The Marriage Plot Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Oct 11 2011
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New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
A New York Times Notable Book
LONGLIST 2013 – IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
"Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary."
—The New York Times Book Review
“This extraordinary, liquidly written evocation of love’s mad rush and inevitable failures will feed your mind as you rapidly turn the pages. Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Eugenides’s first novel since 2002’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Middlesex so impressively, ambitiously breaks the mold of its predecessor that it calls for the founding of a new prize to recognize its success both as a novel—and as a Jeffrey Eugenides novel.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“His characteristically deliberate, researched realization of place and personality serve him well, and he strikes perfectly tuned chords.... Eugenides realizes the novel whose dismantling his characters examine.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“A stunning novel—erudite, compassionate and penetrating in its analysis of love relationships.... Dazzling—Eugenides continues to show that he is one of the finest of contemporary novelists.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sharp dialogue…. A remarkable achievement.... Brilliant.”
“Eugenides, as this novel reminds us, is certainly a fine writer; an urbane but sensitive stylist.”
“It might just be his best work yet.”
"Jeffrey Eugenides is a big and big-hearted talent: generous to his readers in telling stories that unfailingly entertain, and generous to his characters, who mess up and strive and suffer and repent the way anyone we really love does - forgivably."
About the Author
JEFFREY EUGENIDES was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published to great acclaim in 1993, and he has received numerous awards for his work. In 2003, Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Medicis, and has sold more than 3 million copies.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel contains a marriage but concerns itself neither with matrimony nor love; at heart, it is a coming-of-age drama that possesses the joys and pains of lived experience. With sympathy, modulation and deftness, Eugenides gives immediacy to Mitchell's struggle with spirituality, to Leonard's battle against mental illness and to Madeleine and Leonard's tenuous relationship. But, despite a wry, engaging and beautifully constructed story, "The Marriage Plot" sells its characters short. Mitchell's religious exploration grows tedious and ultimately gets dismissed as a sublimation of his desire for Madeline. And, though the novel's point of view alternates, Leonard receives only a single section before it virtually shuts out his voice.
Madeline, the supposed protagonist who initially seems to be on an interesting journey to maturity, eventually recedes behind Leonard's needs. No journey comes to fruition; she never discovers her vocation, which leaves the reader unable to imagine her as an adult. Perhaps that's the point of this deconstructionist novel but, if so, such obscurity comes at the cost of a truly enjoyable read.
Mostly this is Eugenides showing off his obscure literary supremacy. Boring, self-important, bland characters. Save your money and if you get a copy of this for free, then know that the gifter hates you.
Tedious is the word that comes to mind.
I liked this novel. I couldn’t give it the fifth star because of some negative aspects that I couldn’t ignore and that reduced my enjoyment of the book.
But I prefer to start talking about what’s good in this book.
First of all the prose is wonderful. Despite the length and the countless digressions, the text flows well. For writers like me reading books like this entertains and is an opportunity to enrich their prose.
The plot itself is anything but predictable. The book, which at first glance may seem like a romance novel with a love triangle, is actually a book about love, meant as the subject and not as the purpose of the story. The fact of not being inserted within a genre in itself makes it unpredictable, but the way it is built makes you wonder what might happen in the next page and especially to which character will the story shift.
The characters are so deepened that it seems they are real, despite their excesses.
Added to this is the presence of plenty of interesting information, within the digressions mentioned earlier. Some might perceive them as info-dump, but in my opinion they are an essential part in the characterisation of the characters and the setting. After reading this book you have the impression of having learned something new and this is one aspect that I really appreciate in fiction. In particular, the reader is given the opportunity to take a look at the American youth of the 80s, something that never had happened to me in the past.Read more ›
The twist at the end was a surprise, but true to life. A good book.
Most recent customer reviews
If you're in the mood for a dense, verbose novel then this is a good pick. I enjoyed it - not everyone did. Read morePublished 14 months ago by RT
The book was well written but I found the two male characters really unlikable - to the point where I did not really want to keep reading. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2014 by Kelsi
Wow. How well written. Captures human nature. Delves masterfully into the world of mental health issues in an average world.Published on July 20 2013 by MaudeMaryKate
I surprized my wife by getting her this book. She loved it. The library didn't have enough copies so she is passing it to her daughter to read.Published on Jan. 22 2013 by Donald Gibson
OMG -- So Eugenides!!! And Eugenides should be used as an adverb!!! This Man is such an incredible author, kinda like Wally Lamb and others whom we could wish would produce more... Read morePublished on June 25 2012 by Caraleen
This is a very enjoyable book with interesting characters and a good story. I found it very well written and have already recommended it. Read morePublished on March 31 2012 by Aggie G
My loving of this book was probably helped by re-reading Middlesex a year ago.
I was fascinated mainly by the quality of writing: the way different scenes are intertwined,... Read more