I was hoping that this book was going to be epic based on all the awards the author has won but it was a big disappointment. The author writes women like a man who has never met one. Some male authors just can't get a woman's voice correct and they shouldn't try. A long rambling read that leads you through the mind of weak, unsatisfied characters and the bad choices that they make
Mechanically well-written but ultimately unsatisfying tale of a romantic triangle between an upper-class young woman fascinated by Victorian writers, an erratic biologist from the wrong side of the tracks, and a young man with a religious obsession. Ultimately, the reader can't invest in any of them and the whole story just sort of piddles off to an undetermined ending.
I really wanted to like this book - I loved Middlesex! However, the myriad of references to literature were just too much for me and the story between the three main characters just dragged on too long for me to care. I gave up half way through.
I have loved the other two books of Jeffrey Eugenides and this one is no exception. It's an odd, uncomfortable story but beautifully written with well defined characters. It was an engaging read from beginning to end. If you've liked his other books or if you just enjoy a really good novel that isn't exactly "happy", you will like this book.
"The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides was an interesting book to read, but it left me with a very unsatisfied feeling and I didn't like the characters all that much, feeling that some were very immature and made bad choices. I also think the book is very elitist.
Throwing in the section on English grammar and the theory of deconstruction was of interest to me, but there were a lot of things I had to look up in order to make sure I understood them. Since my degree isn't in English, I either had to ask my daughter whose degrees are in English or look things up, but I must say that I learned a thing or two.
I was a bit disappointed with it. Others may like it very much, but it depends on your taste in literary fiction.
The Marriage Plot was one of those rare books where I cared so much about the characters that I immediately wanted a sequel. Jeffrey Eugenides, having won a Pulitzer Prize for Middlesex returns with greater story-telling prowess. The Marriage Plot follows three bright Brown graduates during the year after graduation in the early 1980s; there are enough flashbacks to see their college experiences as well. Madeleine is an English major who writes her thesis on traditional authors whose novels revolve around the marriage plot. In her own life there's her boyfriend Leonard, a biology-philosophy double major and Mitchell, the Platonic friend drawn to religious mysticism. Instead of chapters, the novel is divided into parts that alternate between the characters, allowing the reader to see the same events through different perspectives. However, there's a lot of intellectual angst which might not suit readers not interested in academic discussions of semiotics, yeast biology, and religious texts. On the other hand, I enjoyed this as a coming-of-age novel in which the author revealed the inner workings of some fleshed-out characters and questioned whether our lives are necessarily part of a marriage plot.
This book was fine and ultimately readable but it felt as though the action took place within a few weeks (although it didn't) and none of the characters really gained anything. Also, for a thread that disappeared shortly after the beginning of the book and was only resurrected on the final page, titling the book "The Marriage Plot" seems a bit of a stretch. Overall I was underwhelmed, especially after enjoying Middlesex.
Not my favorite; it just seemed to plod along at times, and the ending was highly disappointing. Also, I don't see how "The Marriage Plot", the main character's thesis topic, was every really evaluated past the first few chapters of the book. There seemed to be no closure in that sense.
I was ready to LOVE this audio book and was getting interested in it until the narrator, David Pittu, began doing the voices of the women. While his voice is good and suitable for the male characters, his impersonation of the female characters sounded effeminate, almost as though he were in drag. For me, this spoiled the story entirely. I'm interested in the plot and might read the hardcover. If you don't care about 'voices' then this might not bother you.
Most surprising to me is that this is an Audie Award winner and the box has this statement: "Without a doubt, this audio edition of Eugenides' long-awaited second novel represents an acme of the audiobook genre: the whole equals more than a sum of its parts." Publishers Weekly. So maybe it's just me...