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Great Circle: The soaring and emotional novel shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021 by [Maggie Shipstead]

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Great Circle: The soaring and emotional novel shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021 Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 10,296 ratings

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All quotes 2021

Product description


Luminous, masterful ... glides seamlessly through the 20th century immersing the reader. Tremendously well-written ― TELEGRAPH, 'Best Fiction of 2021'

A gripping historical adventure that feels sharp, fresh and modern ―

Shipstead turns phrases and observes people beautifully. Full of adventure, passion and tragedy... a glorious tribute to women who push the boundaries of their one, brief life, breaking the bonds of their place in history and their female bodies, to soar higher and faster than others; and the price they pay to live so fast ―
THE TIMES, 'Best Fiction of 2021'

Impressive and gripping ―

What's so impressive is how deeply we care about each of these people, and how the shape and texture of each of their stories collide to build a story all its own. GREAT CIRCLE grasps for and ultimately reaches something extraordinary ―

The Marian portions rove from Montana to Manhattan to Scotland and Antarctica, and read like a carnival of early-20th-century American history, packed with bootleggers, treacherous boxcar rides, and tragic shipwrecks. The Hadley chapters offer a delectable dissection of life as a celebrity, serving up an intelligent skewering of the Hollywood machine and allowing the book to take flight ―

GREAT CIRCLE is a novel of our insatiable need to stare down the terrible, magnificent vastness of it all: love, war, desire, fear ... A sweeping, swashbuckling book, full of oversaturated colour and grand destiny. The joy of this dynamic, soaring novel is not a welcome extra but its very engine ―

Encompasses flight, travel adventure, identity, sexuality, family, the celebrity age - and in such beautiful writing. A masterpiece. ―

Rocked by the cool cadences of Shipstead's prose, readers will embark on a journey through time and space. Across 600 pages, they'll link arms with its characters as they stroll along the decks of early-1900s ocean liners, then board private jets to eavesdrop on the poolside parties of 21st-century Hollywood. They'll spot eagles arcing over the wild frontiers of Prohibition-era America then feel the lonely, existential chill of the white expanses of Antarctica - in between city breaks in Europe and Australia ―

This wonderful novel weaves together the story of two women: a female aviator who goes missing in the1950s and the Hollywood star playing her in a film in the present day. A commitment that rewards with memorable characters and vivid storytelling ―
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, 'Best Fiction of 2021'

From near-death experience in childhood, to marriage to a bootlegger, Marian rockets off the page in this gripping novel. A staggering story ―

Accomplished and ambitious... Most novelists have their limits and cut their cloth accordingly. Shipstead is a writer who can vividly summon whatever she chooses, taking the reader deep inside the world she creates. ―

A clever, poignant story about ambition, love and sacrifice that'll completely draw you in ―

This ambitious, wide-ranging and psychologically insightful novel is a tour-de-force ―

It is rare to read a novel that is as beautifully built as it is elegantly written. Moving and surprising at every turn ―

A gorgeous soaring story that takes flight from the very first page ―

Vast and entrancing ―

A riveting novel with powerful characters that will excite, shock and enthral ―

Nothing short of brilliant ―

A work of epic proportions and rich, cinematic detail ―

Grand, audacious and completely engrossing ―

This epic novel tops 600 pages but you'll still want more. Ambitious, cannily constructed and entertaining ―

Ambitious, intricately detailed, rich and considered ―


Daringly ambitious... a novel that invites the reader to immerse themselves in the sweep of history, the rich and detailed research... breathtaking ―

Great Circle is an epic trip-through Prohibition and World War II, from Montana to London to present-day Hollywood-and you'll relish every minute ― PEOPLE MAGAZINE

Glitz and guts square off in
Great Circle: a tale of two women set apart by a century, fighting to retain control of their own lives in a society that demands subservience. Shipstead is adept at writing so vividly, the reader can feel the thrill and pain of her characters. Cunningly crafted. . . richly layered, a joy to read . . . riveting ― THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW

