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The Great God Pan

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  442 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Pan, both goat and god, is a curious being who roams nature searching, wondering, and frolicking with maenads and satyrs. He plays melodies on his reed flute, wooing animals to listen. He is a creature of mystery and delight. One day in his travels, Pan meets Iphigenia, a human raised as the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra. Pan is captivated by the young ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published February 8th 2005 by Laurel Leaf Library (first published May 13th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 26, 2016 Lindsey rated it really liked it
I expected this to be just another tale of the Greek pantheon and nothing that would leave any lasting impact on me. It turned out to be a beautiful tale of learning what love really is.

I very much enjoyed the lovely descriptions of nature and especially Pan's inner struggle about who he is to others and to himself. The story dove emotionally deep despite being only 146 pages long. Yes. Even amidst lascivious pantheons, a god or two is capable of true love.
Edwina Hall Callan
Nov 11, 2014 Edwina Hall Callan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2014
A fun little trip through Greek Mythology with furry little Pan as the hero of the story.
Simply brain candy and although I enjoyed this book, I would not recommend it for children ...
waaay too much ... ummmm ... romping with the maenads. ;)
Angela Kidd Shinozaki
I thought this book would be fun--a lighthearted romp--for spring. The main problem is that it doesn't get going until chapter 10 The Prophecy on page 88, and it's only 150 pages. So I would suggest skimming the first sections. The only important part is the scene where he meets Iphigenia-- his love interest. I think what the author is trying to do is set up the character of Pan that we know and love. The one that likes to frolic with maidens in nature, which is fine, but it goes on for too many ...more
S. Policar
Jul 19, 2014 S. Policar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across this book while looking for some new pictures to post of my beloved satyr god. It wasn't a purchase I regret.

The story is absolutely beautiful even if there are minor contradictions to the actual mythology. It tells the story of Pan's love for Iphigenia.

Told through Pan's eyes, the reader is shown how many of the most notable events in the Great God's life came to happen, which will give lovers and followers of our carefree god, a new look at him and a much deeper understanding
Athena Macmillan
I picked this book up at the library completely by accident and without too much thought popped it in my bag not expecting very much from an author I had never even heard about before.

I was very pleasantly surprised by a quirky and lyrical representation of one of my favorite 'gods' of the Greek Pantheon. All at once touching and whimsical, this book takes us into the mind of character who is often portrayed as an irrepressible party animal to show how love changed the trickster into someone who
Dec 07, 2009 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Donna Jo Napoli's The Great God Pan is the tale of young half Olympian god, half goat Pan. Pan is greatly adored by all creatures and gods of Olympus, but he is forever burdened by a curse put on him by the goddess of love, Aphrodite to be unloveable after his father Hermes forced her into bed with him. Pan is disturbed by this as well as his inability to be either completely god or completely goat throughout the book causing him to be caught in between two different worlds never knowing where h ...more
Ryon King
Dec 02, 2010 Ryon King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2013 Mandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng-356-read, 2013
I love Greek mythology and when I found out that one of my required authors for class had written one, AND it was young adult fiction, I just HAD to read it. I was pleasantly surprised with this one too. It gives the story of the gap in Pan's myth. He's the only god to have "died" and Napoli wanted to know why, so she wrote the story herself. It's very "Greek" in the sense that you have to understand it is written as a Greek myth and not as a normal novel. If you have read other Greek myths thou ...more
Jun 04, 2016 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a tear-jerker, a bit of an Olympian love story, both of which should be obvious to anyone who already knows the related myths or the Greeks' penchant for classical tragedy. Napoli weaves a number of interrelated mythic stories into the tapestry, and in the process creates quite a plausible fill for two of the gaps in the ending of the central narrative of Pan and Iphigenia. It should serve as quite a good introduction to Greek mythology for school-age children who are just beginning to ...more
Oct 23, 2011 Emma rated it it was amazing
The Great God Pan, by Donna Jo Napoli, is yet another beautifully written story of love and loss. Though it is short, it succeeds in conveying everything that could be wished. The Great God Pan is an interpretation of the Greek myths surrounding Pan, the god of nature. Pan is the son of Hermes and a goat, and is therefore stuck between two worlds, not really fitting into either. The book starts with a visit from his father, and continues on to Pan's meeting with a beautiful princess. Dealing wi ...more
Althea Ann
Nov 22, 2012 Althea Ann rated it liked it
I can get very particular about my favorite gods, so if you're going to do one on Pan, Dionysus (or Loki), I'm gonna be exacting, sorry.

It's also an odd choice of title: in the afterword, Napoli explains that her choice of title is based on a line from Plutarch's 'Moralia,' but she cannot be unaware that there is already a very famous story by Arthur Machen with the same title.

