Customer Reviews for

The Women

Average Rating 3.5
( 108 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Of love, not architecture!

This is my first TC Boyle book but it wont be my last. I saw the movie ¿Road to Wellville¿ and was not impressed but I am now interested in reading the book. I was lead to the ¿The Woman¿ after reading the excellent ¿Loving Frank.¿ Prior to this I did not know much a...
This is my first TC Boyle book but it wont be my last. I saw the movie ¿Road to Wellville¿ and was not impressed but I am now interested in reading the book. I was lead to the ¿The Woman¿ after reading the excellent ¿Loving Frank.¿ Prior to this I did not know much about Frank Lloyd Wright other than he was a famous architect, and I had no idea about his interesting love life. Both books are really about the women in his life. ¿Loving Frank¿ is really about irrepressible and unconventional Mamah Cheney, but ¿The Women¿ is Mr. Wright brought to life through the eyes of the four woman who love him: Olgivanna Milanoff; Maud Miriam Noel, Mamah Cheney, and his first wife, Kitty Tobin. Wright is a bigger than life figure who¿s story today is just as fascinating as it was back in the first half of the 20th century. One of the original modern celebrities, but unlike most of today¿s fakers this man had real talent. The heart of this story though his Boyle¿s writing and how he brings these unconventional characters to life. You can tell he has done his research and knows his subject, but with his fiction he brings these people to life in away that dry nonfiction can never do. Boyle creates living breathing characters from the historical record and takes us inside their minds. How can he really know these peoples inner most thoughts? This does not really matter for the truth of what he has created jumps off the page. Sometimes fiction does a better job of revealing truth than historical facts. I look forward to reading Boyle¿s earlier works! For more excellent historical fiction do try Misfits Country Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable brought to life!

posted by jblickman on February 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

not light reading

This book had trouble keeping my attention. The author wrote long, and unnecessary descriptions of almost everything and it seemed to be more of a screenplay than a novel (leave some things up to the reader's imagination, please!). I certainly don't expect simple lang...
This book had trouble keeping my attention. The author wrote long, and unnecessary descriptions of almost everything and it seemed to be more of a screenplay than a novel (leave some things up to the reader's imagination, please!). I certainly don't expect simple language in a novel, but does a reader need a thesaurus to get through a book just so the author can sound sophisticated? Not a favorite.

posted by 570032 on May 2, 2009

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  • Posted February 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Of love, not architecture!

    This is my first TC Boyle book but it wont be my last. I saw the movie ¿Road to Wellville¿ and was not impressed but I am now interested in reading the book. I was lead to the ¿The Woman¿ after reading the excellent ¿Loving Frank.¿ Prior to this I did not know much about Frank Lloyd Wright other than he was a famous architect, and I had no idea about his interesting love life. Both books are really about the women in his life. ¿Loving Frank¿ is really about irrepressible and unconventional Mamah Cheney, but ¿The Women¿ is Mr. Wright brought to life through the eyes of the four woman who love him: Olgivanna Milanoff; Maud Miriam Noel, Mamah Cheney, and his first wife, Kitty Tobin. Wright is a bigger than life figure who¿s story today is just as fascinating as it was back in the first half of the 20th century. One of the original modern celebrities, but unlike most of today¿s fakers this man had real talent. The heart of this story though his Boyle¿s writing and how he brings these unconventional characters to life. You can tell he has done his research and knows his subject, but with his fiction he brings these people to life in away that dry nonfiction can never do. Boyle creates living breathing characters from the historical record and takes us inside their minds. How can he really know these peoples inner most thoughts? This does not really matter for the truth of what he has created jumps off the page. Sometimes fiction does a better job of revealing truth than historical facts. I look forward to reading Boyle¿s earlier works! For more excellent historical fiction do try Misfits Country Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable brought to life!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2009

    Buy it used or get it from the library!

    Thesis style writing with footnotes was bothersome. Not much insight on the heart and soul of Frank himself. Slow beginning but did pick up toward the end at which point I was very interested. (However, I was not particularly drawn to the book).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not that Great

    It's kind of a rip off on Loving Frank, the book about Mammah and FLW. I agree with one of the other reviewers that this book is hard to follow as it jumps from woman to woman and back to woman to woman. It is also hard to tell who is telling the story. If you think you want to read this, check it out at the library, save your money. And if you like FLW, you must read Loving Frank.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    Not what I expected

    I was really interested in this book both from a recomendation based on an NPR interview and the fact that I am interested in the designs of Wright's. I am sorry that I purchased this book. The style is hard to follow. I have not even finished it because it did not keep my attention. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it were not in the semi-biographical style with the footnotes. I wish that I had just borrowed it from the library were I could have returned it.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    not light reading

    This book had trouble keeping my attention. The author wrote long, and unnecessary descriptions of almost everything and it seemed to be more of a screenplay than a novel (leave some things up to the reader's imagination, please!). I certainly don't expect simple language in a novel, but does a reader need a thesaurus to get through a book just so the author can sound sophisticated? Not a favorite.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 9, 2009

    Mixed reaction

    I thought the information provided about Frank Lloyd Wright was interesting to say the least, but the way the story was put together didn't work for me. The sequencing of events was confusing/annoying. I pushed myself to finish the book. I think I would have preferred a non-fiction account.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A captivating life story that enthralls the reader.

