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Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  61 reviews
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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by Fsg Originals
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Amalia Gavea
Nov 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Altering myths in the most vulgar, trashy way possible to communicate pseudo-contemporary/wanna-be revolutionary, feminist messages is ridiculous. It's been done to death and it's tiring. Before you decide to mess with Greek Mythology, projecting modern values, learn a) not to use vulgar contemporary colloquialisms, and b) respect the original material.

I've had enough of average writers violating Greek culture because they are unable to come up with some form of original material.
˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this has to be one of the most impactful books I’ve read in a long time.

I cannot begin to describe how gut wrenching and enlightening this book is. it is extremely hard to read and has countless triggers (sexual abuse, physical abuse, depression, among many others) but my god did it leave its mark.

this book gives voice to women of ovid’s metamorphosis and shows the brutality they faced in these stories. it is angry, it’s devastating, and it’s absolutely empowering.

this book is not for
Jackie (Jacademic)
This past Spring, I taught a unit on contemporary feminist re-imaginings of the Classics and I sincerely wish I could have included Wake, Siren in my syllabus, as Nina MacLaughlin's retellings of tales from The Metamorphoses were as unflinching, cathartic, and ferociously feminist as I'd hoped they would be.

Fair warning: this is often a difficult read due to its explicit handling of sexual violence (given the source material, however, and the project undertaken by Wake, Siren, that was not a
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
If the folks in Ovid’s Metamorphoses were from New York and somewhat uncouth, they might sound like these retelling of their stories from MacLaughlin. Some of the reworking are fun in terms of humor and eroticism, but I didn’t really feel like these offered new insights or changed the relevance of the stories. There’s a lot of justifiable anger in the stories, but little in the way of new reckonings or new angles, Still, thiis collection might find a home in literature classes on adaptation or ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars - Great book

I am loving the trend of myths becoming popular in modern literature. MacLaughlin does a great job of taking stories in which women traditionally had subordinate roles and were constantly demeaned and giving women the power to tell their own stories. The characters have a modern vocabulary. The juxtaposition is interesting and personally I felt that it added to the stories (or most of them) rather than detract from them.

Since this book is a collection of stories, some are
April Taylor
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Well written but should probably come with a trigger warning stamped across the cover. It was difficult to get through some of the stories, including the first one. You'll never see the myths that inspired this book the same way again. Of course, the original tales were always filled with sexual assault, rage, and the.degradation of most women. Seeing them in this context made it so much worse, though.

The voices within the book change from story to story, ranging from those that are rooted in
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the concept, but with some stories I couldn't get into the writing style at all. Sometimes it reads like poetry and other times modern day slang, which was the one which threw me off the most.
I like the variety and the darkness. There's lots to discuss and this would be ideal for a book club.
Again realizing how gruesome and sexist most of the Greek mythology is.
I always wonder why I'm still fascinated by it?

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an eARC.
Anna (lion_reads)
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars

Um, so content warning for everything from rape to incest and other extreme, really, brace yourselves.

I thought this was quite an interesting collection. I remember liking Ovid's Metamorphoses, but if you've read Greek/Roman myths, you know they come with an aftertaste of fucked up. (WHY is Zeus allowed to scamper around the countryside turning into animals and surprising unsuspecting women with sex?) Nina MacLaughlin dials all of that up and brings the stories into the
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely fantastic. A retelling of many of the tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses in a very original and powerful way. I love how some of the stories have a contemporary setting. Not for the squeamish, these tales are brutal in their honesty and I was moved to tears by how beautifully they are told. Highly recommend!
Booky Nooky
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
For anyone that enjoys mythology or the novels of Madeline Miller, WAKE, SIREN: OVID RESUNG is perfect for you! It provides a bold, new twist on the classics! The book is a retelling of the famous myths of Ovid's Metamorphoses from the perspectives of the nymphs, demi-goddesses, seductresses, and she-monsters! Whereas Ovid's women are passive objects, in WAKE, SIREN the women are the narrators of their own experiences: the story of the chase comes from the woman fleeing not the God pursuingher ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Disgusting, trashy, vulgar. I had the worst time getting through this book. I can’t believe my local bookstore gave it so much praise. I love Mythology and this was just a horrible modern day take on it. Read Circe.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nina!!! You goddamn genius!!!
Hannah Moore
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Forget your zodiac sign, which mythology were you obsessed with as a child?

For me, it was Greek mythology. I'm not sure what it was-- maybe it was the fact that the gods themselves tended to be directly responsible for all of their own problems. Maybe it was the amount of talking animals. Maybe I just thought the names sounded pretty. But regardless, I loved Greek mythology more than breath. I had that big yellow book of myths, I read children's literature starring the gods (somehow never read
Julie (boogsbooks) Chigbrow
“And all those gods, all those deathless ones. They never met regret. They don’t fear mistakes because they don’t know consequences. Never guilty, never punished. I showed you all, showed each crime, showed all you criminals. And yet we’re the ones to pay. How’s it work? You murder. You rape. You violate. And it’s us who fall. Why am I the only one to say it? I say the names of all the fallen.”

It’s no wonder women have been hunted and degraded, femininity mocked and pitied in a world whose
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Tiresias: Was it punishment, being turned into a woman? I don’t know. Is it punishing to be a woman? It is. It will continue to be.
This collection is a slap in the face… followed by a gut-punch. Rinse. Repeat. Seriously. The hits just keep on coming. It isn’t news that Greco-Roman myths are filled with violence, vengeance and misery. But, reading them in this collection crystallizes this in a way that is brutal and heavy and horrible... But, also really awesome.
I know, make up your mind, right?
Ashleigh Spicy Geek
I received an advanced readers copy of this book through NetGalley in return for my honest feedback.

