The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot

by Jeffrey Eugenides
3.4 320

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Overview

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Madeleine Hanna was the dutiful English major who didn't get the memo. 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 that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. Madeleine was the girl who dressed a little too nicely for the taste of her more Bohemian friends, the perfect girlfriend whose college love life, despite her good looks, hadn't lived up to expectations.

But now, in the spring of her senior year, Madeleine has enrolled in a semiotics course "to see what all the fuss is about," and, for reasons that have nothing to do with school, life and literature will never be the same. Not after she falls in love with Leonard Morton—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Oregon boy—who is possessed of seemingly inexhaustible energy and introduces her to the ecstasies of immediate experience. And certainly not after Mitchell Grammaticus—devotee of Patti Smith and Thomas Merton—resurfaces in her life, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.

The triangle in this amazing and delicious novel about a generation beginning to grow up is age-old, and completely fresh and surprising. With devastating wit, irony, and an abiding understanding of and love for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides resuscitates the original energies of the novel while creating a story so contemporary that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

The author of two beloved novels, Middlesex (bestselling winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, with more than 3 million copies sold) and the now classic The Virgin Suicides (made into a haunting film by Sofia Coppola), is back—with a brilliant, funny, and heartbreaking novel about the glories and vicissitudes of young love.

 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374203054
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 798,636
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux to great accliam in 1993, and he has received numerous awards for his work. In 2003, Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Middlesex (FSG, 2002), which was also a finalist for the National Book Criticis Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Medicis, and has sold more than 3 million copies.

Hometown:

Princeton, NJ

Date of Birth:

March 8, 1960

Place of Birth:

Detroit, Michigan

Education:

B.A. in English, Brown University, 1983; M.A. in creative writing/English, Stanford University, 1986