    Boyle tells the accounts of the four women that greatly loved Frank Lloyd Wright. It¿s brilliantly written, keeping me captivated throughout this fascinating story. This sometimes hilarious other times shocking biographical story of Wright, is a must have for anyone interested in the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright and the complexity of his life.<BR/><BR/>Being an English teacher, a poet and writer of novels George¿s Pond and West¿s Time Machine, I was engrossed that Boyle¿s four women touches upon the most sensitive areas of Wrights life, those of triumph and those of obsession. The story is wonderfully unpredictable, whisking the reader into Wright¿s world. An absolutely new perspective by those that knew him the most.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    an engaging biographical fiction

    Frank Lloyd Wright lived a life of triumph and defeat all in the public eye. Whether he designed a remarkable edifice like his Wisconsin home Taliesin or an affair he seemed bigger than life. Four women loved him though surely there were others: Montenegro dancer Olgivanna, Miriam the drug addicted Southern belle, Kitty the first wife; and Mamah the intellectual equal who was murdered. <BR/><BR/>Told mostly by Wright¿s apprentice Japanese-American Tadashi Sato, this is an engaging biographical fiction. The story line looks at the great twentieth century architect through the musings of four females who loved him as each looks back at their relationship with him. Ironically, the show is stolen from the star and the titled characters by the narrator. Tadashi as the sole survivor is the only one whose opinion of Wright changes and whose wry thoughtful commentary throughout the novel add much of the complexity of trying to describe this multifaceted person; how complicated is symbolized by the remarkable Taliesin where much tragedy occurred. <BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    Don't bother!

    One of the worst books I've read. I only finished it because of the hype when it first came out (I figured it had to get better). Dull read and uninspired writting; sorry I spent money on it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    discovering buildings

    having just read tc boyle's "the women," i, like its narrator, can't imagine what the world might look like without frank lloyd wright, the world's best-known architect alongside m. i. pei. like jazz and billie holiday, frank lloyd wright is one of the really really great things america is known for. his imperial hotel in tokyo withstood the 1923 kanto earthquake that destroyed the rest of the city, including the palace, and left 2 million homeless. the hotel became a sanctuary to some of those displaced. fallingwater in pennsylvania is the foremost example of organic architecture, where living space and nature blend into one. the guggenheim in new york city is a spinning world of its own, the building far outshining the collection of precious artwork inside. and to add some great structures his sons and apprentices have built, among them the wayfayers chapel in palos verdes.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Women

    I picked this book from the bestsellers. I had read something on Frank Lloyd Wright before so I was attracted to the topic. It was great!! What a jerk he was to some of the women in his life! I bought a copy for a friend of mine to read. She loved it too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not a pretty picture of FLW or his women!

    I was distracted by the narrator of the story who only ever met FLW's 3rd wife, yet spent much of the book focused on the 2nd wife. I found very little endearing about the characters. It was a hard read, although the 2nd half of the book got better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    For Frank Lloyd Wright Enthusiasts

    As somewhat of a scholar on Frank Lloyd Wright, I find the book enjoyable as the author fictionalizes the relationships between Wright and three women in his life. Because it weaves together reality with fantasy, I recommend it with the caveat that the reader understands this genre of writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Engrossing Read!

    I enjoyed reading this book from the first few paragraphs. The connection between "Frank" and each of these ladies amazes me. Could you find more opposing personalities? Can you believe that anyone could survive all the drama and unpaid bills and come out of it with his "great" reputation? It is my first T.C. Boyle book. It won't be the last.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    A disappointing backward history

    Maybe it's because I bought this in audiobook form, but I was very disappointed the way the book was written. I thought something monumental was going to happen and that's why the story started "backward." It also tended to go off on a tangent with a character's background history to the point where I thought "Huh, what's going on? Did I miss something?" I think the editor was asleep on this project too. Though I had to finish it, I thought the book dreary and uninteresting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fscinating Man's Women

    This was an interesting read but a bit confusing..the author wrote in reverse chronology. He did not give equal time to each wife/lover. He gave a good sense of what it must have been like to live at Taliesin. There are a lot of facts used in the novel as well as the author's keen imagination. However, I found that I had to push myself to complete the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Interesting character study.

    It kept my attention and made me read more. Good job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    She likes it

    Bought it for my wife for Christmas. She is a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan. She says it gives a different perspective than "Loving Frank" which was just from the point of view of one of his wives/lovers.

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not a very good book. It lacked a point, and I felt as if nothin

    Not a very good book. It lacked a point, and I felt as if nothing happened through the entire thing. I don't particularly care for the fact that this is a piece of fiction based on real people. The author took too much creative license, and still couldn't come up with an interesting story. You may be better off simply reading a biography of FLW.

    The biggest gripe I have over this book, is the fact that it follows Wright's relationship between four different women. While I admire the author's attempt at creating four women with four different personalities (although only one of their personalities was distinct), the story was the same between all of them. The same circumstances, the same tone, the same turn of events. It got old really fast. Only one of the women had an interesting outcome, but you don't get to that until the very end.

    Not worth the time, and this is one of the few books I regret reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Interesting portrait of a singular man

    I had no idea what a controversial life Frank Lloyd Wright led. He was a man of juxtapositions and controversy. The book belabored certain qualities of his personality, but it was interesting none the less.

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