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The Marriage Plot
 
 

The Marriage Plot [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Eugenides
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

‘If you were ever young and thought you knew what you wanted, if you ever imagined that no one could feel such intensity of emotion as you, if you ever had your dreams dashed and your heart broken, then this is the book for you’ The Times

‘I adored The Marriage Plot … David Nicholls’ One Day with George Eliot thrown in’ Erica Wagner, The Times, Books of the Year

‘I gorged myself on The Marriage Plot’ Geoff Dyer

‘A marvellous, compulsive storyteller; he reminds us that while love may not always triumph, it follows its own wayward course to the end’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Where it excels is in pinpointing human emotions and in capturing the giddy flux of young love. As Mitchell says, “There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things.” Funny, poignant and insightful, this is one of those books’ Sebastian Shakespeare

‘Immensely readable, funny and heartfelt, with instantly beguiling writing that springs effortlessly back and forth over the year’s events… it was indeed worth waiting for’ Daily Telegraph

‘Utterly engrossing … so well depicted – with wit, care and charm – that Eugenides hasn’t just raised his game, he’s changed the fictional goalposts’ Daily Mirror

‘In the generosity and and nuance of his characters and paragraphs you are reminded of the Jonathan Franzen of “The Corrections”’ Observer

‘Moving, human and challenging…subtle, pertinent narrative observations that show the work of a master of fiction at work’ Times

Review

‘If you were ever young and thought you knew what you wanted, if you ever imagined that no one could feel such intensity of emotion as you, if you ever had your dreams dashed and your heart broken, then this is the book for you’ The Times

‘I adored The Marriage Plot … David Nicholls’ One Day with George Eliot thrown in’ Erica Wagner, The Times, Books of the Year

‘I gorged myself on The Marriage Plot’ Geoff Dyer

‘A marvellous, compulsive storyteller; he reminds us that while love may not always triumph, it follows its own wayward course to the end’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Where it excels is in pinpointing human emotions and in capturing the giddy flux of young love. As Mitchell says, “There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things.” Funny, poignant and insightful, this is one of those books’ Sebastian Shakespeare

‘Immensely readable, funny and heartfelt, with instantly beguiling writing that springs effortlessly back and forth over the year’s events… it was indeed worth waiting for’ Daily Telegraph

‘Utterly engrossing … so well depicted – with wit, care and charm – that Eugenides hasn’t just raised his game, he’s changed the fictional goalposts’ Daily Mirror

‘In the generosity and and nuance of his characters and paragraphs you are reminded of the Jonathan Franzen of “The Corrections”’ Observer

‘Moving, human and challenging…subtle, pertinent narrative observations that show the work of a master of fiction at work’ Times


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 689 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (3 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005E88OKG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jeffrey Eugenides -- winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Middlesex -- was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1960. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published in 1993, and has since been translated into fifteen languages and made into a major motion picture. His second novel, Middlesex, was an international bestseller. Jeffrey Eugenides is the recipient of many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and The National Foundation for the Arts, a Whiting Writers' Award, and the Harold D. Vursell Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been a Fellow of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm of the DAAD and of the American Academy in Berlin. Jeffrey Eugenides lives in Berlin.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And Sometimes They Were Very Sad 2 Dec 2011
By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Not having reading anything by Eugenides before, I was curious to discover what has made him a Pullitzer prize-winner.

This is the story of the triangular relationship between three young Americans who meet at university in the early 1980s: Madeleine, a diligent student of English literature, but lacking in a sense of direction, falls for the brilliant, charismatic but manic depressive biologist, Leonard. Meanwhile, after a brief friendship which comes to nothing, Mitchell loves her from afar, and seeks escapism in religious theory, and a circuitous journey to India to work as a volunteer for Mother Theresa.

The novel is a modern take on the "marriage plot", seen by one of Madeleine's English professors as the dominant theme of novels up to 1900, based on the idea that women could only achieve success through marrying men, ideally with money, after which they "lived happily ever after" or endured their fate, since there was no easy escape route via divorce.

The author's technical talent is displayed through some vivid and imaginative descriptions, and his sharp ear for dialogue. The recreation of the events and attitudes of the 1980s rings true, and brings back memories for those who lived through them. Many scenes are funny or poignant. In particular, the analysis of Leonard's manic depression in its various phases strikes close to the bone and often makes for unbearably painful reading.

