In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes, her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the li ...more
As they were leaving the Mumbanyo, someone threw something at them. It bobbed a few yards from the stern of the canoe. A pale brown thing.
‘Another dead baby,’ Fen said.
He had broken her glasses by then, so she didn’t know if he was joking.
That’s the beginning of this gem! I was a goner before I knew what hit me. Don’t worry, the book isn’t full of dead babies, but it’s full of life and gorgeous writing and intriguing characters and I can’t end this sentence because I can’t stop raving about thi ...more
Euphoria was inspired by anthropologist Margaret Mead and her experiences along the Sepik ...more
Okay, breath caught. Pretty obvious, I loved this book! Yes, it's the story of early anthrolopology, loosely based on Margaret Mead. When I started reading, I thought it was good, but also a little slow. However, once I got into the second half I literally couldn't put it down! The story revolves around three main characters, Nell, her husband Fen, and fellow anthropologist Bankson. W ...more
You don't realize how language actually interferes with communication until you
don't have it, how it gets in the way like and overdominant sense".
"Nell was laughing with him and I wasn't sure what had just happened: who had asked
the questions, whose questions were asked, how he got that story out for him when
he did not want to tell it, when he had kept it a secret all his life. Bolunta.
They 'want' t ...more
I love books about anthropology, and in this historical fiction read, King takes the reader deep into the river villages of New Guinea in the 1930s. Andrew Bankston, an English anthropologist, has been studying a friendly river tribe for several years by himself. Overcome with lone ...more
The book was inspired by the few months in 1933 in which Mead, an American, her second husband Reo Fortune, an Australian, and Gregory Bateson (an Englishman, who would become her third husband) spent together on the Sepik River ...more
The Publisher Says: English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just f ...more
Lovely writing and a perfect, haunting ending.
Please be aware that my review contain what could be considered spoilers!!!!
I read somewhere that Euphoria is a novel of ideas. At its center, the novel follows three young anthropologists and the very strange romantic triangle that takes place between them in the early 1930’s during a short period of time when their lives and careers intersected along the Sepik River in New Guinea.
Lily King based the main three characters, Nell Stone, Fenwick Schuyler & Andrew Bankson, on the liv ...more
Ms. King appears to have difficulty differentiating between an ethnographic field study as opposed to a treatise on a particular tribe. Ethnograph ...more
The Line – “But she was aware the story you think you know is never the real one.”
The Sinker – I don’t know much about Margaret Mead’s life except that she was a cultural anthropologist. Loosely based on Mead’s life, Euphoria may find me scrambling to learn more.
Anthropology is key here but ...more
The remote villages of 1930's New Guinea really come to life in this descriptive story of three anthropologists who interview and document their interactions with native tribes as they live in their environment.
As relationships develop and dubious personalities show their true form, it becomes apparent there is evil in the air and danger on the way.....with one character in particular you...more
This is one of those rare books I feel compelled to order for my closest friends (Maria, consider yourself warned!) rather than just recommend, because it's just that good. The tone, like the prose itself, is gorgeous and evocative, the s ...more
I loved this exotic tale of three anthropologists in New Guinea during the 1930s. While they are observing, studying, and disrupting the lives of the tribes they are living amongst, the reader feels like a fourth character watching the dangerous fascinations, jealousy, and erotic tension that escalate between the two men and one woman. At only 256 pages that stealthily turn like a cat through the jungle, there is no superfluousness here. The wonderful pacing and prose keeps you reading in yo ...more
Every single plot point is underdeveloped in this book. It paints an incomplete portrait of tribes in New Guinea and of an anthropologist’s fieldwork. The “passionate love triangle” promised in the summary is quite unpassionate and more of a side plot. This love triangle also doesn’t threaten the three main characters’ lives, careers, and bonds, as the summary states. Here’s a perfect example of a book that’s won a handful of prizes but isn’t necessarily deserving of all the acc ...more
'Do you have a favorite part of all this?' she asked.
'All what?' I said.
Favorite part? There was little at this point that
didn't make me want to run with stones straight back
to the river. I shook my head. 'You first.'
She looked surprised, as if she hadn't expected the
question to come back at her. She narrowed her grey
eyes. 'It's that moment about two months in, when
you think you've finally got a hand ...more
What actually made my eyelashes flutter was the character of Andrew Bankson. Lily King develops him beautifully throughout the book. It is Bankson who touches the heart and the soul. Bankson and his brothers are the tragic products of life energy spent in pleasing others and in the senseless pursuit of outward approval. Ente ...more
This was an extremely interesting read, the tribal customs, their rituals and beliefs, the way they related to each other are all display ...more
Apparently Lily King got the idea for this absorbing short novel from a biography of anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Mead has gone out of fashion. In this hypersexualized age of social media oversharing and selfies, it's hard to imagine how revolutionary her work was at the time. But it was. Her studies of adolescent sexuality in the South Pacific were jaw dropping at the time of publication.
The time frame is around 1933.
The characters are base ...more
I've read several novels about anthropologists - some I loved, like Mating by Norman Rush, and some I liked slightly less but still enjoyed, like State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.
In Euphoria, Lily King takes the person of Margaret Mead and he ...more