist to some tales helps make them more relatable, even if no small amount of creative license underscores their formation. Nina's performance is forceful, poignant, direct, and full of emotion. I highly recommend this book - especially the audio version - to any lover of Greco-Roman mythology.

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Do you think about being intimate with plants

If you’re looking for a good novel based on mythology, this is not it.
The narration is good enough but she pronounced Athena wrong the entire time.
You’ve got gods catcalling nymphs like “hey baby, I would like to set my eyes on your face”
And nymphs regarding them as pompous jocks.
Not to mention the references to toasters and clocks is so out of place.
The last straw was this long tangent where the narrator sounds as though they are talking to a therapist about wanting to fuck her father. Though the ‘therapist’ asked her if she thinks about being intimate with plants which was pretty funny.
Please don’t buy this book if you have any intelligence.

1 person found this helpful

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  • VG
  • 04-14-22

It was magic

“All things change, nothing is extinguished. There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent. Everything flows onward; all things are brought into being with a changing nature; the ages themselves glide by in constant movement.” Ovid

And even Ovid “Metamorphosis “ can be changed and remain the same in essence. This is what this book is and does it brilliantly. The change ? The stories are told in first person by the women of the myth and that woman can be a mythological nymph , or your sister talking to you while having a coffee at Starbucks . It’s feminist and anti patriarchal so yes, the opposite of the actual myths . Here the women are not “seduced “ they are raped , they are brutalized and differently from the myths here they have a voice .. and they rebel .
If you can’t manage to listen to myths remade in a different light this is not for you
If you can’t stomach cussing: this is not for you
If you don’t know the Greek Myths already this is not for you
There are pain and hope and violence and love and horror and beauty and sadness and humor .
I can’t say much more without spoiling it but some takes are just too good to miss . My favorite is the last one .

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Rape- not seduction!

Raw, brutally honest. Her ability to inhabit a rape victim propelled me to seek her on the internet to discover whether she had experienced rape herself. I found no references from her that stated she has been violated. Then, her hilarious psychoanalysis dialog had me wondering if she has been in analysis. Again, no reference to her being analyzed. Soooo, I guess Ms MacLaughlin is able to flawlessly inhabit characters.

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Approach with caution

struggled to finish some of the material but loved it the whole time. knowing the stories about each woman is critical for understanding this book as each story is more like spoken word poetry.

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It's about time we understood the sirens

Some of the stories were familiar to me and others not so much. I plan to read this again before too long. It's an interesting take on the songs in Ovid, in many cases, from a woman's point of view, and always creative and articulate in the delivery.

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Girl Power

This collection of stories from different perspectives of the famed legends prove that women were the real tragedies of Greek/Roman mythology. So many men have told the tales of these women thinking with one head while MacLaughlin adds heart. Each story is told with a true reflection of the speaker and subject, so each has unique style of presentation. Modern connections make the stories feel more powerful. My final take away: Men are trash, girl power.