I went into this book thinking I would like it because of the mythology and I absolutely loved it. MacLaughlin is amazing at having a different voice for everyone in each chapter which is a task in itself because there are so many different characters. This isn’t like the old mythology you’re used to, this is updated to be easier to read and relate to and show just how terrible the Gods were to
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very, VERY dark and deep set of points of view of the women who are blamed, shamed, and even hated in many myths. However, McLaughlin brings all of these women and female creatures to the front and lets them
use (then drop) the mic to tell their stories. Some of them are exactly how you’d picture them when retold without the obviousness of the jezebel-like portrayal to blame them. Others are moved into a more modern look at not just women but social groups and socioeconomic cultures.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a 3.5 star book for me, but seeing as it's the new year, I figured I'd round up to start. As each is about a different character, the tone, narration, and quality shift between each. At its best, these tales show the fury, grief, flaws, and beauty of female characters from Metamorphoses. However, overall I don't think the modern retellings (few and far between) work as well as those that are historical. Another complaint is that they do get repetitive after a while. There's a lot of ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
sometimes quite tongue-in-cheek, sometimes trashy, but also sometimes quite poetic – i’m a big fan of mythologies, so i was quite amused by this rewriting of Ovid’s Metamorphosis –
Since i’m not a purist, i wasn’t shocked at all by this book – i like it when authors take characters of ancient stories and make a new story out of it
Nicole-Anne Keyton
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a necessary and heavy read. This is a book for anyone who's been waiting for the women in mythology to tell their own stories.
amara ☾
Dec 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
I've been looking for a book that sheds light on a women's perspective on old myths for so long. If Medusa doesn't get the justice she deserves, I will riot.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-review
The subversion and modernization of Ovid's myths follows the same pattern; the anger, the betrayal, the loss are palpable in every chapter, in every story, in every account of women's experiences, and make for a grim yet puzzling -as far as the mythological mold is concerned- short story collection.

The copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley.
annika burman
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: femisim, fantasy
Wake, Siren reestablishes the women in Ovid's Metamorphoses as characters to be remembered. The purpose of this book was incredibly interesting, especially coming from an author whose last book was on carpentry. Clearly, she must have been felt her mission important enough to walk into unknown territory. The result? Pretty successful. Some stories were haunting, beautiful, harrowing, and explorative. Others felt like mere copycats of the highlights. The first half of the stories quickly grew ...more
My thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux/FSG Originals for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Wake, Siren - Ovid Resung’ by Nina MacLaughlin in exchange for an honest review.

I love the classical myths and appreciate it when contemporary authors retell them, especially when they respect the source material as Nina MacLaughlin clearly does. In her Author’s Note she outlines her process: “I read a story, reread it, then spent the day listening to the voice in my mind, trying to hear what this woman sounded
James Kozubek
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
What people are saying about this book is true. It oscillates between breathtaking prose and sections of execrable. You could argue this owes something to the author's ability to move between social strata, or you could opine that it demonstrates some failure at integration. I don't know enough about the author's intents to say which is more true.

First, this is not a novel. It is a series of parables or stories, which are recast from a female perspective. My main objection is that there is no
Laura Mills
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: end-of-2019
This book is incredible: Nina MacLaughlin somehow takes on the voices of lost women from Greek mythology and makes them feel as real as the women I know in real life. These retellings and reshapings of Ovid's Metamorphoses are brutal in their honestly: this book was very difficult to get through at times because of the subject matter. But that brutality is overlaid with empathy and tenderness, and a little bit of humor.

My favorite stories are the ones that bring the myths effortlessly into the
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Wake, Siren is a retelling of Myths. It shows these myths in a new way. Her MacLaughlin hides nothing, glazes over nothing, romanticizes everything but the harsh truth.

Though MacLaughlin uses modern English and in a vulgar and crude way. it is exactly what is called for. She tells these myths not in a wool over eyes way they are usually told,.

MacLaughlin leaves you in no doubt that you are reading a story about innocence, trust, rape, lies, and vengeance.

MacLaughlin could use beautiful prose
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
McLaughlin powerfully imagines Ovid's metamorphoses from the perspective of the (mostly) women at the heart of each tale. By turns lyrical, erotic, funny, these portraits are an exercise in voice, and they attest to the centrality of rape culture to Western literature. It transforms these well-known stories (speaking of metamorphoses!) to give the women subjectivity--to give them desires that deviate from Jupiter's, fear and dread, and traumatic memory that endures even beyond their ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
(4.5 stars)

*trigger warning for mention of sexual violence in review and a general trigger warning for the book in general*

I’m incredibly irritated with the reviews critiquing the vulgarity of this book. How it “disrespects” original narratives. I read this book as a reclamation. Rape is vulgar. Much more vulgar than the language Maclaughlin has used here. To give voice to the cast of women in the book the author chose to engage in a level of vulgarity, and justifiably, righteous anger. Parts
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
CW: this book has lots of sexual violence and also some gory murder descriptions.

This book gave me a lot of mixed feelings. I loved the premise, but the execution didn’t quite work for me. There was one stretch in the first half where I felt like I was just reading one brutal rape story after another and it just felt repetitive and unnecessary. But then there were some retellings in here that I thought were quite clever and original. On the whole, I wish the book had been cut by about a third,
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Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung, a re-telling of Ovid's Metamorphoses told from the perspective of the female figures transformed, forthcoming from FSG/FSG Originals in November, 2019. Her first book was the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she is now a columnist for the Boston Globe and her work has ...more
“There's more than two to a story -- the doers, the done-tos, and the ones who interpret who's who.” 0 likes
“His eyes they held the most dangerous thing, they held the top of the sins. Indifference. Indifference. A vacancy where human care should be.” 0 likes
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