Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey…

The Marriage Plot: A Novel (2011)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9052391,316 (3.54)231
Recently added byprivate library, boul, soradsauce, tartan_skirt, Rena37, DBehrens, Morr_Books

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 231 mentions

English (224)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All (238)
Showing 1-5 of 224 (next | show all)
Jeffrey Eugenides tackles some heavy issues in his novels. His latest achievement, "The Marriage Plot", delves into the tragic consequences of dealing with mental illness.

The opening scene is graduation day at Brown University, 1982. The plot centers around several graduates, all struggling during what is supposed to be the best years of their lives, to discover who they are, where they should focus their ambitions, and what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Add to that, a love triangle. Mitchell- a nice guy from the mid-west who ponders a career in theology and really just wants to find the meaning in life. The only thing he is absolutely sure about is his love for Madeline. Madeline is an English major, career minded but old-fashioned in matters of love and romance. Nevertheless, Madeline is madly in love with Leonard… handsome, charismatic, and brilliant, Leonard has the potential for a successful career in scientific research. But he suffers from manic depression. The author’s descriptions of Leonard’s internal struggles are heart wrenching.

Told in the third-person, the story jumps back and forth between Mitchell, Madeline, and Leonard following their lives during their first year after graduation.

The plot is unpredictable... traveling from Mitchell’s journey to India where he volunteers to work in one of Mother Teresa’s hospitals, to New England where Leonard has a post-graduate fellowship at a research lab. Lighter moments include flashbacks of college parties and scenes with Madeline’s room-mates and family... all very realistically portrayed. And with good reason. Jeffrey Eugenides was a 1982 graduate of Brown and did actually volunteer at Mother Teresa’s hospital in India.

The only complaint about "The Marriage Plot " is that Jeffrey Eugenides seems a bit lazy in his constant brief descriptions of characters which are based on obsolete dated material- “an Annie Lennox hair-do”, “a Sandino print”, “a Plasmatic t-shirt”, “Garfunkel hair”, “de Kooning teeth”, “doing his best Travis Bickle”, “high cheek boned as Rudolf Nureyev”, “an Elsa Peretti heart necklace”... are some of the most annoying examples. What are these things? It’s a mystery even to those of us who lived through that generation.

The characters are all well developed and stay true to themselves, the subject matter is fresh and inspiring, and the various threads of the plot all tie together in a nice tidy knot at the end. An almost perfect novel. ( )
  LadyLo | Oct 22, 2017 |
Very enjoyable but not as good as Middlesex. ( )
  nautilus | Sep 20, 2017 |
This was terrible. I tried to read the whole thing because I LOVED [Middlesex] by the same author and this is on the 1001 books to read before you die list. But it was just awful. Horribly pretentious, self-involved, messed up characters, and a boring and predictable plot/character interactions.

I skimmed the last 50 pages and it just got more ridiculous.

Isn't it surprising when an author can write one book you love and one you think is awful? ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 11, 2017 |
Great book! Emotionally and intellectually complex writing that kept me engaged all the way through. Hated to finish this book -- and I hope I don't have to wait another 8 years for Eugenides to write the next one. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
Yet another highly praised book that I just didn't like. The characters weren't people I had any empathy for or cared about in any way, shape or form. Every time I started getting into the storytelling itself the author would switch locations and take the story off on another tangent.
A very unenjoyable read and another head scratcher as regards to what makes critics praise books that to me seem average or below average. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 224 (next | show all)
The novel isn’t really concerned with matrimony or the stories we tell about it, and the title, the opening glance at Madeleine’s library and the intermittent talk of books come across as attempts to impose an exogenous meaning. The novel isn’t really about love either, except secondarily. It’s about what Eugenides’s books are always about, no matter how they differ: the drama of coming of age.
No one’s more adept at channeling teenage angst than Jeffrey Eugenides. Not even J. D. Salinger.
added by LiteraryFiction | editNew York Times, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (pay site) (Oct 6, 2011)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeffrey Eugenidesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Асланян, АннаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
People would never fall in love if they hadn't heard love talked about.
~Francois de La Rochefoucauld
And you may ask yourself, Well,
how did I get here? ...
And you may ask yourself,
This is not my beautiful house.
And you may ask yourself,
This is not my beautiful wife.
~Talking Heads
For the roomies,
Stevie and Moo Moo
First words
To start with, look at all the books.
Phyllida's hair was where her power resided. It was expensively set into a smooth dome, like a band shell for the presentation of that long-running act, her face.
Even now, at bed-and-breakfasts or seaside hotels, a shelf full of forlorn books always cried out to Madeline.
That left a large contingent of people majoring in English by default. Because they weren't left-brained enough for science, because history was too dry, philosophy too difficult, geology too petroleum-oriented, and math too mathematical - because they weren't musical, artistic, financially motivated, or really all that smart, these people were pursuing university degrees doing something no different from what they'd done in first grade: reading stories. English was what people who didn't know what to major in majored in.
She used a line from Trollope's Barchester Towers as an epigraph: "There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel."
Reading a novel after reading semiotic theory was like jogging empty-handed after jogging with hand weights.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
English major Madeleine Hanna must choose between two suitors while working on her senior thesis on the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374203059, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011: Even among authors, Jeffrey Eugenides possesses a rare talent for being able to inhabit his characters. In The Marriage Plot, his third novel and first in ten years (following the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex), Eugenides describes a year or so in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 80s. There is Madeleine, a self-described “incurable romantic” who is slightly embarrassed at being so normal. There is Leonard, a brilliant, temperamental student from the Pacific Northwest. And completing the triangle is Mitchell, a Religious Studies major from Eugenides’ own Detroit. What follows is a book delivered in sincere and genuine prose, tracing the end of the students’ college days and continuing into those first, tentative steps toward true adulthood. This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent. --Chris Schluep

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Madeleine Hanna breaks out of her straight-and-narrow mold when she falls in love with charismatic loner Leonard Bankhead, while at the same time an old friend of hers resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is his destiny.

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 avail.
915 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.54)
0.5 3
1 26
1.5 9
2 101
2.5 34
3 332
3.5 123
4 410
4.5 67
5 146

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,449,086 books! | Top bar: Always visible