- Series: MYTHS
- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Canongate U.S.; First Edition edition (December 21, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847670199
- ISBN-13: 978-1847670199
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,923,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis (MYTHS) First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran British novelist Smith returns from 2006's Whitbread Award–winner The Accidental with a cheerful, sexy, disorienting take on the gender-shifting myths of Iphis (as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses). Fragile, rootless Anthea arrives at the Inverness, Scotland, offices of the slick, multibrand corporate behemoth Pure, where her up-and-coming sister Midge has gotten her a job. Raised on their grandfather's strange stories of rebellion and gender switching, the sisters undergo very different transformations when confronting Pure oblivion, the corporation's goal of being simultaneously ubiquitous and invisible. Drifting at work, Anthea meets kilt-clad graffiti artist Robin, who awakens destructive passions within her. Midge, meanwhile, is summoned to Pure's London headquarters by Keith, the charismatic boss of bosses, and her meeting with him sets her on an unexpected course with the company. Smith's spare and sharp lyricism makes the action secondary, but the ironies that arise from the corporate setting for a very old myth are handled with glee (including jabs at water supply privatization), and Smith's cadences, which read like classical drama, carry the novel along beautifully. (Jan.)
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“The great thing about stories is that they can build their own walls and then let us walk right through them. Girl Meets Boy is a joyful celebration of life in all its strange shapes, on all sides of the wall.” –Jeanette Winterson, The Times
“A spritely love story that plays on notions of gender and sexuality to exuberant effect.” –The Observer
“Smith has done a splendid job. Alongside the touching love story are some perceptive insights on the ambiguities of gender. As fanciful as it is honest and as moving as it is hilarious, this is a gorgeous story.” –The London Paper
“An ecstatic, exhilarating helter-skelter ride of a story which shows just how relevant Ovid’s myth of the transformative power of love is to modern readers . . . [Smith's] Midge and Anthea are jean-clad demonstrations that myths aren’t about exotic gods but human experience.” –Financial Times
“It is clever, complex and thrilling . . . Girl Meets Boy delights because it refuses to stop at a single metamorphosis; despite its compactness, its stories multiply and rebound exuberantly, its echoes calling to one another across the pages.” –The Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
“Ali Smith bursts from the page with her fabulous retelling of the story of Iphis and Ianthe from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Girl Meets Boy . . . pulls you in and doesn't let you go. . . . Smith's retelling is bold and brilliant–containing the best sex I've read in years.” –One of Jackie Kay’s favourite books of 2007, The Observer
“From its arresting opening line to its exuberant ending, Girl Meets Boy is concerned with gender, love and transformation.” –London Review of Books
“A cheerful, sexy, disorienting take on the gender-shifting myths of Iphis . . . Smith’s spare and sharp lyricism . . . are handled with glee . . . and Smith’s cadences, which read like classical drama, carry the novel along beautifully.” –Publishers Weekly
“Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy might give you the inspiration you need to seek out love . . . [A] compact, rollicking novel . . . In Smith’s hands, Ovid’s gender-bending metamorphosis story gets a Madison Avenue-style makeover. –The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Ali Smith’s re-mix of Ovid’s most joyful metamorphosis is a story about the kind of fluidity that can’t be bottled and sold.” –Scottish Arts Council
“[Smith] shows us unfamiliar beauty within the mundane, as if we were children again. . . . In prose marked by harmonious opposites, she’s childlike and wise, exuberant and subtle, humorously intelligent and provocatively dry.”–The Globe and Mail
“[A] witty, profound, humane paean to passionate love. . . . Highly original, audacious and lyrical, she has become a special writer.” –The Sunday Herald
“To read Ali Smith is like being borne up on the wing of a bird in flight.” –The Globe and Mail
“Ovid could hardly be a better fit for Smith’s ethereal and transformative imagination.” –Daily Telegraph
“By the time I finished the book, my heart was beating and tears stood in my eyes, even as I had the biggest smile written all over my face.” – The Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Both girls work for a corporation called Pure, a bottled water company, which is not all that it seems. While Imogen is moving her way up the corporate ladder, Anthea is unhappy at work and feels out of place. Then one day Anthea is looking out of the window at work and sees what she thinks is a young man in a kilt writing graffiti about Pure on Pure's walls and signing his work Iphis. Anthea is intrigued so she rushes out of the office to check it out. Upon getting close to this stranger, Anthea thinks: "He was the most beautiful boy I had ever seen in my life. But he looked really like a girl." It turns out to be a girl, a girl named Robin, who had gone to school with the sisters and Imogen remembers her as being weird even then. But soon Robin and Anthea begin a guerilla warfare type of campaign against Pure and start posting their messages all over town.
Meanwhile Imogen get a promotion for a creative idea she has and is sent to Pure's base camp to meet with the boss, Keith, who turns out to be an evil mastermind after world dominance. This totally turns Imogen around about the corporation and what she is doing with her life. Without telling everything about the novel I will stop here and let you read it for yourself. It is a delightful little novel and not at all like most of the stories in Ovid's "Metamorphoses" as it is much too lighthearted for that. Imogen, Anthea, and Robin are all delightfully delicious characters who you will fall in love with.
I thought it was bad, bad, bad - a thin, preeny, facile, substanceless book. Perhaps Canongate should seriously consider asking people less famous to write for this Myth series: some of them have been good (Winterson's is clever and stylish), but it's clearly tempting for a celebrity author just to doodle something over the dinner table. And the gender-switching Iphis-Ianthe story is so promising! A witty writer could have done so much with witty Ovid. This is as flat and predictable as shop-bottled water, and will last about as well.
The Ovid story is in "Metamorphoses", available in a very lively translation by Charles Martin. So much more fun than this ...
Most recent customer reviews
I was hooked by the first line of "Girls Meets Boy" by Ali Smith and had to buy it immediately (from...Read more