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The Women

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  10,589 ratings  ·  1,578 reviews
Welcome to the troubled, tempestuous world of Frank Lloyd Wright. Scandalous affairs rage behind closed doors, broken hearts are tossed aside, fires rip through the wings of the house and paparazzi lie in wait outside the front door for the latest tragedy in this never-ending saga. This is the home of the great architect of the twentieth century, a man of extremes in both ...more
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Viking Books (first published 2009)
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Leslie No mention of Alex Jordan in The Women. Just about everyone else in the world is in the book.

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  10,589 ratings  ·  1,578 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
”Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility; I chose arrogance.” --Frank Lloyd Wright

 photo FrankLloydWright_zps99d459e6.jpg
Frank Lloyd Wright

Tadashi Sato abandoned his studies and his life in Japan to come to America, more specifically Wisconsin, to study with his hero Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright had a fascination with Eastern culture, in particular their paintings, so it wasn’t hard for Tadashi to get one of the coveted apprenticeships. As I read this book I thought it was truly remarkable t
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book because I like the subject matter of Frank Lloyd Wright. However, it seems like TC Boyle merely read several biographies of Wright and then compressed them into loosely fictionalized vignettes in this novel.

The narrator's voice is probably the most confusing and least attractive aspect. The narrator's voice is presumably that of a Japanese foreign exchange student who works as an apprentice at Frank Lloyd's Wright's Midwestern Taliesin -- this is revealed in th
B the BookAddict
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Chrissie
Shelves: literary-fiction

Not a review, merely some late comments....

After a a week's break in reading, I'm up to the final part of The Women by T.C. Boyle. The day Mamah Borthwick meets their new butler Julian Carleton filled me with unease. My reading paced slowed as I approached that fateful day at Taliesin when Julian's rage at his wife, his situation, his life explodes. All too soon, I'm done; I sit on the sofa with tears in my eyes for the events which have unfurled; tears not for FLW's loss but for Mamah and her c
This book covers the relationships between Frank Lloyd Wright and four very important women in his life. Three were married to him and the fourth died before they could become husband and wife. The book is about conjugal relationships, about one man but four very different women. Three of the four relationships are thoroughly covered, but his first wife with whom he had six children, less so. After reading this book you also understand the architect too. I rank him as a great artist but at the s ...more
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I like T.C. Boyle. I really do. Look up, I gave him two stars. You can't tell I like him, can you?

When you are fond of an author it seems to me that every time you purchase a subsequent book by that author (new release or old) you feel assured that your precious book money is being spent very wisely. People make all sorts of investments. I wonder if most of us on Goodreads consider our books the most scrutinized and cherished investments we make in our lives. It's true of me anyway. Screw my st
BAM Endlessly Booked
Frank Lloyd Wright=mysogynistic whore
Jan 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Holy superfluous adjectives, this book was tedious. This was my second attempt to read it, I realized when I started. Last time, I returned the print edition about two chapters in. This time, I made it about 3/4 through an audio book only because it was the background to a days-long painting project.

Sure, Boyle can craft a gilded curlicue of a sentence with fleur de lis and a cherry on top, requiring both a dictionary and a map to find your way out of it. A well placed sentence like that I can
Larry Bassett
I did not know anything about what this book was about other than the fact that I was attracted by the author TC Boyle. If you know the name of one architect that name is probably Frank Lloyd Wright. While there may be many other famous architects, his is the only name I know. As I began listening to this book I thought the women referred to in the title might be the relatively few women who worked as assistance to Wright during his career. That might make an interesting story since architecture ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely terrific book – well-researched, consummately written, and addictively readable! I really feel Boyle is at his best when he writes biographical fiction; "The Women" is a wonderful addition to an already astounding canon of his bio-inspired work, which includes "The Road to Wellville" and "The Inner Circle."

