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Fates and Furies Hardcover – 17 Sep 2015

3.3 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 17 Sep 2015
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann (17 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785150146
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785150142
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Enough betrayal, vengeance and sex to read like one of the Greek tragedies" (Observer)

"Rich, lyrical and rewarding." (Paula Hawkins, author of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Guardian (Books of the Year))

"A lyrical and, at times, astonishingly beautiful account of how little it is possible to know about those closest to us." (Financial Times)

"Addictive to read ... Groff has drawn a woman so complex it seems that with every chapter a new layer is revealed, each as deliciously intriguing as the next … The result is a compelling portrait of an unconventional marriage across two decades." (Stylist)

"[A] stunning achievement. The plotting is elegant, intricate and assured . . . it will give you much to savour." (Independent)

"Absorbing and beautifully written, this is a riveting study of love, power and creativity." (Sunday Express)

"A truly special novel ... if you haven't read her before, I'm delighted to take the credit for introducing you to one of your new favourite authors." (The Pool)

"A searing exploration of how far a person will go for love, loyalty and revenge." (Time)

"Rare and impressive Groff has created a novel of extraordinary and genuine complexity…The word “ambitious” is often used as code for “overly ambitious”, a signal that an author’s execution has fallen short. No such hidden message here. Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that deliverswith comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout." (New York Times)

"A book to submit to and be knocked out by." (Meg Wolitzer)

Book Description

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fates and Furies is the third novel by Lauren Groff, rated by Barak Obama and Amazon as 2015 book of the year, after reading it, I have no idea why.

The book follows the marriage of Lotto and Mathilde – the two most repugnant, un-relatable and at times unrealistic characters I have read in a long time. The first half of the book concerns the story of Lotto, his childhood, perception of his wife and marriage then the second half is vice versa the story of Mathilde

This book was very difficult to review, but I’ll start with Lotto and Mathilde themselves…

Lotto (Lancelot) was said, repeatedly, to be charismatic, loved by all, having a light shine from him… but with no reason understandable as to why, why are people in love with this guy? He is described as only ever seeing the good in people and therefore making them feel great and they love him, but the proof of this was never shown at all, unless you call thinking you’d have sex with a girl because ‘despite all else’ she has nice forearms as only seeing the good then yeh… we see that he likes to sleep with everyone he meets…. Why is this love and awe inspiring? The end result of this was an extremely (IMO) unrealistic and un-relatable and most importantly DULL character that led to his half of the book being a monotonous sleep inducing bore.

The second half with Mathildes story was more interesting, I managed to get through it in a sitting, though I felt Mathilde was very shallowly written and she was just as repugnant as Lotto. There was a lot more story with Mathilde.. her character though as I said repugnant had a lot more of an interesting backstory, her half of the book in general had a story and even though I didn’t like her or her actions or the plot it was still interesting… or was it?...
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Format: Hardcover
This is the story of a marriage. Lotto and Mathilde meet at college. It's giddy love at first sight. They marry within two weeks and will remain more or less happily married for the next 24 years. Lotto is an aspiring actor who will later find fame and wealth as a playwright. He is a romantic, full of the exuberance of life, an enthusiastic puppy who finds almost everything and everyone exciting. Mathilde adores him and supports him, but remains something of an enigma - for the first half of the book at least. At times there are suggestions that she might be angry with him or steering his career, but never in a way that feels unusual for a marriage.

The first half of the book is from Lotto's perspective. In the second half, we are presented with Mathilde's back story and we see some of the events of the book's first half from a completely new perspective. But what also intrigued me is that there are some events that weren't significant. Sometimes people do just rub one another up the wrong way and it means nothing more than that. That's the reality of living together for so long.

I am finding it quite difficult to summarise how I felt about this book. It's a book of two halves (first Lotto, then Mathilde), and I really enjoyed about 75% of each half but then in both instances I felt that they turned pretentious. Lotto's plays, for example, sounded quite dreadful and I could have happily done without the excerpts that we were given. When we start to learn about Mathilde, my first reaction was "wow, I didn't see THAT coming". It was a hugely pleasing moment. But ultimately, I didn't believe in either of these people, and I particularly didn't believe in Mathilde.
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By Purpleheart TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Sept. 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping. The seabirds stopped their tuning, the ocean went mute. Houselights over the water dimmed to gray.' The opening sentences give you a sense of Groff's literary style which can be very effective - there are some brilliant scenes - but can also be overblown and wearing. And then there's the Greek chorus in square brackets that gives a commentary on what's going on that we might not see for ourselves.

Lauren's Groff's third novel has been praised to the skies on the blurb and my expectations were raised high and, unfortunately, not met. I liked the premise - how do we ever know what's going in someone else's head? What lies beneath the surface of a long, seemingly romantic marriage? Carol Shields' Happenstance: Two Novels in One About a Marriage in Transition gave us two points of view of a marriage, as did Julian Barnes in two of his novels, Talking It Over and ten years later in Love, Etc That is not new, nor is having one partner be a more reliable narrator than the other. The degree to which the versions differ is where the interest of this novel lies.

Lancelot, Lotto has the viewpoint of the first half, Mathilde the second, which overturns what you thought you knew in the first. There is some brilliant and lyrical writing and clever plotting but it doesn't live up up to expectations.
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