I was sorely disappointed. It began so well. The novel lacked a center. There were too many back stories for Leonard and Mitchell. Madeleine's charact...moreI was sorely disappointed. It began so well. The novel lacked a center. There were too many back stories for Leonard and Mitchell. Madeleine's character was not developed at all.. The details of her life, a pool, wall paper and a pony, are not about her. They establish that her family was affluent. I got very mixed feelings about her parents and their influence.
This novel really needed cutting. I really didn't see why we needed to know that Larry was gay. What effect did Mitchell's travels have on him?
Did Mitchell grow in India? Leonard, well what can I say about him. His life was exposed in a haphazard way. Was he manic because he grew up with dysfunctional parents? I doubt it.
Many people grow up in dysfunctional families and aren't manic. Conversely, some manics have "solid, functioning" families.
As I said, I was very disappointed. I loved Middlesex. As far as I am concerned, Middlesex flowed well and the back stories were integral. The Marriage Plot, in contrast has a variety of plots which clash, not layer.(less)
I didn't really care for this. It reminded me of Light in the Forest, Scarlet Letter, Girl With a Pearl Earring and a few other books which I preferre...moreI didn't really care for this. It reminded me of Light in the Forest, Scarlet Letter, Girl With a Pearl Earring and a few other books which I preferred. I found the language stilted. Imagine, Pilgrims living in Massachussetts, many, uneducated, always speaking in complete sentences, no contractions, "American diction". The natives were Christlike and Makepeace,the white man, brother of Bethia and son of a preacher,envious and unchristian. I thought this contrast was heavy handed. I really couldn't even understand the romance between Bethia and Corbet. Yes, he was an intellectual and admired her wit. But he really didn't appreciate her independence. Then he did. Too fast for him too fall in love and totally change. I thought of Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy announcing his love. At least "we knew" that he was proud. (less)
This was very long and heavy to hold. Over 800 pages. I don't usually read science fiction. I read this because I heard Joyce Carole Oates speak about...moreThis was very long and heavy to hold. Over 800 pages. I don't usually read science fiction. I read this because I heard Joyce Carole Oates speak about Stephen King. She said that he was an English teacher while he wrote "Carrie". I was an English teacher. I also read "Carrie" when I was a teen. It scared the Hell out of me. Every time I see the movie I jump. I've never read or seen any of his other books or movies. Anyway, I know that he has been very successful and the idea of reading another of his books intrigued me. As I wrote in an update, it didn't grab me initially. I don't really "get" time travel for Al, the diner owner or Jake, the teacher. Awfully random. Walking down steps seemed too much like Alice falling into a "rabbit hole" Yet, I was in 6th grade in 1963. I was on the phone with my mother's friend watching T V. I remember the news flash as if it were yesterday. I wanted to go back to that fateful day. I heard that Stephen King did his homework. I read the whole book. I have to admit I shed a few tears. I got sucked into the love story and I could not help but wondering how Jake, could change the world, but keep Sadie. I'm pretty sure this is not great literature, but as I read it, I traveled back to the 60's. People bought guns for a few dollars, were racist pigs, beat their wives and tried to kill their ex-wives. I guess not much has changed. As I read the "future" I thought of "Fahrenheit 451". I certainly don't think that the earthquake in D.C. which I felt in N. Y. or the fact that there was a snow flurry in October and no snow this winter is a sign of King's ability to see the future. Read this, or don't. Remember that Stephen King is a good story teller. Like him or not, he sucks you in. He still scares the Hell out of me. (less)