- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate (12 April 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007441304
- ISBN-13: 978-0007441303
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Marriage Plot Paperback – 12 Apr 2012
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‘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
About the Author
Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published in 1993 to great acclaim and he has received numerous awards for his work. In 2003, Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and France’s Prix Medicis and has sold more than 3 million copies.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
I do not like this book and would like to recommend anyone coming here because he or she has read Middlesex to please move along and act as if this book has never happened.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jeffrey Eugenides is that type of writer you fall in love with. This is a must read (so as Middlesex or The Virgin Suicides). The book arrived fast and accordingly. I'm pleased.Published 10 months ago by Mariana Oliveira
Firstly, I’ve never read any novels by Jeffrey Eugenides before, though I’ve wanted to for a long time. Read more
This is an absolutely beautiful coming of age story. Eugenides creates an intimate portrait of three young people in very different places but who are so deeply bound to one... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Steve White
I’m always very cautious when I read a literary fiction book. I know that I won’t like some things of it. I imagine that the ending could be very sad. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Anakina
I can see why Eugenides got a Pulitzer for an earlier novel. His writing is absolutely superb. In 'The Marriage Plot' his handling of the theme (love and romance) brings the... Read morePublished 21 months ago by WeAreWhatWeRead
Could not stand the writing and the mumbling. Left it on the beach long-chair one afternoon, so that I don't have to carry it in my bag anymore :)Published 24 months ago by Anna K.
For the most part, I enjoyed this book, although it struck me as being a bit long, rambling and undisciplined.Published on 31 Dec. 2014 by Ms. Sasha Lubetkin