9780374203054

The Marriage Plot: A Novel

Eugenides, Jeffrey

ISBN 10: 0374203059 / 0-374-20305-9
ISBN 13: 9780374203054
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: 2011
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

A New York Times Notable Book of 2011
A Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Book of 2011
A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Best Fiction of 2011 Title
One of Library Journal's Best Books of 2011
A Salon Best Fiction of 2011 title
One of The Telegraph’s Best Fiction Books of the Year 2011

It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.

As Madeleine tries to understand why “it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France,” real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old “friend” Mitchell Grammaticus—who’s been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.

Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.

Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.


Review:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011: Even among authors, Jeffrey Eugenides possesses a rare talent for being able to inhabit his characters. In The Marriage Plot, his third novel and first in ten years (following the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex), Eugenides describes a year or so in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 80s. There is Madeleine, a self-described “incurable romantic” who is slightly embarrassed at being so normal. There is Leonard, a brilliant, temperamental student from the Pacific Northwest. And completing the triangle is Mitchell, a Religious Studies major from Eugenides’ own Detroit. What follows is a book delivered in sincere and genuine prose, tracing the end of the students’ college days and continuing into those first, tentative steps toward true adulthood. This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent. --Chris Schluep

Review

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Book Description: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Praise for The Marriage Plot : "Wry, engaging and beautifully constructed." William Deresiewicz, The New York Times Book Review "[ The Marriage Plot ] is sly, fun entertainment, a confection for English majors and book lovers . . . Mr. Eugenides brings the period into bright detailthe brands of beer, the music, the affectationsand his send-ups of the pretensions of chic undergraduate subcultures are hilarious and charmingly rendered . . . [His] most mature and accomplished book so far" Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal "No one's more adept at channeling teenage angst than Jeffrey Eugenides. Not even J. D. Salinger . . . It's in mapping Mitchell's search for some sort of belief that might fill the spiritual hole in his heart and Madeleine's search for a way to turn her passion for literature into a vocation that this novel is at its most affecting, reminding us with uncommon understanding what it is to be young and idealistic, in pursuit of true love and in love with books and ideas." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "This is a story about being young and bright and lost, a story Americans have been telling since Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises . Our exceptionally well-read but largely untested graduates still wonder: How should I live my life? What can I really believe in? Whom should I love? Literature has provided a wide range of answers to those questionsLose Lady Brett! Give up on Daisy! Go with Team Edward!but in the end, novels aren't really very good guidebooks. Instead, they're a chance to exercise our moral imagination, and this one provides an exceptionally witty and poignant workout." Ron Charles, The Washington Post "If there is a writer to whom Eugenides appears connected, it is not Wallace but Jonathan Franzen. They are less than a year apart in age, and while Franzen got a head start, the two, who are both with the same publisher, are on similar publishing schedules. Last year, Franzen''s Freedom was a bestseller; like The Marriage Plot , it''s a robust, rich story of adults in a love triangle. Eugenides benefits by the comparison: This book is sweeter, kinder, with a more generous heart. What''s more, it is layered with exactly the kinds of things that people who love novels will love." Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times "Eugenides steers effortlessly through the intertwining tales of his three protagonists, shifting seamlessly among their three viewpoints and overlapping their stories in a way that''s easy to follow and never labored. His prose is smooth but never flashy, and his eye for the telling detail or gesture is keen. Slowly but confidently he fleshes out his characters, and as they slowly accrue weight and realism, readers will feel increasingly opinionated about the choices they make . . . It''s heavy stuff, but Eugenides distinguishes himself from too many novelists who seem to think a somber tone equates to a serious purpose. The Marriage Plot is fun to read and ultimately affirming." Patrick Condon, San Francisco Chronicle "Eugenides, a master storyteller, has a remarkable way of twisting his narrative in a way that seems effortless; taking us backward and forward in time to fill in details . . . For these characters, who don''t live in Jane Austen''s world, no simple resolution will do for them in the world. And yet you close this book with immense satisfactionfalling in love just a bit yourself, with a new kind of marriage plot." Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times "Jeffrey Eugenides, in his glorious new novel, mines our thrall and eternal unease around sex, love and marriage . . . At its core, The Marriage Plot is besotted with books, flush with literary references. It seems coyly designed to become the volume all former English majors take to their breasts." Karen Long, The Plain Dealer "There has been a storybook quality to much American fiction recentlylarger-than-life, hyper-exuberant, gaudy like the superhero comics and. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0374203059

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Book Description: Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: Macmillan US | A Novel | Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, while everyone else in the early 1980s was reading Derrida, she was happily absorbed with Jane Austen and George Eliot: purveyors of the marriage plot at the heart of the greatest English novels. In the spring of her senior year she enrols in a semiotics course to see what all the fuss is about, as a result, life and literature will never be the same.Auch wenn Jeffrey Eugenides selbst dieses Buch als "college love story" beschreibt, ist eine klassische Liebesgeschichte hier kaum zu erwarten. Mit der Abschlussfeier der Hochschule Anfang der Achtziger beginnt die Entfaltung des Lebens der drei Hauptcharaktere außerhalb der Schulpforten. Anders als seine Vorgänger "Middlesex" und "The Virgin Suicides", doch nicht weniger gut. | Format: Hardback | Language/Sprache: english | 650 gr | 234x162x32 mm | 406 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9780374203054

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