This new novel tells the interwoven stories of the women in Frank Lloyd Wright’s life -- steadfast and obstinate Kitty Tobin Wright; erratic and opiate-addicted Miriam Noel; dis
Jim Fonseca
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a biography of the four main women in the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. The author uses a number of innovative literary techniques. He tells much of the story from the perspective, or retrospective, of a Japanese architect intern of Wright's, and he structures the story chronologically backward from Frank in old age, with his Slavic beauty at his side, to his earlier wives and ultimately the violent tragedy of his first love. The women are well-portrayed, and so is Frank -- all talk, drive ...more
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
The Women by TC Boyle has an extremely interesting premise: tell the story of the love lives of Frank Lloyd Wright through an uninterested third party. The narrator brings nothing to the story and is beyond superfluous. The narrator also makes use of a lot of footnotes that do nothing except break up the overall storytelling. Relying heavily on footnotes is a very lazy way of writing. The reader has to stop in the middle of sentences and look up the tiny print footnotes and it completely takes o ...more
J. Lynn
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put it down; it was totally mesmerizing. But the events of the last part were so incredible, so horrifying and so fascinating (and horrifying!! have I mentioned horrifying?!) that it's hard to even remember the rest. It makes me wonder if it would have been possible to have written this book without the One Event totally eclipsing the rest of the novel. ...more
Jason Pettus
Aug 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Back in 2007 when I first started doing book reviews on a regular basis, one of the first older titles I tackled was by the magnificent T.C. Boyle, because of him being almost a textbook example of the type of author perfect for this site's "Tales from the Completist" series -- he has a wide range of books
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it
In his new work, "The Women," the endlessly imaginative novelist T.C. Boyle sets his sights on the gifted architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a larger-than-life figure whose colorful exploits seem an ideal fit for Boyle's love of protagonists both epic and flaky (see "The Road to Wellville," "The Inner Circle" and many more).

Boyle's rendition of Wright strides about with appropriate ferocity, "a repository of playfulness and merriment ... that only underscored the magnetism of his genius" yet "famous
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
liked it alot in the begining, slowed up abit towards the end, very interesting, what a man Frank was, sheesh!
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book about the egotistical FLW and his women!
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've come to the conclusion that I'm just a wimp when it comes to books about FLW. I know what the ending will be, and as I approach the final pages, I find myself reading slower and slower, putting off the inevitable. The same thing happened with Loving Frank. Maybe it's because I've been to Taliesen, plus my MIL grew up near Spring Green and has her own stories about Wright and crew. Since I don't have to expend any effort visualizing the setting, I can let my imagination run wild visualizing ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
a friend lent me this book, for which i am glad--i'm glad i didn't spend any money on it.

in this book, the purported aim is to tell the story of frank lloyd wright's many wives and mistresses from their point of view. yay! sounds pretty interesting, doesn't it? but alas, what we readers get instead is a long, dreary, misogynist fairy tale in which all the women eventually turn out to be hags.

ok, now, fair questions: maybe all those women really were hags? maybe wright just picked 'em unstable, i
T.C. Boyle in the 90's bought a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Otherwise, this book probably wouldn't exist.

George C. Stewart House

Also in the 90's, I studied at Arizona State University, location of Frank Lloyd Wright's last great work, the Grady Gammage Auditorium. Otherwise, I probably would have read another T.C. Boyle book.

Grady Gammage Auditorium

The unique thing here is Boyle's already proven approach to take a more or less quirky figure from history - John Harvey Kellogg, Alfred Charles Kinsey, now Frank Lloyd Wright - to lig
Book Concierge
Audiobook read by Grover Gardner

Boyle tells the story of Frank Lloyd Wright through the eyes of the women who loved him: first wife Kitty, mistress Mamah, second wife Miriam, and third wife Olgivanna.

He frames the story by having the story told – as a sort of biography – by Tadashi Sato, one of Wright’s apprentices in the 1930s. Sato has an introduction/prologue to each of the three parts of the novel, as well as interjecting footnotes throughout. The chronology moves back and forth, begin
Catherine  Mustread
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catherine by: Melissa K (Telegraph);NYT 1/29/09
Fictional biography of the women in architect Frank Lloyd Wright's (1867-1959) life -- mother, sister, wives, mistresses, but primarily Olgivanna his third wife, Miriam, mistress and later second wife, and Mamaw an early feminist who was his mistress and the cause of his leaving his first wife. The tangled domestic life and lack of personal financial savvy, not to mention the extreme egomania, also give great insight into the famous architect.

