The Partial Barnes and Noble Synopsis (which actually appears to be via Newsweek): It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, 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 studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes—-the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in "his most powerful novel yet."
I have read Eugenides' Middlesex, which I actually quite liked and found quite intriguing, so I was expecting good things from this book. Let me just come right out with it, I hated this book and I really wish I hadn't wasted my time.
I feel like the book is typical of Eugenides writing style (from what I know from Middlesex) in that he uses a lot of complex terms and complicated language and scholarly ideas. I didn't mind that in Middlesex, but in this book I got the feeling a few times that he was just trying way too hard to be intellectual.
I also felt like there was a lot of unnecessary sex (not that I am against sex in a book, because I am not) but sometimes I just wanted to be like again? Do we really have to go through this again?
All of those things I was prepared to overlook if the story line was fantastic and was told well, and whompwhomp. I stayed up late last night to finish, and was sorely disappointed. I can see why he chose to end it the way he does, but it wasn't what I was looking for in the book. I felt it anti-climatic and a waste of time to finish.
Obviously there are plenty of people who will like this book and do like this book. Obviously some people think it's fantastic (I mean, it was named Best Book of the Year by various sources and has a Pulitzer). It was just not for me.
Have you ever read a book like that?