You may be right; I may be crazy. But I just may be the lunatic you're looking for!
Just about everything about this book was disappointing. It's over written, pretentious, elitist . . .
He writes from a decidedly male perspective, so the female characters are not at all convincing. So many times I asked
Not much. Maybe I'm holding him to higher expectations after _The Invisible One_
Frustrated that people might think this portrayal of higher education is actually real
The book club's unanimous review confirms everything =( We need to pick something amazing next time to make up for this time waster.
I was bored to death by the shallow and uninteresting characters and the glacial movement of the story. I recognize that the characters are intentionally pretentious but I had no patience for them. I gave up on it -- and I rarely quit on books -- after a couple of hours and moved on to The Sense of an Ending, which was wonderful.
Yes, in the hope that he might replicate his earlier brilliance in Middlesex.
pleasant, appropriate, versatile
The entire book was was a bore.
I'm a big fan of Jeffrey Eugenides, so I was delighted to see The Marriage Plot available on Audible, and couldn't wait to download it. Unfortunately, and much to my sad surprise, I never really made a real connection with any of the main characters. I found most of the characters distinctly unpleasant, so it became more and more difficult to understand why they all were falling in love with each other, or even why any of them were friends. All of the characters' attitudes of "better than" -- culturally, intellectually, romantically, spiritually -- were too thick for me to feel anything like compassion for them. They weren't the three dimensional, complicated characters I'm used to meeting in Eugenides books.
(also posted on Amazon.com)
I intended to love this book, having waited for it since Middlesex. I am disappointed. I felt like I was reading Franzen's Corrections, which was okay, but I didn't need to read it again; nor did I finish Freedom by Franzen for the same reason. I am disappointed because I had put great stock in JE, and I was sure this next book, so long in coming would be a masterpiece.
What has happened to popular literature? Why is it sufficient to trot out the lives of characters, their intersections and their problems, without the framework of plot -- there is no "desire" here. There is no conflict, and there is no passion.
I am always glad to learn new things. So after the MP I know some little something about yeast cells. I know a little more about manic/depression and I know some things about India which I might not have come to otherwise know.
The parents in this story were cut from the same dough as many others. In this book, and those like it, 20somethings from the 1980s (who would be 50 somethings now) are vapid but brilliant, healthy but unable to follow their own common sense, and they aren't even having a great time with sex. Sex is so tortuous in this book, that it frequently reads like the Indian excrement scene, embarrassing and tragic.
I suppose, as one reviewer put it, if I were of that class, I could identify with it better. I am much older than those characters were in this telling, but I don't lack my own memories from my 20s. We had **fun**. We suffered deeply, we played hard, we felt things, we regretted, we rejoiced. These people don't even get a kick from their privileged education and the exposure to the subjects they chose to study.
Poor Mitchell couldn't measure up to his own standards for being "good." Leo's situation is hopeless. I've known some M/Ds in my life. They function most of the time, they hold jobs and have families, go to school and prevail much of the time -- especially those with two shrinks and constant medication monitoring. This boy, Leonard, was hung out to dry. Maddy took on his illness and became a depressive too. There was nothing to root for in any of them.
So, I am disappointed on many levels. I expected more from the writer of Middlesex. I expected more from the parade of characters, not all of whom were cardboard cut-outs, and I expected some kind of mystery or journey or decision to be made by the hero -- but frankly, I am not sure who the hero/protagonist was.
The point of view changes were very effective, because not one of those characters could have supported the whole book. I was looking for a transition, a convergence of the three into one (metaphorically), but none came.
Maddy gets out of her situation with Leonard. Mitchell must accept her passive rejection and Leo is out running in the woods. While this may represent reality, who gives a s**t?
I'm listening to: Remaking the Way We Make Things: Cradle to Cradle, by W. McDonough & M. Braungart
I thoroughly enjoyed the story but once was enough. The main characters experiences as a young female english student were enlightening. I could see myself reviewing to grab a few intriguing mentions of books I'd never read. I have no reason to revisit the story.
The main characters parents created many memorable moments that were strangely familiar and made me laugh aloud in the car while listening a long ride to New Hampshire.
The narration good but a bit slow for my taste. In fact, the narrator's energy improved in the 3-4 chapter. I don't know if that was intentionally reflecting the mood of the story, or if he connected with the characters later in the story.
Living and learning from the literary elite.
I suppose I'll give Middlesex a lesson now that I've had a taste of Jeffrey Eugenides.
Addicted to Audible!
I enjoyed listening to this book probably because I am living a little bit of this story with my 3 adult children right now. Eugenides describes them and their peers to a tee, their lifestyle, their behaviors, their beliefs that by being privledged and intellectual they have somehow reinvented life, love, sex, relationships, marriage, work, etc..... I think he did a great job of updating the marriage plot and I was neither bored nor disapointed. This is not, Middlesex, but it has its own merits and I think he succeeds.
Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.
The plot was boring, the characters moody, self-indulged, and tedious. They labored from one place to another without any real purpose. I persisted to listen to the entire story hoping that the end would reward my persistence, but I ended up unfulfilled. Also, I wanted to give Eugenides the benefit of the doubt because of his last, great novel,
Pittu did a great job of differentiating voices, and does a particularly fine job with the women.
It does not need a follow-up book because the characters are one-dimensional and not likable or interesting. The Plot was too long as it stands.
Alright. So I want to start off by saying that I get what Eugenides is doing here. I really do. I understand the point he's making about how the modern idea of love is based in syncretism. How can we hold onto the idea of a one true love, of the big courtship, the candy and flowers and white wedding in the age of divorce? I understand what he's trying to say about the tenuous relevance Regency and Victorian era romance novels have in our own lives.
I get it. I'm not some boob shaking my fist at a bunch of egg heads because I'm just too stupid to be intellectually engaged by this story.
That being said this one didn't grab me, and if I hadn't been listening to it there's no way in heck I would have finished it.
At first I didn't think it was too bad. I was pulled in by the characters and the writing and the setting. This is a Eugenides novel after all, and there's never been any question that the man can write. His character building is in top form here. Eugenides has this uncanny ability to write female characters that makes me feel uneasy - he's one of the few male writers out there who has been paying attention. But for the first time what normally makes his books so much fun to read - his astute eye for interpersonal relationships, his knack for crafting details, his stories that are set in the here and the now of contemporary America - all converge to make this story what it is. A sack of boring.
Yeah, I get what the characters are going through is rough, but it's all stuff I've seen before. I knew where this was going to end up before it even began, and that's not because I'm some sort of great brain, I've just seen enough reality TV to know that there's nothing really special going on here. One of the reasons I love to read is because I feel like I get to see, and experience and feel things that I've never done or thought of before. But after fishing this book I felt like I could have sat on my front porch and watched all this happen. That's not exactly the feeling I like to be left with after putting in hours of effort. Also, the narrator does a TERRIBLE job of narrating female voices. He reminded me of the boys in middle school trying to effect the voices of love struck older sisters whenever their boyfriend came around. You know the voice.
I did really like parts of this though. And what I liked I really liked, but unfortunately there wasn't enough of them to make this an exciting read.
After all's been said and done I'll say that this is not the author at his best. But if you like his work and you're a completest, then I'll recommend it.
One of my all time favorite books is Middlesex and I love Virgin suicides, so I could hardly wait to read Marriage Plot. Was very disappointed. Eugenides rambled on about so many things and none of the characters were very appealing.
The characters in TMP are very flawed, but often endearing. Most important is how well written the book is, the time of the book was in the early 80's, and the author did a great job of portraying college students in the 80's.