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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.
0Commentaire14 sur 14 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Cette évaluation a-t-elle été utile pour vous?OuiNonSignaler un abus
le 12 décembre 2011
"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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RÉVISEUR DU TOP 500le 14 janvier 2014
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. I thought the book was a bit slow, *Virgin Suicides* was much, much better.
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le 20 décembre 2011
...there's a photo of this novel's front cover.

I didn't keep reading this novel to the end because I was compelled to.

I didn't keep reading it out of fascination or curiosity...or even interest.

I kept reading it out of obligation.

I don't regret the time and energies spent, but I can't say they were well-rewarded.

Nothing about the characters moved me. (Save for the illness of one...but because I was so familiar with it, it wasn't as if I was learning anything new.) Nothing about their various tales moved me. And nothing about the writing moved me.

Certainly 'The Marriage Plot' is not a novel I'll look back fondly on having read. And I can't imagine that the author will, either.

To once again quote Gertrude Stein, 'There's no 'there', there."
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