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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


***The Great God Pan

by Donna Jo Napoli

Reviewed June 30, 2003.
Wendy Lamb Books, New York, 2003.  149 pages.

Half-god, half-goat Pan has been cursed to make him unlovable.  For who could love such a strange creature as he?  Pan doesn’t mind, making do with lust, until he meets the beautiful Iphigenia.

Iphigenia talks to Pan in a way no one has ever talked to him before, actually wanting to know what he thinks.  This changes Pan’s view of the world.

This book includes many of the characters and stories of Greek myth.  It’s a bit earthy in spots, but in a way that would probably pass over the heads of younger readers.  The story is absorbing and touching.  Donna Jo Napoli makes these gods human.

I do have to say that I have a strong prejudice against novels written in the present tense.  Normally, I won’t even read them.  However, I’m a big fan of Donna Jo Napoli (especially The Prince of the Pond, Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace, and Sirena.), so I’m willing to put up with it in her books, and I do have to admit that she uses the form well.

Reviews of other books by Donna Jo Napoli:
Daughter of Venice
The Prince of the Pond
Jimmy: The Pickpocket of the Palace
Gracie: The Pixie of the Puddle
Three Days
Fish Girl

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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