Mesmerizing ―

An enthralling epic about aviation and adventure. A big, baggy blast of a book bulging with sex and drugs, taking in Prohibition-era Montana, wartime London, present-day Hollywood, painting and physics. I loved it ―

A generous, escapist treat ―

A soaring epic of female adventure and wanderlust ―

Bestselling novelist Maggie Shipstead was struggling to depict a female adventurer. So she became one. The stakes of GREAT CIRCLE are high-for its heroine, literally life or death. Though Shipstead never learned to fly herself, she aligned with her main character Marian Graves in more important ways . . . She is interested in testing her limits ―

Relentlessly exciting . . . My top recommendation for this summer. Shipstead's sweeping new female-centered epic intertwines the story of Marian, an aviator who wants to circumnavigate the globe with that of actor Hadley Baxter, cast a century later to play Marian in a film. What can Marian's life tell Hadley about her own? ―

Dazzling prose in the service of an expansive story that covers more than a century and seems to encapsulate the whole wide world. With detailed brilliance, she lavishes heart and empathy on every character. She never wavers, pulls out a twist or two that feel fully earned, and then sticks the landing ―

Swinging from one century to the next, from the moneyed splendor of cities to the shifting Antarctic ice, Shipstead's prose overflows with meticulous detail ―

Enthralling. Moving and surprising at every turn ―

Sweepingly panoramic and immersive. An audacious epic ―
DAILY MAIL, 'Best Fiction of 2021'

In a moment when our quarantined worlds have become so small, GREAT CIRCLE offers more than just wanderlust; it feels like a liberation. ―

Maggie Shipstead combines cinematic scope with a poet's eye for detail ―

The beginning of Maggie Shipstead's astounding novel, a Booker finalist, includes a series of endings: two plane crashes, a sunken ship and several people dead. The bad luck continues when one of the ship's young survivors, Marian, grows up to become a pilot-only to disappear on the job. Shipstead unravels parallel narratives, Marian's and that of another woman whose life is changed by Marian's story, in glorious detail. Every character, whether mentioned once or 50 times, has a specific, necessary presence. It's a narrative made to be devoured, one that is both timeless and satisfying. ―

Absolutely dazzling ―

GREAT CIRCLE flew us to a different world. A book to devour ―

A sweeping saga that alternates between the life of a tenacious female aviator in the 1930s and that of a millennial film star cast to play her in a biopic. In death, 'each of us destroys the world,' the author observes - but her engrossing novel is a moving reflection on the will to survive ―

Artfully constructed and exhuberantly entertaining ―

Shipstead soars in this expansive, beautiful novel about women and flight ―
THE STRAITS TIMES --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From the Back Cover

From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger.

In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian's life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace.

Half a century later, Hadley Baxter, a brilliant, troubled Hollywood starlet is irresistibly drawn to play Marian Graves, a role that will lead her to probe the deepest mysteries of the vanished pilot's life.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CMLCFWM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Transworld Digital (4 May 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6418 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 576 pages
  • Customer reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 10,296 ratings

About the author

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Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Seating Arrangements, Astonish Me, and Great Circle and the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
10,296 global ratings

Top reviews from United Kingdom

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 August 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing
By sharpy on 17 August 2021
Just finished 'Great Circle' by Maggie Shipstead and am honestly lost for words. I sat for 30mins in awe and then went back and read the first few chapters again!

An epic, and I mean epic at over 600 pages, story about love, lose, family, friends, legacy and ultimately life.

Follows the journey of a female pilot, Marian Graves, who in 1950 attempted to fly the 'great circle' around the earth, flying over both North and South poles.

The story starts shortly before Marian's birth and takes us up to 2015 when a movie is being made about her life and journey.

The book follows 2 narratives intertwined throughout; the past - of Marian's story through the years and the present; of the actress given the task (the honour) of bringing Marian to the big screen.

The story is so well researched and planned; historical fiction standing side by side with history itself.

I took my time reading this as I didn't want it to end, and wanted to appreciate every part of the story.
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