The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot

Audiobook CD - 2011
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"There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel." - Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers

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 cafes 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, andsoon 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.

Publisher: New York : Macmillan Audio, p2011.
ISBN: 9781427213082
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 13 sound discs (16 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Pittu, David
Macmillan Audio (Firm)


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Feb 08, 2018

Oh the angst of college seniors who take themselves too seriously! Yet I had to admire them for reaching deep to find who they really are. Reading this, I felt the pain of the characters as they struggled with their imminent futures and emerging from the cocoon of academia, yet I didn't really like any of them or relate to them.

Mar 20, 2017

I haven't got much to say about this book. It's an interesting enough look at modern marriage, the characters are rather lackluster yet interesting enough. The story kept my attention enough throughout to continue and enjoy it, but there were dull, long passages as well that took away from the enjoyment.

Leonard's situation is sad. One wants him to find his way.
Mitchell's situation is sad. One doesn't know whether he should find his way or whether that will lead to more sadness.....or happiness..... or..... ???
Madeline just needs to grow up and quit whining.
I guess that's one of the points of this novel: growing up.

I'm a fan of Jeffrey Eugenides. This isn't his strongest book, in my opinion, but it's worth reading. My favorite still is Middlesex. It's going to be hard to beat that one.

Apr 17, 2012

Did not finish this book, not interesting enough, not as good as Middlesex.


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