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Galatea

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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  515 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
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 husban ...more
Kindle Edition, 20 pages
Published July 4th 2013 by Bloomsbury Paperbacks
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Haider Ali Nope. It is a different setting altogether. The Song of Achilles is done and dusted.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Victoria
This incredibly short little story tells the Pygmalion myth from the POV of the statue, Galatea. What happens when the sculptor realises that by making his fantasy flesh, he has made her human? She is independent. She has thoughts, feelings and idea of her own. What happens when he realises she has her own will? And what will he do when he realises that their child is equally independent? And what will Galatea do to save herself and her daughter?

Another wonderful retelling of classic Greek myth
...more
Chelsea
Dec 29, 2016 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Haunting and brutal. Madeline Miller owns my mythology-loving ass.
teavious
Jul 18, 2017 teavious rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, and Madeline Miller's twists are always such a pleasure to read.
Galatea's myth is also one of my favourites so this was great!
Krista Baetiong Tungol
This is a depressing short story to read on a gloomy Friday morning.

A retelling of the Pygmalion mythology from Galatea’s point of view, the story shows us a glimpse of the lives of Pygmalion and Galatea eleven years after she was brought to life by the goddess Aphrodite out of sympathy—or interest—for Pygmalion and his singular love.

Soon after Galatea “awakened” and became flesh and blood, she and Pygmalion married, had a daughter, and for a time enjoyed their passionate role-play of a sculpto
...more
Christin
Aug 15, 2013 Christin rated it it was amazing
Creepy.

(I loved it)

And yes it was hella short and I always want more from Miller but you know what... I got it. Anything else would be padding.
Izzy
Madeline Miller has a way to make her words feel soft and harsh at the very same time. If anything, the downside of this was that it was too short — I wanted to see more of Galatea and her thoughts, her life, not just her ending.

Nevertheless, this was amazing. I honestly can't wait for Miller's next book.
Short  Reviews
Feb 08, 2017 Short Reviews added it
Shelves: creepy
I'm not going to rate this book, but review to come.
Anastasia
Dec 18, 2016 Anastasia rated it it was amazing
4.75/5
I'm so into Greek and Rome mythology recently, cause my Foreign Literature class teacher is amazing. She know's how to do her job so well she reignited the love for myths inside of me.
So obviously when I saw another myth retelling, lets call it that, I immediately wanted to pick it up.

I loved this interpretation of a myth about Pygmalion and Galatea, the statue Aphrodite brought to life for him. Especially enjoyed the darkness and hopelessness of it, Galatea's mind. It's interesting when t
...more
Ana Rînceanu
Pygmalion is such a controlling, abusive shit so Galatea needs to save her daughter from him. I like how Miller plays with reality in this book, because after reading it I can't decide whether Galatea was brought to life by a goddess or destroyed mentally by her husband.
katie
Jul 21, 2017 katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 out of 5 stars

I'm seriously in awe of Madeline Miller's writing. It's incredibly lush and beautiful, and it flows so well. I'd never heard the myth of Galatea before, so this was a really interesting read.
Ana
Aug 08, 2013 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
 photo Pygmalion_and_Galatea_zpsa9f7dbee.jpg

The first time I heard of the Galatea myth was while reading Kate Quinn’s book Daughters of Rome, when Cornelia compares herself with a slow-walking Galatea trying to make sense of her surroundings after the death of her husband. I was intrigued with the myth after that, and got very excited when I learned of Madeline Miller’s short story.

Miller has a knack for exploring the controversial relationships of Greek Myhtology. In Song of Achilles, she regaled us with the tale of Achilles and Patrocl
...more
Jennifer
Jun 08, 2017 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this! I love Miller's writing so much. I look forward to more!
Laine Cunningham
Nov 10, 2014 Laine Cunningham rated it it was amazing
Galatea by Madeline Miller

This is actually a short story but it’s available as a digital “book,” so I’m including a review.

Like Miller’s The Song of Achilles, this story retells an ancient story. Here, she takes on the Pygmalion myth and tells it from the statue’s point of view.

What a fascinating study. The statue, brought to life by her maker’s prayers, has feelings and needs of her own. The sculptor doesn’t honor anything but his own desires, and they are lustful to the point of repulsion.

Wh
...more
Nicole Bonia
Aug 09, 2013 Nicole Bonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story begins in media res; Galatea in her hospital bed contemplates how she should, today, handle the doctor who has been treating her – while we wonder what has brought her there. Though only about 15 pages long, Galatea covers a lot of ground, and as the story progresses we come to have some idea of how she came to be hospitalized, what her relationship is like with her husband (and creator), her thoughts about the future, and just how far she will go to secure it.
Miller deeply outlines a
...more
Nikki
This is really, really short. I know that's the idea of Kindle Singles, but I think this just guaranteed I won't buy another of those. Twenty pages for £1.50? Are you serious?

