HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Loading...

The Marriage Plot (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5582271,487 (3.54)215
Member:miss_read
Title:The Marriage Plot
Authors:Jeffrey Eugenides
Info:Fourth Estate (2011), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Hardcover, 440 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (2011)

Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 215 mentions

English (212)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (226)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Madeleine is supposed to be book crazy, but other than the classics that define her as a victorianist (a personality trait that was SAID to be central to her personality, as expressed by the wallpaper but that instead seems tacked on to the spoiled girl she really is and acts as most of the time, waiting to be asked and rescued.) she never seems to have a strong connection to any books (excepting the Barthes, yes, but that seems to be about her experience of love with Leonard than about the book itself.) So the book mad protagonist I was promised wasn't there, her thesis wasn't there, her proclaimed feminist wasn't there (guys have to ASK HER OUT, what.) She is an ideal more than a person, never completely fleshed out beyond her description and are there descriptions! Mad is always calm and soft spoken and logical (except when she marries a guy who is clearly acting crazy at 22, without jobs or prospects or anything resembling sense.)

Mitchel and Leonard, oth, get developed as characters. Mitchel gets his spiritual journey (during which HE actually does read books with which me makes a connection.) Leonard's illness was fairly interesting from his point of view, and got quite disturbing from Mad´s, who is half in denial, half in abasement, as if SHE is good enough, he will somehow get better and when he doesn't, of course she resents him for it.

Even though she takes a role of caretaker to her boyfriend, Mad is basically just reacting to his actions the whole time. The very ending, which I sort of like, is presented in a paternalistic manner that wants any grace or elegance, not to mention philosophical value. Once again, Mad makes a stupid mistake, a man comes to the rescue and makes the RIGHT choice for her. She readily agrees because they always know best! To be honest, I liked both Leonard and Mitchel till I remembered that they both fell in love with a girl that relates to them in this way and they felt it was a positive thing to have her be in a position of lesser power and dependence* (Leonard crossed a number of lines for me there.)

This was so embarrassingly pathetically male I actually had to leave the room:

Madeleine liked his new muscles. And that wasn’t all. One night, she pressed her lips to Leonard’s ear and said, as if it were news, “You are so big!” And it was true. Mr. Gumby was long gone. Leonard’s girth filled Madeleine up in a way that felt not only satisfying, but breathtaking. Every millimeter of movement, in or out, was perceptible along her inner sheath. She wanted him all the time. She’d never thought much about other boys’ penises, or noticed much about them, really. But Leonard’s was highly particular to her, almost a third presence in the bed. She found herself sometimes judiciously weighing it in her hand. Did it all come down to the physical, in the end? Is that what love was? Life was so unfair. Madeleine felt sorry for all the men who weren’t Leonard. WOW. So... I guess mania produces penis enlargement, somebody should let all those poor other men know!


* Mitchel, even though he means to 'liberate' her is very patriachal in that he makes that choice for her and not for himself (I don't want to date a girl not in love with me is a reasonable thing, expressing it as he's fulfilling her NEED instead of his, being magnanimous...) ( )
  askajnaiman | Jun 14, 2016 |
Early chapters at Brown were interesting; I'm interested in semiotics and deconstruction, and these were plot points in the novel that were natural and enjoyable. The novel slowly becomes descriptive rather than active. I got bored and quit on p. 277 as Leonard's slow disintegration is laboriously described.
  mkelly | Jun 10, 2016 |
Book Description
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Named a Best Book of the Year by
The New York Times Book Review • NPR • The New Republic • Salon • The Seattle Times • Houston Chronicle • The Miami Herald • Publisher's Weekly

"Remind[s] us with uncommon understanding what it is to be young and idealistic, in pursuit of true love, and in love with books and ideas."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A grand romance in the Austen tradition."--USA Today

Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce?

It's the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes---the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in "his most powerful novel yet" (Newsweek).

My Review
This was a new type of love story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism and sexual freedom. Eugenides prose is extraordinary but at times it felt a little disjointed. It held my interest though as I had a page-turning compulsion to find out what was going to happen in the end. I would recommend this book as the subject matter is very interesting. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Four stars for the writing, two stars for the characters so overall three stars. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
Book Description A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review • NPR • The New Republic • Salon • The Seattle Times • Houston Chronicle • The Miami Herald • Publisher's Weekly Remind[s] us with uncommon understanding what it is to be young and idealistic, in pursuit of true love, and in love with books and ideas."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "A grand romance in the Austen tradition."--USA Today Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? It's the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes---the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in "his most powerful novel yet" (Newsweek).

My Review This was a new type of love story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism and sexual freedom. Eugenides prose is extraordinary but at times it felt a little disjointed. It held my interest though as I had a page-turning compulsion to find out what was going to happen in the end. I would recommend this book as the subject matter is very interesting." ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (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 editionsconfirmed
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
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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
Dedication
For the roomies,
Stevie and Moo Moo
First words
To start with, look at all the books.
Quotations
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
Blurbers
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
1016 wanted
7 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5 2
1 23
1.5 9
2 101
2.5 31
3 313
3.5 118
4 372
4.5 70
5 138

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 106,750,705 books! | Top bar: Always visible