Anyway, I've read several of Napoli's mythology and folklore-inspired books, and generally like them, but this is not th
2004- I've read some of the author's other retellings and was a bit disappointed with this one. We meet Pan, the half goat/half god who basically flits around the woods with other mythical creatures all day. It isn't until he meets Iphigenia and falls in love with her that his life really seems to have a purpose. People with any background in Greek mythology know that Pan had a curse placed on him upon birth that he will never be loved in return. His quest to find Iphigenia again then seems a bi ...more
Sam Endo
Nov 06, 2014 Sam Endo rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching. Melted my soul away by the last few shreds of paper and inhibited my recovery. The author brings ancient Greek mythology to life in this stunning fictional tale and repeatedly broke my heart in my attempt to relay love towards Pan. Oh, how my heart bled for him.
Apr 23, 2015 Caity rated it it was amazing
Donna Jo Napoli does a great job connecting the stories of Iphigenia and Pan and filling in the gaps in both stories. It is a short book so it is a quick read but a really good book. This is a great book for fans of Greek Mythology.
Lisa Isabella
Feb 21, 2015 Lisa Isabella rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites. An amazing book, short but the reader can get so attached to the characters you can't stop reading and it feels fully realized. An amazing piece.
Oct 01, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
This thin (as in number of pages), little book is a love story of mythical proportions. It is profoundly and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Sep 08, 2010 Anne rated it liked it
Hotter than the Song of Solomon! Wow, the gods sure did get around. This is a beautiful book from cover to ending -- very romantic, and if you're not careful you might just learn something. This is slated as Y/A lit. Not sure my 10-year-old is ready for it, nor would he be interested in a romance between Pan and Iphegenia. It's more of a chick book (in a good way), and for a bit older -- I'd guess jr. high or older, depending on the person. Great summer read for me, though!
Aug 24, 2011 Kaila rated it it was amazing
when i read this story I never knew too much of the god Pan. I only knew of his job and nothing else. This book was a heartbreaking story of a god who is not man nor beast. It was moving and had a wonderful vibe when reading it. It was a very short read but still enjoyable. It was had all the parts that would make a short story great and hoping it were longer. Good book a surpise only if you do not know the story of Pan.
Sep 30, 2010 Melana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
The Great God Pan is a tame greek myth -- though seemingly a contradiction of terms -- written for the tween set. still, i enjoyed the quick read, as i had never much known of pan before opening the book, neither had i ever read a greek myth written in the first person. much fun.
Jul 21, 2008 Anastasia rated it really liked it
Shelves: hollins-reads
I always love a good Napoli retelling of a classic story. This is no different if occasionally a bit quick: Napoli attempts to explain the myth of Pan but glosses over some of the more interesting relationships between the gods. However, Pan comes across lively and charming and his awkward positioning between worlds and realms and categories is fun to relate to.
Mimi Foxmorton
Jul 13, 2012 Mimi Foxmorton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pan
So magical.......
melted my poor heart..........

More, please, Miss Napoli........don't ever stop writing about dear Pan.......

It broke my heart to come to the last page...........

5 stars does not come near to justice.........
This book tries to fill in a gap found in the greek myths regarding Pan and Iphignia. The characters are interesting and well developed. It was a quick read that the Percy Jackson crowd might appreciate, part adventure story part doomed love tale.
According to Napoli, Pan is the only classic god who is ever reported to have died. Napoli ties his story in with Iphigenia, the daughter of Helen of Troy, to explain how he died and why. A riveting re-telling of classical mythology.
Oct 15, 2012 Kendra rated it it was amazing
Ever since I had a random dream a year or so ago, the god Pan has fascinated me. This novel definately satisfied my curiosity, and (as per usual with Napoli's books) it's stunning beauty prevented me from putting it down.
Apr 15, 2016 Sarah marked it as read-some
A retelling of the Greek myths about Pan, both goat and god, whose reed flute frolicking leads him to a meeting with Iphigenia, a human raised as the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra.
Jun 14, 2010 Wendy rated it really liked it
What a wonderful story. I loved mythology as a kid and this is a wonderful romp back into that childhood love. This is the story of Pan and his curse, his love of a human, and his sacrifice for that love.
Feb 09, 2010 Tiffany rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2009 Allison rated it it was ok
Pan is half-god, half-human, and he struggles knowing which nature and expectations to follow more.

I found this version of Pan to be mopey, and not at all fun like I was expecting.
Irvington Public Library Teens
I like mythology so I read it. Reads like mythology: it is "choppy" sometimes. You may feel that this short novel has too many characters in a small number of pages.
Feb 10, 2012 Liz rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, ya, mythology-rt
2/10/12 I wish the ending were different, I also wish it hadn't taken me by surprise. I should have remembered my mythology better.
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From her website:

Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children's and YA fiction.

Donna Jo has five children. She dreams of moving to the woods and becoming a naturalist. She loves to garden and bake bread.

At various times her house and yard have been filled with dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits. For thirteen years she had a cat named Taxi, and liked to go outside and call, "Taxi!" to
More about Donna Jo Napoli...

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“My way of knowing is by putting myself in the other's place. Forgiveness gave me the method. I see through your eyes.” 0 likes
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