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Arcadia (2012)

by Lauren Groff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,22511112,114 (3.8)97
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.
  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.

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» See also 97 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
Lovely, insightful writing on every page, but she's so enraptured with her own formidable powers of description she doesn't shape an interesting plot. Wonderfully kaleidoscopic but ultimately uninvolving - gave up after 50 pages. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
I loved Groff's first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, (and was delighted to learn that Glimmy is actually a figure in local upper NY State lore.) This was different — male protagonist, mostly childhood rather than college age, extends into the future. Amazingly real and flawed and amazing lovable characters. This book also had some beautiful passages about photography. ( )
  flemertown | Jul 10, 2021 |
Terrible and unreadable. ( )
  mbellucci | Apr 10, 2021 |
Such a lovely book (beautifully written) that explores ugliness in utopia and beauty in dystopia. One of my favorites of the year. Groff is 2 for 2 for me so far. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
In many ways a pastoral novel, poetic and emotional. Very well written, saying what needs to be said and making space for emotions between the sentences. It is not a book about a cult. It is a great example of how the setting of a novel can be a foundation for a story without interfering with that story. Yes, the first half of the story takes place within a commune, but nothing the group does is included to shock the reader or to express an opinion or explain or provide history about the setting. It is there because all stories need a setting and it fits into the background in such a way that you notice it, it has a presence, but it never overshadows the characters or the story. I have read too many books where the setting wrestles itself to the forefront or has to prove itself, where the author needs to insert all the cool things they discovered in their research that they just have to tell us readers about. This author seamlessly and subtlely weaves the setting into the story.
The story, then, is really about the boy Bit and his relationship with women, primarily is mother, then his daughter and also his love interest. It is just good writing and storytelling and character development. I really enjoyed reading this one. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
Lauren Groff’s “Arcadia” is so immersed in the life of a hippie commune that patchouli ought to waft off its pages. It’s a novel of the 1960s and ’70s in which acid is dropped, groats are served, “Froggie Went A Courtin’ ” is sung, a cult leader is worshiped and somebody literally hugs a tree. An outhouse at Arcadia smells like wet muskrat. Children are reared in a Kid Herd. This does not sound like everyone’s cup of rose-hip tea.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Groffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garnan, AndrewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

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Average: (3.8)
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