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The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
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The Monsters of Templeton (edition 2008)

by Lauren Groff

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1,9521153,486 (3.66)142
Member:MyBookishWays
Title:The Monsters of Templeton
Authors:Lauren Groff
Info:Voice/Hyperion (2008), Edition: 1st ed, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

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» See also 142 mentions

English (113)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Emily's choice, March 2013
  cturner | Jul 27, 2014 |
Good idea, but main character got a little wearing as she seemed so oblivious to the needs and thoughts of others. The lake monster seemed nice. ( )
  travel.bug | Mar 20, 2014 |
There were aspects of this book that I liked, some that showed a great deal of promise, and some that grated on me like broken fingernails on slate. It was an uncomfortable mixture, but owning to the brevity of life, I decided the blend might ultimately taint my experience. Other books I have finished recently have provoked similar misgivings, and in retrospect I don't feel better for having seen them through to the end. Dialogue, style, and literary devices that irritate me too often are very likely to be revealed as something the author might defend as her "voice," and there's no arguing with that. The only option when confronted with a voice that's less than pleasing is to move away from it. Sticking around will rarely make it sound sweeter.

And yet I do still think there are some things in this book one can recommend. I just wish those could be teased apart from the rest of the text to see how well they stand on their own.
  phredfrancis | Feb 8, 2014 |
I'd rather give this book 3 and a half stars, because it took me a while to really get into this book - I started reading it over the Christmas holidays and only finished it last night. That said, it was a satisfying read, & I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

I really enjoyed the multiple narratives and jumping back & forth between time periods, one of my favorite characteristics of a novel. Also, I appreciate that I wasn't able to guess the ending at all. Whether that is because I was very tired as I was finishing the book or whether it's because Groff is a talented writer, well, I'll leave that up to you. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
I'd rather give this book 3 and a half stars, because it took me a while to really get into this book - I started reading it over the Christmas holidays and only finished it last night. That said, it was a satisfying read, & I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

I really enjoyed the multiple narratives and jumping back & forth between time periods, one of my favorite characteristics of a novel. Also, I appreciate that I wasn't able to guess the ending at all. Whether that is because I was very tired as I was finishing the book or whether it's because Groff is a talented writer, well, I'll leave that up to you. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
A first-time novelist sets herself a nearly impossible task by employing characters invented by a novelist acknowledged as an American master. Unlike James Fenimore Cooper, though, Groff can write. . . And while I loved the unintentional effrontery of showing up that unreadable great, I was also conscious of being a captive audience at a recital. . . “The Monsters of Templeton” is propelled, and undone, by ambition.
 
The result is a pleasurably surreal cross between The Stone Diaries and Kind Hearts and Coronets.
 
The trouble with “The Monsters of Templeton” is that its complications seem nonstop. . . Ms. Groff’s inexperience shows in this overcrowding, as it does in overly mellifluous turns of phrase (“the deer darting startled through the dark”). And she tries out more voices and documents than she can comfortably create.
 
The whole find-your-real-dad scavenger hunt is a little contrived. . . But Groff has concocted such a rich trove of source documents – portraits, old letters, journal entries, and reminiscences by characters lifted from Fenimore Cooper's writings – that readers will be too busy gleefully burrowing into the fictitious past she has created to mind.
 
[A] delightful and challenging novel. . . Groff breathes new life into her vivid characters, even those on loan from Cooper's novels.
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Groffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Ann MarieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Ah, my friend, 'tis true!" cried old Natty Bumppo, slapping his knee. "A man cannot know hisself if he don't know where he come from." --Jacob Franklin Temple, The Pilgrims of Templeton
Who can open the doors of his face? His teeth are terrible round about. . . By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning . . . He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary. Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholdeth all things: he is a king over all the children of pride. --The King James Bible, Job 41: 14, 18, 32-34
This is a story of creation --Marmaduke Temple, Tales of the American Wilderness, 1797
Dedication
For my parents, Gerald and Jeannine Groff
First words
The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Publisher's Summary:
In the wake of a disastrous affair with her older, married archeology professor at Stanford, brilliant Wilhelmina Cooper arrives back at the doorstep of her hippie mother-turned-born-again-Christian's house in Templeton, New York - a storybook town her ancestors founded that sits on the shores of Lake Glimmerglass. Upon her arrival, a prehistoric monster surfaces in the lake, bringing a feeding frenzy to the quiet town. And Willie learns she has a mystery father her mother has kept secret for Willie's entire life.

The beautiful, broody Willie is told that the key to her biological father's identity lies somewhere in her twisted family tree. She finds more than she bargained for as a chorus of voices from the town's past, some sinister, all fascinating, rise up around her to tell their side of the story. In the end, dark secrets come to light, past and present day are blurred, and old mysteries are finally put to rest.

This is a fresh, virtuoso performance that will surely place Groff among the best young writers of today.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 140134092X, Paperback)

Amazon Best of the Month, February 2008: On the very morning Willie Upton slinks home to Templeton, New York (after a calamitous affair with her archeology professor), the 50-foot-long body of a monster floats from the depths of the town's lake. This unsettling coincidence sets the stage for one of the most original debut novels since The Time Traveler’s Wife. With a clue to the mysterious identity of her father in hand, Willie turns her research skills to unearthing the secrets of the town in letters and pictures (which, "reproduced" in the book along with increasingly complete family trees, lend an air of historical authenticity). Lauren Groff's endearingly feisty characters imbue the story with enough intrigue to keep readers up long past bedtime, and reading groups will find much to discuss in its themes of "monsters," both in our towns and our families. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"In the wake of a wildly disastrous affair with her married archaeology professor, Willie Upton arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in Templeton, New York, where her hippie-turned-born-again-Baptist mom, Vi, still lives. Willie expects to be able to hide in the place that has been home to her family for generations, but the monster's death changes the fabric or the quiet, picture-perfect town her ancestors founded. Even further, Willie learns that the story her mother had always told her about her father has all been a lie: he wasn't the random man from a free-love commune that Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town." "As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, she discovers that the secrets of her family run deep. Through letters, editorials, and journal entries, the dead rise up to tell their sides of the story as dark mysteries come to light, past and present blur, old stories are finally put to rest, and the shocking truth about more than one monster is revealed."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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