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Fates and Furies

by Lauren Groff

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,8542153,273 (3.59)239
Fiction. Literature. HTML:A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, TIME, THE SEATTLE TIMES, MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, SLATE, LIBRARY JOURNAL, KIRKUS, AND MANY MORE

Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout. The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

From the award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, Florida and Matrix, an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception. 

Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. 

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.
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» See also 239 mentions

English (212)  Dutch (1)  Latvian (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
was completely satisfying. Dynamite writing, an elaborate yarn including plays and an opera within the story, mythology, love, family cacophony, and sex.
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
Lancelot, Lotto, is the adored son of a former showgirl and a salt-of-the-earth billionaire. Mathilde is his beautiful wife, centre of his universe and the engine of his fortune. This is the story of their marriage and the lies upon which it is built. ( )
  punkinmuffin | Apr 30, 2024 |
In Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff asks us readers to pay attention, maybe more attention than I’m able or willing to give to this book. I’m expected to remember many names, which may come up again, pages later, maybe in scenes from earlier or later times or from someone else’s viewpoint.
Every sentence, complete or incomplete, though, is glorious. Each leads me on and keeps me wanting to find out what follows. But, the sentences, especially the early ones, come so quickly that after the first fifty pages they became too much for me, and I had to put the book away for a while.
A few days later I picked it up again and began skipping and skimming, to the end at first, then here and there, piecing stories together by reading parts for as long as they still seemed interesting, then going back or forward to catch more of this story, leaving flags wherever I left off, not keeping notes, trying to slow-read this fast reading novel, and finally covering it all.
The novel itself skips back and forth, explains events before or after they are told, may tell the same event from at least two perspectives, plays deftly with time and place, so invites the reader to look ahead and back too.
It’s a story of two people in love, in a long marriage, who do and don’t understand each other, who we learn about slowly as the book progresses. In the first half of the book, "Fates", we learn mostly about Lotto, who becomes a playwright and who is pretty much one thing. Then in "Furies" we get to know Mathilde, who is much more complex and interesting.
This book is filled with layers of meaning, versions, explanations, twists. It’s not like Groff’s earlier "Arcadia", not like her later "Matrix" or "The Vaster Wilds". It almost cries out for a re-reading. ( )
  mykl-s | Apr 19, 2024 |
What a wild ride! This book tells the unusual and epic love story of Lancelot (aka Lotto) and Mathilde. Two tall people (you know I loved that) with traumatic childhoods who met in college, were married two weeks later, and paid their dues in NYC while Lotto pursues an unsuccessful acting career and then a very successful career as a playwright. They have lots of parties, LOTS of sex, and an outwardly pretty perfect life together until it all comes to a sudden stop. In the first half of the book, Groff gives us Lotto's perspective -- his childhood as the son of a Florida bottled water baron and a former mermaid performer, the loss of his father, his first sexual experience, and his banishment to a New England boarding school. He is a man who was born to be on stage or to be the center of attention at a party, and he and Mathilde host legendary parties in their garden level NYC apartment all through college (a memorable chapter takes us through about a decade of their lives with scenes from each year's New Year's Eve party). Throughout this section, Mathilde is ever-present but mysterious; she is oddly beautiful, supportive but distant, very sexual, and often sad. In the second half of the book, we find out why Mathilde is the way she is, and it is surprising and satisfying. I recently read The Manuscripts of Pauline Archange by Marie-Claire Blais and so much of Mathilde's story and character reminded me of Pauline -- it was almost like this was Pauline fan fiction for a very select audience. Throughout the book, Groff plays with themes of revenge, loneliness, family, good, and evil. A kind of omniscient Greek chorus permeates the book and gives us commentary on the action in [square brackets], and descriptions and sections from Lotto's plays weave in and out of the mythological vibe of the main action. A truly weird and wild ride -- I started out not liking it that much but ultimately liked it quite a bit. Definitely worth the effort. ( )
  kristykay22 | Mar 29, 2024 |
I was a little surprised at how negatively my book circle members reacted to this novel.

The first section centers on Lotto (Lancelot) Satterwhite, scion of a wealthy but strange Florida family, given all the advantages. But his controlling mother disowns him, disapproving of his fairy-tale marriage, and, struggling as an actor, he is supported emotionally and financially by his wife Mathilde, his aunt, his sister, his friends from school, until his eventual and remarkable success as a playwright. He loves his wife, trusts his friends, and seems the golden boy. I got somewhat tired of it. When his story ends, Mathilde's steps out of his shadow. Who is she really? We have learned so little about her as the novel concentrates on Lotto. And there is a lot to learn. She, of course, is one of the furies, but how much of her story is true? Her early life, her odd family, are completely hidden from her husband, but drive her actions and her own need for control and revenge. The author is not above using spectacular events to punctuate the narrative, both in the forward journey of the plot and the backward look at origins, and I suspect some of the group found the author as controlling as the characters. But I enjoyed the story, in spite of some eyebrow-raising coincidences at the end . ( )
  ffortsa | Mar 19, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
‘Fates and Furies,’’ Lauren Groff’s pyrotechnic new novel, tells the story of a marriage and of marriage writ large. It is also an exploration of character — good, evil, flat, round, genetic, forged by circumstance, all of the above — and a wild play upon literary history. Groff grafts the contemporary fiction of suburban anomie and New York manners onto künstlerroman, myth, and epic in a dazzling fusion of classic and (post)modern, tragedy and comedy.
 
Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and “Fates and Furies” is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers — with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.
 
The novel tells the story of Lotto and Mathilde Satterwhite. He is the darling of a prosperous Florida family – “Lotto was special. Golden”. She, an apparent “ice princess”, is the survivor of a past about which her husband has only the fuzziest idea beyond it being “sad and dark”, and above all “blank behind her”. The first half of the book offers Lotto’s view of their life together as he rises from charming but failed actor to celebrated playwright, thanks in no small part to Mathilde’s editorial finesse. The second half reveals that Mathilde has, through implacable willpower, transcended circumstances that read like a hotchpotch of Greek tragedy, fable and detective novel. Much of what Lotto takes for granted in his good fortune, it turns out, is due to Mathilde’s ruthless machination, right down to their marriage itself. She genuinely loves him, but she initially set out to win him for mercenary reasons.
 
Lotto’s story is fairly plausible, a life that might transpire in the world the rest of us inhabit; Mathilde’s story contains more outlandishly fictional twists than those of David Copperfield, The Goldfinch’s Theo Decker, and Becky Sharp combined.
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Groffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Damron, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain's sudden sweeping. The seabirds stopped their tuning, the ocean went mute. Houselights over the water dimmed to gray. -Chapter 1
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Hot milk of a world, with its skin of morning fog in the window.
In her sleep her eyelids were so translucent that he always thought if he looked hard, he could see her dreams pulsing like jellyfish across her brain.
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, TIME, THE SEATTLE TIMES, MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, SLATE, LIBRARY JOURNAL, KIRKUS, AND MANY MORE

Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout. The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

From the award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, Florida and Matrix, an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art, and perception. 

Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. 

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.

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A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation.

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.
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