The Marriage Plot
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date:
- 12 April 2012
- Modern & Contemporary
Showing 1-4 out of 74 reviews. Previous | Next
I had to come back and change my rating to five stars because I found myself missing Madeleine, Mitchell and Leonard all week! As a Theology graduate I enjoyed Mitchell's story the most- on a side note how come I never met a Mitchell during my course?! No offence to KCL TRS Class of 2010. Anyway, I enjoyed all of the theory and it made me miss university something terrible. I found Leonard's story frustrating and heartbreaking and I wanted to be Madeleine. So all in all, great characters, great novel.
What a wordsmith J Eugenides is - East Coast, privileged kids, 1980s college graduates Madeleine, Mitchell and Leonard all struggle towards adulthood after college. Mitchell heads off to help the world , but finds he can't, Leonard is diagnosed as bi-polar and struggles simply to maintain equilibrium and Madeleine bumbles about trying to find her spot. The book is spot on describing the angst of the early 20s, as well as the bipolar experience.j
I am most impressed by books where I get caught up in the characters, empathizing with them, reflecting on them. <B>Jeffrey Eugenides</B> serves this up in great style in <I><B>The Marriage Plot</B></I>, a "coming of age" story told against the backdrop of the late 1970's - early '80's. The main characters are <B>Madeline Hanna</B>, a young woman raised in a fairly privileged environment who is studying English literature; <B>Mitchell Grammaticus</B>, a young man who seems to be still trying to find his place in the world, and develops an interest in "spirituality"; and <B>Leonard Bankhead</B>, a fairly charismatic individual who (as luck would have it) suffers from severe bipolar disorder. The connection: Mitchell is wholly in love with Madeline and wants to marry her; Madeline is wholly in love with Leonard and feels that Mitchell isn't "man enough" for her; Leonard is the wild card - does he love Madeline (he professes to), or is he just looking for someone to be his anchor? - he is someone whose psychological issues seem to prevent him from taking any direction in life seriously.Neat.The time period Eugenides selects for this novel is perfect - a period where traditional values and ideals are being challenged, and a period when the search for alternative values and ideals (feminism, homosexuality, spirituality, etc.) becomes an accepted life style. It is clear, however, that Eugenides sees (and effectively exposes) the potential this alternative-seeking lifestyle has for being undermined by selfishness and deviousness. Not every rebel has noble motives.Eugenides is an exceptional writer - he finds that balance between bare narrative and verbosity that makes the book completely readable. He structures characters that one <I>feels</I> for. He keeps a keen eye on the moral issues that attend the search for a meaningful life, but does not sermonize or proselytize - he just makes them visible.This is an exceptional read - meaningful, dramatic, "real" - without any preachy or judgmental attitude. It may take Eugenides a long time to write a novel (<I>Middlesex</I> - his second novel - was written a decade ago), but it is time well-spent on research and sincere writing.Absolutely a MUST READ.
I really, really loved this book. It was a bit slow to get into-- but once I got the pacing and the characters, I loved it.Eugenides is a great story teller, things do not necessarily unfold in a linear fashion. His characters were fabulous. One of them spends time working in a yeast genetics lab. I was so impressed with the descriptions of the characters and place that I looked into whether Eugenides has a science background. He did not, but learned what he needed to from reading alone. I think you might have to have a science background to fully appreciate how phenomenal a job he did with that.I also love his language and descriptions... from those that combined the science part and those that didn't.Ex-- "The hostility coming off her was as easy to see as bromophenol blue dye."" 'Parties bring my misanthropy into focus,' Thurston said. ""School was a perpetual line up, ending in this final one." (describing graduation)"Semiotics was the form Zipperstein's midlife crisis had taken."
Reviews provided by Librarything.
No reviews here.