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Fates and Furies (2015)

by Lauren Groff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6441773,829 (3.59)206
"From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, 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"--… (more)
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» See also 206 mentions

English (175)  Piratical (1)  Latvian (1)  All languages (177)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
2.5 stars ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
It takes a lot to get to the end, but it is stunning once it does. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Aug 20, 2020 |
3.5/5 ( )
  PhasicDA | Aug 3, 2020 |
If I hadn't been listening to this on audio and so was able to "read" it while doing dishes, walking around the neighborhood, and watering the garden, I likely wouldn't have finished it.

There were three main things that didn't work for me about this novel:

1) The passage of time being marked by parties and publications. Sure, it's realistic in the sense that life is a series of these kinds of nearly indistinguishable landmarks, but I ask for a little more out of my fiction than I do out of life.

2) The novel has a sort of swaggering manly style and lots and lots of sex. I felt like I was reading a John Updike novel. (note: I'm not a fan of John Updike's novels.)

3) Accidental writing genius. It turned out not to be quite as accidental as it originally seemed, but I still find it highly unlikely that Lotto penned some genius work drunk in the middle of the night with no writing experience at all.

I did like the discussion about how accountable a young child should be held for his or her actions, and Groff's exploration of the role of the wife was interesting (and hit a little close to home), but I doubt this is a book that's going to stick with me. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
4.5 stars. LOVED it. Do people in relationships really keep secrets like this?? ( )
  amandanan | Jun 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (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.
 

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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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"From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia, 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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