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The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey…

The Marriage Plot: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

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2,877None2,001 (3.53)170
Title:The Marriage Plot: A Novel
Authors:Jeffrey Eugenides
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (2011)


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English (171)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
I liked this book but I didn't like the way Mr. Eugenides treated Madeline. I felt like he should have had her see Leonard for who he really was to start with and not after she was already married to him. This felt a little like abuse to me. I did really like reading about Mitchell's travels around Europe and his involvement with religion. Overall, I thought the book was well written and flowed well I just would written it differently myself. ( )
  Swade0710 | Mar 20, 2014 |

I was hooked for the first hundred pages or so, but quickly lost interest. Didn't even finish. ( )
  karadunn | Mar 8, 2014 |
Full review now up at Open Letters Monthly: Desultory Vivacity
  rmaitzen | Feb 7, 2014 |
Ahh, I know I'm biased because I love Jeffrey Eugenides, but this was so great. I love the characters, especially Mitchell. I love France and the Madeline (the French book character) and all the literary talk in the book, and it was just so pleasurable to read. ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I suspect it may be cleverer than I am, but there again it may just be ridiculous. The marriage plot of the title features as a thesis written by Madeline, our heroine. The reference is to certain regency & Victorian novels in which the plot line follows a young lady faced with a variety of choices in her life, mostly related to a choice of suitor and whether to accept or reject. The author maintains that in a post feminist world the marriage plot no longer has the power it once had - the choice of marriage or spinsterhood are no longer the only two choices open to women - but that it still has a hold over us in an emotional or romantic sense. We still believe there is a soul mate out there.
This follows the trial of 3 college students, graduating in the class of 82. Madeline is pure regency romance potential - good family, money (but not showy) will brought up. Mitchell is of Greek extraction, less well off and the nice guy. Leonard is from an even more damaged upbringing, and has manic depression. It is plainly clear fairly early on that Madeline is with the wrong chap. She's with him for a host of reasons, but the outsider can see it's not a happily ever after scenario we're dealing with here.
I suppose I can see what he's doing, the literary references abound from the era of the romantic novel and by calling those to mind he's illustrating how modern this is. but, at essence, it still a romance, and there is little that can be said to be new in terms of love. I felt this tried a little to hard to be cutting edge, it felt, at times, that it was being explicit for effect rather than because it advanced the story any. Did i enjoy it? Probably too strong a word. Did it drag me along with it? Yes, those 13 disks went by very quickly. Would I read it again? Probably not. ( )
1 vote Helenliz | Jan 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (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)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeffrey Eugenidesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Асланян, АннаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:32 -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.

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