I think this book is tricky to talk about, and I do not know where to begin reviewing books at all, so I wiIt is more like 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.
I think this book is tricky to talk about, and I do not know where to begin reviewing books at all, so I will just answer the questions someone like me would ask before reading this book.
If you loved Middlesex and were hoping what you loved about Middlesex would also be in this book, I think you will be disappointed. If you are deciding between Middlesex and The Marriage Plot, you should choose the former, though The Marriage Plot is also a good introduction to Eugenides's style. If you have read The Marriage Plot and are wondering if Middlesex is worth it--trust me, it is.
This book is, basically, a love triangle about three way-too-comfortable young adults during the transition between the bubble of Ivy-League Academia and the real world (of the early 1980s). I do believe the story is meant to be self-aware, however, and it becomes much more palatable and humourous knowing this. Still, I am not much of a fan of love triangles involving people who believe their minor inconveniences are real problems (exception being the one character with real problems). Expect a lot of name-dropping. In this case, that means names of authors and titles of books. Expect plenty of I'm just trying to find myself.
Yes, the book is pretentious. But I did not find it well outside the sort of pretentiousness found in Middlesex. I think it's just Eugenides, who could spend ten pages describing the corner of a room in a building that is across town from where the story takes place, where none of the characters will ever go. Again, I think there is something very self-aware about the pretentiousness (getting tired of that word right now) of The Marriage Plot; I believe it is at least somewhat self-mocking. If that turns you off, however, you might not want to read this.
Overall, it has not turned me off from Eugenides, but I doubt I will bother reading this again....more