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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

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3,1742061,765 (3.53)191
Title:The Marriage Plot
Authors:Jeffrey Eugenides
Info:Fourth Estate (2011), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Hardcover, 440 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (2011)


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English (190)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (204)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
semiotics and manic depression make a good book apparently. who knew. ( )
  Stuckey_Bowl | Mar 23, 2015 |
I should not have read this so close to The Interestings. They are the same book. Lovely prose about uninteresting people with a story told in multiple points-of-view via an omniscient narrative with an unhealthy dependence on flashback. Both books could have been more compelling, if they'd merely picked a character and stuck with them. Instead, everyone is superficial and glossed over, with mismatched storylines and zero momentum.

No more contemporary literary fiction for me. None! I don't care how many people sing a book's praises. No more. I swear it. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Read this because I enjoyed another book by this author, Middlesex. This started out kind of slow, and I really didn't like the main character, Madeleine. But as it went on I actually realized that the characters were written very realistically. The ending surprised me, and I was glad because I assumed all along I knew how it would end. ( )
  cindyb29 | Jan 12, 2015 |
Thoroughly enjoyable if you went to a northeast liberal arts college. Otherwise will certainly come off as snobbish and bobo intellectual. ( )
  lincolnpan | Dec 31, 2014 |
Another brilliant, difficult, gripping, meandering story from Eugenides, my new favourite author. I didn't particularly like any of the characters, but the thoughtfulness of the prose once again kept me reading. English major Madeleine Hanna is loved by the brilliantly named Mitchell Grammaticus - I would marry any man with that surname! - but falls instead for manic-depressive scientist Leonard. That's it, really. They graduate, mostly, and Madeleine follows Leonard to look after him, while Mitchell goes travelling, trying to find religion. The mini-rants on feminism and different types of Eastern and Western worship are a lot like the boring chapters in Tolstoy or Hugo that Eugenides himself references, making the return to actual plot, characterisation and dialogue all the more enjoyable. I could empathise with Madeleine to a point - certainly majoring in English for a love of reading and being at a loss what else to do - but her devotion to Leonard baffled me. I'm glad that Mitchell supplied the perfect ending for her story. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Dec 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (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
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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