I loved the way Boyle used the introduction of each s
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
I really didn't like this book. Maybe too much Frank Lloyd Wright at one time...but the style of writing was just not inviting for me. The author used annoying footnotes throughout the book to explain inconsequential things about the stories of the 4 women who FLW was in love with at various times in his life. It was distracting and also relayed information that wasn't at all necessary to the story, in my opinion. Some of the facts were interesting...but overall, "Loving Frank" was a much better ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
An early Christmas gift : just the kind of bolloxed & boring (best-seller, natch) contempo novel I detest. Say bye-bye to Taliesin, Mamah ghost, poor battered soul. O, the gush of it all--.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Considering how consistently, shockingly good he is, it always surprises me how few people have read T.C. Boyle. Of his fifteen novels, at least four are stone-cold classics and one of them deserves to be canonized. The most compelling thing about his work is the way he’s able to graft fairly weighty issues onto narrative engines that develop and maintain some serious momentum; they never get bogged down in their own importance at the expense of telling an entertaining tale. He’s equal
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Women, by T.C. Boyle, is a novel that depicts the relationships the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright had with four women in his life. Boyle creates a narrator for this saga, one Sato Tadashi, a young man from Japan who reveres the famous architect and has come to Wisconsin to be one of Wright's apprentices at Taliesin.

Even though this is a novel, and Tadashi is an invented character, almost all the events depicted in this book are known to be true. I found Boyle's way of expandin
Bart Van Overmeire
Oct 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019, leesclub
Uninteresting story about a horrendous man. No beautiful sentences. Footnotes instead. Seriously, what were these footnotes good for? And what's the added value of Tadashi Sato telling this story? And why did I keep reading this book, why am I so perseverant?
So not scoring a lot of points for the male writers' cause.
Disclaimer: of course, only my personal opinion, not the one and only truth.
Megan Chance
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I have always really really liked T.C. Boyle. I loved "The Inner Circle," and "Riven Rock," and "The Road to Wellville." I was hoping I would like "The Women" that much. I didn't, though I did ultimately like it. Boyle is a great writer--he has a way with description, dry humor, and emotional complexity. Settling in with him is like settling in with an old and beloved friend. I have always found his writing of the emotional landscape of women very real. But this book, which is about the women in ...more
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
The structure of The Women, is both its strength and its weakness. In writing this fictionalized account of Frank LLoyd Wright's wives, lovers, and lovers who became wives, T.C. Boyle drops the reader right into the middle of Wright's life. However, it's not Wright's life that Boyle shines the spotlight on. By using a Japanese young man, an architect in training who has come to Taliesin to study with Wright, as a narrator, Boyle keeps a distance from the story that serves to make the events ring ...more
Talia Carner
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Frank's women problems....

Frank Lloyd Wright was a genius who changed the way we think of architecture--and execute it. But his free spirit that allowed him to break the rules, also caused him to flaunt other traditions and to clash time and again with the mores of his time.

Narrated through the Japanese apprentice, Boyle can also step back and give the reader detailed expositions that would have been otherwise clumsy when telling the stories of each of Frank's women. With a strong prose and sur
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The story of Frank Lloyd Wright's famously passionate love life is told last-woman-first. I wondered, momentarily, whether this was the right approach, since it pretty much eliminates suspense, but I suppose TC Boyle figured these scandals weren't exactly news anymore, and in this way he could reveal how every woman in Wright's life was somehow a reaction to the one who came before. This is a novel told in circles within circles rather than backward motion into the past, and it makes clear how e ...more
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My views on The Women...a post on social media 1 5 Apr 16, 2017 07:31PM  
Play Book Tag: The Women / T C Boyle - 3 stars 4 16 Feb 01, 2016 07:00AM  
My interview with TC Boyle 4 48 Aug 24, 2012 04:00PM  

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T. Coraghessan Boyle (also known as T.C. Boyle, is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. Since the late 1970s, he has published seventeen novels and eleven collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988 for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York. He is married with three children. Boyle has been a Distinguished Professor of English at the ...more

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