It's not a bad little story, though it brings parallels to Angela Carter and so on to mind. It's nothing particularly groundbreaking, in that regard: it gives a woman from mythology a voice and a will of her own. Madeline Miller's writing is nice enough, though it didn't stand out, here.
Christina
Aug 09, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it
Everything Madeline Miller writes is gold. This short story is a sweet, but also bitter re-telling of the myth of Galatea and Pygmalion. I love Greek myths and I also love the various re-tellings, but this is one of my favorites.
Marty :}
Jul 20, 2015 Marty :} rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythology
Madeline Miller is a genius, I just love her writing so much.
New favourite author alert.
Marijke
Dec 29, 2015 Marijke rated it liked it
Could have been longer, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Vanessa
Jun 24, 2017 Vanessa rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Carrie
May 13, 2017 Carrie rated it really liked it
Aw wtf I thought this was proper book not a short story :( I loved it so much. I wish there was more
Silver Petticoat
Oct 04, 2015 Silver Petticoat rated it liked it
Read this review and others at The Silver Petticoat Review: Galatea

Review by Elizabeth Hopkinson

I had to read this book for two reasons. Firstly, I absolutely loved Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles and wanted to read something else by her. And secondly, the story of Pygmalion and Galatea is one of my favorite Greek myths. I love the dilemma at the heart of the story – you can adore an idealized love or have a relationship with a real person. You can’t have both.

So it was a surprise on both
...more
Onna
Jul 08, 2016 Onna rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
Aug 03, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Madeline Miller tackles the Pygmalion tale with her latest, "Galatea," an e short due out from Ecco on August 13.

In the story, told from the perspective of Galatea herself and set ten years after her creation, we discover that all is not well with Galatea and her husband. She has been imprisoned and is under the careful watch of a doctor and his nurse assistants, none of whom believe she was created from stone. Her health is supposed to be fragile (a ruse of sorts meant to keep her captive). But
...more
Robert Zimmermann
May 24, 2015 Robert Zimmermann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not familiar with the mythology surrounding Galatea, but I am familiar with Madeline Miller’s writing. I knew from reading The Song of Achilles that Miller’s writing alone would be enough to make this story worth reading.

Because, as I said, I don’t know much about the myth that’s being re-imagined, I can’t comment too much on the liberties the author took. What I can comment on is that Miller’s writing drew me in from the beginning. It’s such a well-written and intriguing story to dive int
...more
Jesika
Aug 09, 2016 Jesika rated it really liked it
This was a very, very good retelling of the Pygmalion myth in which the statue woman, Galatea, is given the chance to tell her tale. She is also allowed to lengthen the usual plot line of the story wherein she is allotted more control over the narrative than the patriarchal traditon previously showed and is, therefore, seen to be taking charge of her own legacy.

There is fantastic feminist reinterpretation here - we see Galatea's astute understanding of her husband's desire for a woman to always
...more
Charlotte Hamilton
[[3 stars]]

Crossposted from my book blog where I post reviews, hauls, updates and reblog images of books.

After reading The Song of Achilles
Now… I liked it. I won’t lie and say I didn’t, because I did. Her writing was still breathtaking, she created amazing imagery and feelings, and I don’t know if it’s just because I wasn’t familiar with the myth or… that I didn’t like the myth, because if I’m honest, I didn’t know much about the Achilles/Patroclus myth when I went in to The Song of Achilles.

I
...more
Yune
Sep 03, 2013 Yune rated it it was ok
Brief, which I knew going in, but which I think isn't Miller's natural length; her Song of Achilles could plumb some depths from that myth, but this short story felt too transparent and obedient to the need of having an inciting incident at just the right place.

Thanks to her obsessive husband, Galatea lives in a modernish day under the watch of a doctor and nurses. They, of course, don't believe that she was carved from stone. She pretends to be thrilled by her husband's visits and even acts thr
...more
Dora
Jan 30, 2014 Dora rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this, but I guess magic didn't happen.

The first person narration was something I believe robbed the short story of its original concept, although it makes perfect sense why it's cold and emotionally detached. Stony would be the fitting word.
Being Greek, I grew up with the stories of our ancients and was familiar with the story of Galatea, but I found the contemporary twist the author presents unsettling. Also, using of the word "fuck" could have been avoided, as in Galat
...more
Tom McMeekin
Mar 24, 2015 Tom McMeekin rated it really liked it
I chose to read this because I had read and loved Miller's "The Song of Achilles." If you judge it as a follow-up to that novel, prepare to be disappointed.

However, it's worth reading for what it is -- which is an extremely short story that updates the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea in a dark way.

Miller's writing is excellent. The plot (which you may as well read for yourself rather than read a review, since it's so short) wasn't really my cup of tea (OK for a short story but I wouldn't have wa
...more
Claudia C
Jul 08, 2013 Claudia C rated it liked it
I can't hide I was very disappointed with this. After the incredibly moving The Song of Achilles, I expected more. I hadn't even realised it was only 20 pages, seemed to me the author wanted to gain from the success of the previous novel by bringing to life another Greek legend, but I found it rather dull and what's with the use of the word 'fuck' so often just for effect? Hardly as poetic as I imagined it to be. Although some parts were still evocative, I couldn't picture this in ancient Greece ...more
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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 has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of ...more
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