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The Marriage Plot Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Oct 11 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 11 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307401863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307401861
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

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.”
The Independent
 
“Eugenides, as this novel reminds us, is certainly a fine writer; an urbane but sensitive stylist.”
Toronto Star
 
“It might just be his best work yet.”
National Post

"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."
—Jonathan Franzen

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Instead of the three generations featured in Eugenides' Pulitzer winning "Middlesex," "The Marriage Plot" presents three individuals: Madeleine Hanna, an attractive, unconfident WASP; Leonard Bankhead, her on-and-off brilliant and brooding boyfriend; and Mitchell Grammaticus, a Michigan Greek who yearns in alternation for Madeleine and for God. The novel opens on the day the three graduate from Brown, returns to back story, then follows their first year in the "real world". Seeking sanctity, Mitchell heads to Europe and India; the other two keep house on Cape Cod, where Leonard studies yeast in a genetics lab and Madeleine applies to graduate school.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex are books of incredible depth. They can be re-read over and over, and still the reader gets pleasure from the story, from the prose and from the overarching themes. The Marriage Plot, though well-written, does not come close to the depth of the Author's other two books. The protagonists are boring, the setting is boring and the action, of what there is, is boring. The Virgin Suicides was a in-depth examination of isolation, angst and suburbia - the Marriage Plot was an examination of vaguely rich people sort of interacting with or beside each other. I had high expectations of this book, and was ultimately disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up based on my appreciation of Eugenides previous work. However, this effort is an epic fail. By page 44 I had some serious doubts. At page 66 I felt like I was trying to wade through mud. At page 100 I threw the book in the garbage... normally I resell books but I actually don't want anyone else to suffer as I did.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to diving into this book - made it to the 1/2 way point and just couldn't go on.
Tedious is the word that comes to mind.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I’m always very cautious when I read a literary fiction book. I know that I won’t like some things of it. I imagine that the ending could be very sad. It still ends up that sometimes I attempt to read one of these books and sometimes I’m lucky. This time I’ve been lucky.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
"Middlesex," the best novel I have ever read, set accordingly high expectations for "The Marriage Plot," which is good, but not that good. Maybe Eugenides was too busy teaching at university (or something) to give the novel full treatment of his prodigious talent. Academia has leached off some of that Eugenides soul.
The twist at the end was a surprise, but true to life. A good book.
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