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The Women Paperback – 1 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408800985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800980
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

TC Boyle has long validated his credentials as one of the most individual writers at work today, with a style and a vision quite unlike that of any of his contemporaries. The Women, his latest book, will add even more lustre to his reputation. It’s a novel that brings to mind the pressure-cooker narratives of William Faulkner, though its subject could not be more different: the life and loves of the most famous of the great American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright.

The imposing estate of Taliesen is a noted feature of rural Wisconsin, and it’s a place where the passions – of all kinds – run high. Reporters haunt the property, hungry for more revelations guaranteed to sell newspapers – because Taliesen is the home of the celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright. As well as being the most famous architect of his country in the twentieth century, his celebrity was (and is) world-wide. But his messy private life (as reproduced in Boyle’s novel) is a considerable source of interest and scandal along with his massive artistic achievements. His first wife, Kitty, lives in a world of her own, persuading herself that his other amours are transitory. Then there is his mistress, the passionate and strong-willed Mamah. And there is his deranged second wife, Miriam. And if this weren’t enough of a powder keg, also stirred into the heady brew is Oglivanna, a Serbian immigrant, who shares most closely the turbulence and terror of the architect’s jumbled private life, with Miriam a kind of avenging fury, enlisting a host of pretty officials to get her way. It’s a remarkable scenario (narrated by one of the architect’s apprentices), and Boyle gives it incandescent life, with the character of Frank Lloyd Wright brilliantly conjured at the heart of the unlikely – but compelling – narrative. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'Frank Lloyd Wright's three dramatic love affairs, with all the elaborate deceptions, abandoned children, scandalised headlines and cruel conflagrations, real and metaphorical. The prose is sparkling, the narrative gripping, and the material to die for' The Times 'Gripping, enormously entertaining, and written with deliberately melodramatic gusto' Lionel Shriver, Daily Telegraph 'Boyle ratchets up every ounce of tension from the story. A stunning achievement' Daily Mail 'Riveting ... Despite dozens of writers' attempts to capture Wright's story, it seems safe to say that none has rendered it with more crackling life than Boyle' Wall Street Journal

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
(4.5 stars) In this un-put-down-able novel by T. C. Boyle, Tadashi Sato, a twenty-five-year-old Japanese apprentice, arrives at Taliesin to work for Frank Lloyd Wright in 1932 and remains for nine years, doing everything that Wright asks of him. Living there in rural Spring Green, Wisconsin, for long periods of time, Tadashi sees Wright in all his moods, experiencing the effects of his monstrous ego firsthand, while also regarding him as a genius and powerful influence. Years later, Tadashi, now a successful Japanese architect, teams up with Seamus O'Flaherty, his grandson-in-law, as the ostensible author of the book-within-this-book about the women in Wright's life, their interactions with Wright, and their ultimate effects on Wright's turbulent career.

The women in Wright's life, as we see them here, are, like Wright, passionate, spontaneous, determined to accomplish their goals, and unwilling to let anything stand in their way, and Boyle uses their passions to structure the novel brilliantly. His first wife, Kitty, is an earth mother whose devotion to Wright allows her to believe that one day he will return to her. The lover who replaces her in Wright's affections, Mamah (pronounced MAY-ma) Borthwick Cheney, is an early feminist who is brutally murdered at Taliesin (something we learn in the opening pages). His second wife, Maud Miriam Noel, the most complex character, is an ego-driven morphine addict whose pathological jealousy makes her downright dangerous. His last lover, and eventual wife, Olgivanna Milanoff Hinzenberg, masquerades as Wright's housekeeper while pregnant with Wright's out-of-wedlock child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jenny Morse on 21 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its hard to believe some of the events in this book, but it's all based on the extraordinary life of F. Loyd Wright. It's so well written ( like all of TC Boyle's writing) that it completely took me over into the strange and other- worldly place where it's set. A great read even if - as in my case - you have no particular interest in the man himself.
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By Zangiku on 21 May 2014
Format: Paperback
well-written and intrinsically interesting tale shoots itself in both feet with a towering exoskeleton of gimmickry: a fictional (?) narrator, in translation no less, continually butting in with vapid footnotes and even whole chapters having nothing whatever to do with the actual story. this maddening conceit destroys what might otherwise have been a good read.
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By Escaladieu on 28 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book - whether its an accurate depiction of FLW's life or not did not matter to me,the book had plenty of pace & some great characterisations. Hugely enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frank Lloyd Wright, America's greatest architect, found time for some tempestuous love affairs, adding to his aura as a larger than life character who filled the gossip columns as well as the architectural journals. This beautifully written novel speculates on three important relationships with great gusto.
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By Bee on 14 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very well written book, which is a fascinating read. The only problem is, that as I progressed through the book, I hated Frank Lloyd Wright more and more. What an odious, self-absorbed, pompous and arrogant man he was. His choice of women wasn't much better. However, well worth reading for all of that.
I can't help thinking that he took all of the credit for a lot of 'his' well known designs, but which his apprentices came up with!
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