Ironically, it is the at times almost manic nature of the writing which weakens the structure of the novel, so that the whole may seem less than the sum of the parts. Eugenides spirals off at a tangent where his imagination leads him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A struggle to finish 22 April 2014
Format:Paperback
This was so boring I barely managed to finish it. It was definitely far too long. I am the same age and in the same position (graduating university) as the main characters and I found them boring, self-absorbed and one-dimensional. They were impossible to relate to and seemed more like caricatures of ideals the author wanted to portray. It was far too smug with the literary references and stylistic imitation. By the end I didn't care what happened to any of the characters, especially the female one, and I would've been happy for them to all die of consumption haha. I can see the author was trying to make the main female (I forgot her name she was so dull) like a romantic heroine but none of the heroines of the seventeenth century were as passive and lacking in personality as she. The 'heroes' were neurotic and pathetic. I almost liked Leonard because he was slightly crazy and I thought he was going to do something interesting but then they medicated him and he became boring like everyone else. Everyone (including the author) was too busy trying to be somebody or something else and trying to live up to some ideal rather than concentrating on actually being authentic and realistic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My opinion of Jeffrey Eugenides' writing has immeasurably improved since reading this book. He divides the episodes between a young woman, beautiful but naive, Madeleine, and a young man, Mitchell. They belong to the same milieu, moneyed parents, a privileged upbringing, both highly intelligent. Mitchell has conceived of a passion for Madeleine which is not reciprocated. The book opens as they stand in line waiting to receive their degrees but Madeleine runs away to a doomed relationship with Leonard Bankhead, whom she is determined to nurse through a recent diagnosis of Manic Depression. A laudable aim, though she hasn't quite internalised the fact that Manic Depression is not a curable disease.

Mitchell, meanwhile, is setting out on a trip to Europe and India with a friend, Larry. Mitchell is fascinated by religious ideas and wants to work in India for the Mother Theresa Foundation. He gets there, after sojourns in Paris and then Greece, and searches for a truly religious vocation which continually eludes him as he finds himself unsuited to a religious calling that involves cleaning the wounds and abrasions of the terminally sick.

Madeleine and Leonard live together while Leonard pursues a scientific career. But Leonard is experimenting with his medication, convinced that the dosage he is on is the cause of his dimming ability to work efficiently at the Lab to which he has been assigned. When he and Madeleine decide to get married they go off to Paris on their honeymoon and then to Monaco where Leonard goes off the rails and, not for the first time, has to be hospitalised.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius! 7 Nov 2011
By SCS
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like Jeffrey Eugenides' other two novels, what makes his work special is the characters in them behave exactly as you would expect people in real life to: they make mistakes, they are vulnerable, they are fallible, and in this one they are also mentally ill.

Other readers have gone through the plot so I will give that a miss, but suffice to say that if you love literature (and considering you're on a book-ordering website reading a book review, then you must do) then this is the book for you. Set in collegiate 1980's America, this book touches more on other writers than anything I've ever come across, while weaving the complicated lives of three main characters in a touching and genius way. The characters are rich and complex, almost jumping out of the page at you - one is in love. One is breaking free. One is mentally ill. The pages start to turn themselves and you block out the world just to keep reading. And the small touches the author puts in, moments where one is ashamed or embarrassed or excited, those are ones you relate to and which make you care about the character more and more. There isn't a great deal of action, per se, in the book and yet you finish it feeling like you've run a marathon.

Brilliant writing. I had pre-ordered it and knew I wouldn't be sorry, and sure enough I wasn't.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good thought provoking read as always from this author.
Published 1 month ago by Dpedin
5.0 out of 5 stars very good condition and practically new
Book arrived as described...very good condition and practically new. Great read too!
Published 1 month ago by Charlene Zahra
3.0 out of 5 stars An Unsuccessful Novel of Ideas
Jeffrey Eugenides' novel "The Marriage Plot" (2011) explores a triangular relationship between three graduating seniors at Brown University in 1982. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robin Friedman
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and insightful novel
I liked 'The Marriage Plot', despite it somewhat lacking the characteristic sparkling originality of Eugenides, because there's a lot of light enjoyment to be had in a novel which... Read more
Published 6 months ago by LilacLemon
1.0 out of 5 stars Another academic writing a story set in academia
Really boring. I think this is classed as literary fiction: ie it attempts to be profound by having the characters talk about 'clever' things and generally talk round and round... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jill Hubbard
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant read
Not as good as Middlesex by the same author, a lighthearted voyage trough the themes of teen and young adult relationships, anxieties, weddings and failed couplings... Read more
Published 8 months ago by FM
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Eugenides' best
Madeline is in the final year of a literature degree. She's reading classic authors and writing her thesis on the use of the marriage plot in the novel, a topic seen as seriously... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sam
3.0 out of 5 stars The disease of our time
It's nothing to fuss about unless you can be enraptured by the tales of the bourgeois, in which case are accurately depicted. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Renata Lopes Vincent
2.0 out of 5 stars struggled
I really struggled to finish this book, I gave up reading it several times but stuggled on only because it was a gift. The story is dull, long-winded and boring. Read more
Published 9 months ago by MissAnnThrop
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, what happened?
I loved Middlesex and the Virgin Suicides, I can't see how the same author, who wrote with such subtlety and intelligence, and crafted rich and likeable characters could write this... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lily Emery
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