Customer Reviews

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The Marriage Plot 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 320 reviews.
JuliannaWY More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this read. It is very interesting and quite unusual. The characters were colorfully depicted. It was quite entertaining. I highly recommend it! I also will recommend the other book I bought with this one, which I really loved. THE CHATEAU by CD Swanson. It was an very interesting plot and the MC Dominique was fantastic, and all of the characters were flagrantly depicted! Good Twists. I highly recommend this book. Both of them. You won't be sorry.
SusanDavis7699 More than 1 year ago
At least lately. Without giving too much away, this book and its characters were amazingly well-written. The three dimensional characters made each page impossible to be the last one, that is until the very last, at which point I had no choice.
MsReadalotIL More than 1 year ago
I have attempted to post a negative review for this book three times and am not sure why it is not being accepted. Jeffrey Eugenides is an extremely talented writer and Middlesex is one of the best pieces of modern fiction I have ever read. This book, which I highly anticipated, is awful by comparison. The characters are a bunch of whiny,self-centered college students who don't mature by the end of the book. Even the most sympathetic character, Mitchell, grated on me. So one of the main characters suffers from manic-depression---it really doesn't add much weight to the story other than the reason for the self-absorbed female protagonist to skip her graduation. I was horribly dissatisfied by this book. If I could give zero stars on this site, I would.
8carpileup More than 1 year ago
To Jeffrey Eugenides' credit, I found it hard to put this book down, finishing it in two days, just like Middlesex. However, in not having attended an Ivy League institution or having majored in English or religious studies, some of his college and literary references were a bit obscure for me. That's my problem, not his, I suppose. I also got the feeling that the beginning and middle of the book were fairly detailed, but the ending seems like it was completed with a publisher's deadline in mind. This book was certainly worth reading, with an interesting character development and complex interplay between love, lust, and mental illness, and the title certainly fits the story. I'm just not sure I liked the ending, however inevitable I knew it would be. You also should be the judge.
LMZ More than 1 year ago
I read the authors first book, Middlesex. It was a great book, this one however is nowhere near that. Boring, don't care about the characters at all. I was listening to the audio book and while the narrator was fine, I actually stopped listening. I have only not finished a couple of books that I have read and this one was so bad I had no interest in continuing. Skip it but I highly recommend Middlesex.
2Elizabeths More than 1 year ago
This is the first Jeffrey Eugenides book I have read. I was interested in reading it for a couple of reasons. One, was the title and author's resume, and the other was that the characters graduated from college the same year that I did. What I discovered, however, was that the characters were self-obsorbed and therefore, completely unattractive. I was unable to connect with them on most every level. They made life more difficult than it needed to be, which some may say makes a good story. Not so for me. I kept hoping they would "snap out of it", and see the light, but their struggles remained agonizing. Very disappointing story.
BKC10013 More than 1 year ago
I never read Middlesex but heard enough raves to get the new book everyone seems to have been waiting for. I found The Marriage Plot incredibly boring despite being a fast read. The characters are all especially unlikable and whiny. While I am glad I read this book and can share my viewpoint with friends over drinks when Eugenides comes up, I will most likely not be reading anything else of his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing was tastefully and beautifully executed, I felt as if I read only one page by time I ended. It held everything I like, plot was believeable, the dialogue intensely satisfying, and the characters were three dimensional. All in all= a great tale, good job Eugenides! Also recommending - The Help Also recommending - The Chateau The Help - the book is so much better than the movie- loved it. The Chateau - Fantastic dialogue, great characters - beautifully written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started off slow and often lost me when it came to Mitchell's religious studies and Leonard's scientific talk, but I found Maddy's English aspects wonderful and I was captivated by the things Mitchell came across during his travels. The book is not horribly written and I am happy that I read it and, though I will most likely not read it again in its entirety, I will most likely reference it from time to time.
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
The Marriage Plot is this big, bold forray into what it’s like to be young with options. Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell are all graduating from Brown. It’s the early 80′s and their lives are just beginning to swing into the unknown. Madeleine, an English major, knows that grad school is in her future, but now that she’s fallen in love with Leonard, who has his own baggage in the form of manic-depression, she’s trying to fit it all in and find a balance. Mitchell, who never truly connected with Madeleine, has it in his head that she’s the mate for him and is a tiny bit obsessed with her. He is always on the outside, looking in and can’t understand Madeleine’s desire to be with Leonard. As Madeleine follows Leonard to Cape Cod for an internship, Mitchell travels around the world to pursue his interest in religion, but more importantly, to get Maddie out of his head. Although the story plods along at an incredibly slow pace, I couldn’t help but get swept up in the “bigness” of it. I was in college in the late 80′s and Eugenides nailed 80′s college life and I mean, NAILED it. You’ve got your academic life taking up most of your time but then… then there is this other half of you that is going out and meeting people. Often, one person turns out to be more than a friend and then all of sudden life shifts and you are thinking of marriage and the white picket fence. Maybe. The Marriage Plot is all about that time. That time where you feel as if you have all these options, yet have no idea where you’ll really end up. It’s about figuring out what you really want and realizing that the decisions you make today, could affect you for the rest of your life. As Madeleine studies romances of the past, she realizes that history does not have to repeat itself. I love angst and there is plenty of it contained within these pages to last you a lifetime. Did I love the characters? No. I often found myself frustrated by their inability to take things in, but were they real to me? Most definitely. Leonard, who suffers manic-depression throughout the novel was probably my favorite of the characters because he was so flawed yet there were times where he was completely lucid. During these times, I saw his brilliance and how a girl like Maddie could fall in love with him. Overall, this is not a book that will wow you with its plot. It’s not a page-turner but instead a quiet, introspective look at relationships and if you are a book lover (who isn’t?) then you will love this book for the bookish references peppered throughout the story. I had an easy time picking this one up and putting it down. It’s the type of book you can easily dip in and out of but every time I put it down, I found myself thinking about my own college years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read some of the other reviews and the negative ones have one thing in commom...negative feelings about the characters. If that is the case, then the author did his job. Yes they were whiny and self-centered but weren't we all at that age? I thought the book was well written and funny. I learned about love, faith, marriage, and writing in 3 days. I couldnt put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apart from some superfluous "adult" situations, this a story you'd expect to capture the attention of a middle schooler. Unimaginative plot, weak character development. So why bother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a slow read. Unfortunately if you thought it would be more on the Jane Austin side of things, you would be wrong. Much of the literature mentioned I had not read. As such it was less appealing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt that this novel was a persistent wind-up with a dissatisfactory resolution. It had its moments but overall I was disappointed with the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book would be great if you loved classic literature. Personally I feel the book was simply a handful of run in sentences. I wouldn't read it again, therefore I do not recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories of the two male characters were very interesting but the book as a whole was a waste. I abhorred the female character and didnot appreciate the author's writing style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to see a new book out from one of my favorite novelists. The opening was very strong and I found myself falling back into the mental mode of university. The back and forth between characters really worked, but then Leonard's voice appears and I almost immediately lost interest. It took me ages to get through Leonard's side and I eventually lost touch with the characters. I wasn't cheering for anyone by the end. After finally finishing, I feel a bit underwhelmed by the novel as a whole. I give immense props for all the research on back stories and side stories that went into this novel (yeast research?!), but I don't see myself recommending it to others.
robbybNYC More than 1 year ago
I was very impressed by this book. Eugenides has created a fresh and modern love story set in a semi-modern time period to be experienced by all. It follows a series of three interwoven and wonderful characters through the ecstatic highs and devastating lows of love and life, provoking questions in us all that will leave you re-evaluating much of what you've learned about the puzzle of life's relationships alongside the characters, who are wholly unprepared for the life ahead of them after leaving college and family behind as they begin their adult lives. Their trials and discoveries, along with their ups and downs are remarkably moving and at times it seemed like Eugenides took a page or two from your own mind- he touches the intangible in parts of this book, with descriptions and passages that I had no choice but to highlight and mark up. It's description of University life is captivating, and it's dive into the intricate and terrible web of a man's depression will leave you breathless. I can see why it's more of a critical darling than beloved by fans, but I'd highly recommend it just to experience a stunning modern love story that will affect you in ways you'd be shocked that a book could.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is timeless. As a recent grad, I could sympathize with the characters even as I cringed. The novel feels incredibly real, and is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great because initially you think it's about one thing when you start, something else while you're reading it and then something completely different when you finish. Aside from the title, I thought this was a love story. There's clearly a thematic emphasis on love but as I read I became more aware that this book is about finding yourself. I agree with the reviews that the main characters are annoying and sometimes unlikeable but to a certain extent aren't we all? As a recent college grad, the same age as the characters in this book, I can appreciate their paths to finding what they needed to find their way. Even though I've graduated nearly 30 years after the characters in this book, I can still relate to what they are going through and would definitely recommend it to anyone in this stage of life.
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Come to my chemical romance and join the black parade live on my fabulous killjoys
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in and f**ks some sh** up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago