Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

Arcadia (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Lauren Groff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7377612,660 (3.82)69
Authors:Lauren Groff
Info:Voice (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Arcadia by Lauren Groff (2012)

Recently added byprivate library, amazetome, DoctorFate, cherylmorton, keafrost, Sharon.Flesher, Halliejo, Jedr
  1. 10
    Drop City by T. C. Boyle (booklove2)
    booklove2: Another amazing novel on hippie communes trying to find their place. Also, a similar writing style.
  2. 00
    The Hypocrisy of Disco: A Memoir by Clane Hayward (sanddancer)
    sanddancer: One is fiction, the other is non-fiction, but both are about childhoods in hippie communes
  3. 00
    The Beach by Alex Garland (booklove2)
    booklove2: The unending search for utopia that falls apart
  4. 00
    Room by Emma Donoghue (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both are excellently written; both stories are about raising a baby boy in a completely non-traditional setting and include strong depictions of being a mother in extreme circumstances.

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 69 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
The concept of the book and some parts of it are interestingly developed by Groff. However, there are also parts that could have been executed in a better way. I had good expectations before reading the book but, in the end, it was not as good as I thought it would be. I do recommend it to those who enjoy stories like the one in the film, "Boyhood." ( )
  DoctorFate | Jul 19, 2015 |
I would never have picked this up on my own. It was a book club pick. It is so beautifully written and the story will stay with me for a long time. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Beautiful story embedded in elegant and breathtaking prose. Heartbreaking yet hopeful. Will be carried with me for a long, long time. I anticipate many re-reads and new discoveries each time.

A story of Bit - a little Bit of hippie - his parents, his community, and oh so much more. It swells out into the world and shrinks back into itself and each phase is so fulfilling to experience, as a reader.

Too many favorite quotes to put in so I'll just include the very first and the very last:

"The old man's face is changing. Astonishment steals over the hoary features. Startled, Bit can't look away. The eyes blink but come to a stop, open. Bit waits for the next puff of smoke from the cragged nose. When it doesn't come a knot builds in his chest. He lifts his head from Abe's shoulder. Aslow purple spreads over hte old man's lips; a fog, an ice, grows over his eyeballs. Stillness threads itself through the old man... ...In such perfect dawn, even the old man is beautiful, the blue of his beard under the newly luminous skin of his cheek, the softness in his jaw, the tufts in his ears touched golden. He has been gentled in living light. He has been made good."

"Pay attention, he thinks. Not to the grand gesture, but to the passing breath." ( )
  tnociti | Mar 7, 2015 |
40 pages was all I could make myself read. Lots of narrative sloppiness and 'pretty writing.'
  GeoffWyss | Mar 3, 2015 |
Okay, anyone considering writing a book on the hippie communes of the 1960s - 1970s: put down your pen and start pondering a different novel. This is the be-all, end-all, final word on all that.

The Free People are a large collective founded by a charismatic musical leader. They live together in assorted temporary homes on a large landholding with a decayed mansion. They are well organized, with a bakery, gardens, a midwife service. But they are also hungry and cold much of the time, not a great atmosphere for raising children "without ownership", as the idealists dream on.

Bit is a premature baby, son of Abe and Hannah. We see Arcadia through his observant and older-than-his-years eyes. He sees his mother's seasonal depression and his father's clashes with Handy, the founder. He sees the pain of Handy's children, neglected by him and Astrid, who leaves to start a midwife school in Tennessee. He soaks in all the beauty of his physical surroundings and the bumbling incompetence of the collective as they allow visitors to overwhelm their limited resources.

Bit grows to be one of the Ados (adolescents) and although he does everything dumb teenagers do in any environment, his small stature, empathy and loving nature make him a beloved figure in Arcadia. Tragedy befalls as it would even in the suburbs, and the communards struggle on until their notoriety leads to the destruction of Arcadia and the scattering of the one-big-not-always-happy family.

Bit moves into adulthood, missing everyone. As surprising reunions and splits occur, the plot deepens as everything changes and comes to a head when he loses his parents but regains his lost family.

This is a classic, a never-to-be-forgotten magical tale. Thank you, Lauren Groff, for creating this difficult utopia and for understanding fully how those of us what participated were forever shaped by those unique times. ( )
1 vote froxgirl | Jan 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
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
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Beckett
First words
The women in the river, singing.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

The lyrical and haunting story of a great American dream--the progress of a utopian community and its lasting impact on a gifted young man.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
312 wanted
3 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.82)
1 6
1.5 1
2 13
2.5 6
3 38
3.5 28
4 98
4.5 26
5 47


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

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Arcadia by Lauren Groff was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

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 | 98,463,243 books! | Top bar: Always visible