Denise Bogard
Denise Bogard asked:

I'm 60 pages into Fates and Furies and not sure if I want to continue. The voice is very unappealing. (I loved Arcadia.) Should I stick with it???

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Guineveruca I am relieved to see this question. I'm 2 chapters in and, while it's an easy enough read, there is nothing enjoyable about the book. The writing is highly contrived and does nothing to make the main character sympathetic or even interesting. Life just sort of happens to this charmed-yet-cursed (make up your mind already) boy. The set up for the marriage that is supposed to be this amazing relationship between these amazing people? Don't care.

I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to plow through, or if this will be another Lovely Bones, where a really terrible book gets inexplicable accolades from all corners. If I have to wait until the 2nd half of the book before things improve, no thanks.

Poetry? NO. This is someone with a thesaurus writing the Cliffs Notes to an angsty melodrama.
Linda The second half is a lot better and much more interesting.
Irene I gave up around chapter 2. There are so many, many good books out there, why would I spend the next 250 pages reading a horribly written book? Read the reviews below: "I hated the first part", "Need to push through". Take my advice, life is too short to waste, find a good book to read.
Sandy I almost stopped reading this book several times, but plowed through. When you get to part 2 Furies, everything comes together, and I could not put it down.
Caroline It depends on how many days you think you have on the planet!
Lorraine The second half makes it worth the wait.
Jeanne Put it down and run away! It was awful. I kept reading it to the end because I kept hoping all the awards this book received would make sense. Nope. Not a bit.

This was pretentious, undeveloped, and bad writing. I could go on. I wrote a review on Amazon that was quite long. I won't repeat it here, but say, I know you posted this question 4 months ago. I hope you let it go!
Betsy Wow- not even half way through this book and searching for reviews to see if I'm crazy about being bothered by her writing style. The plot line and reviews have grabbed me enough to continue, but it's sure not an easy read!!
Pamela Yes, I pretty much hated the first part but couldn't put it down by the time I got to the second part and even re-read the first part.
Ben Jaques-Leslie Give up! It just gets worse.
Barbara Slogging through the first part is worth getting to Part 2. Here is a quote from the book that might help: "Comedies and tragedies are the same show from different perspectives."
J.l. Mcgrath Read the book --

IF you can stand a narrator so affected she says she broke her "hallux" when she broke her big toe.

IF you can stand a writer whose style is so affected it reads like she's just cutting-and-pasting notes into the text.

I don't regret reading it, she has some talent, but it didn't impress me that much. All the hype had me expecting more so I wish I'd just run across the book and never heard about it.
Erica It is not an easy read, but I found it unputdownable once I got a bit of a ways in. It's different. It actually inspired me in my own writing.
Linda Yakle This is the kind of book that rewards those who read for the entirety and complexity of the narrative. It is a set of pieces that don't begin to fit together until you enter into the second half of the book and shift to the point of view, and narrative voice, of Mathilde. If you don't like the voice, then you don't like the voice that Groff has created appropriately for the point of view of the character rather than not liking Groff's voice and you might find that this is exactly the who Lotto is. A great deal of what I read here about the book is actually the strenght of the book.
Roxanne I also loved Arcadia. However, this book just left me wondering why I read it to the very end; perhaps hoping it might get better, but it did not. There were just too many words with little substance. Very disappointing.
Andrea Ritterbeck Although I have yet to read Arcadia, I had the same feeling while I was first reading this book. It's definitely worth pushing through and finishing. The story really takes off around chapters 4&5.
Yvonne Adams Gave up on page 44....ugh this book was not good! I could not get into the characters at all.... Too many other great reads out there.
Ann Massaro Pamela and Linda are right ...second part is worth it. Fates was just too crazy and self obsessed.
Kelly McMichael yes, agreed. Probably would have given up except for two things: 1) I was listening to this and not reading it so I could do other things at the same time 2) I read this was Obama's favorite book last year.

Really? Or was that what some aide said?

But the second half of the book is WAY better than the first half. If you can make it to there, you'll enjoy the ending.
Mike Christiansen After only two chapters, I had exactly the same reaction. I found the voice at times to be highly contrived and stylistic to the point if distraction. BUT I have to say I'm glad I pushed myself further before quitting. One hundred pages in I found myself hooked by relatable characters and intriguingly evolving relationships. I'd enthusiastically advocate for sticking with it.
Leslie I just started reading it tonight. Think I'm moving on. Luckily I have 3 books on my nightstand. Good luck to those who persevere.
Katherine If you are the kind of person who doesn't need to finish a book, then I recommend you to read another. Otherwise, if you need to finish every book you start reading - it's true, the second part is much more interesting.
Jeff Bell yes, it picks up!
Lynn Honestly, I thought that this was one of the worst books I've read in ages.
Megan Younger I think I liked the very first part but then struggled all the way to the middle. Then the voice changed from husband to wife and I was much more drawn in and really liked it a lot. I say give it a chance. I was going to go with a 2-3 star rating but I decided to stick with it (reading it) and give it a 4 star.
Susie Davidson Thanks for the help, you've convinced me to stop! Too many good books in this world to read this one. Trash!
Stacey Angelides I've persevered and I'm nearly at the end and wished I'd chosen something else for my summer reading...I feel ripped off by the cliché that is Ariel/Mathilde's 'business contract' which feels like it was inserted to titillate without really being in the slightest bit believable. There's some great writing and philosophizing in general but it doesn't add up to a great read.
Elizabeth So I am not the only one who is baffled by so many great reviews for this book.
I am a little over 1/4 of the way through, and not finding this great, captivating writing the reviewers keep alluding to.
I dislike abandoning books.
Right now, I am still curious about what will happen to Lotto, so I will probably stick with it for another 100 pages.
Jeannine Taylor I really struggled with this book and am reluctantly giving up at 26% (Kindle). I can't do it. Are these characters for real? I think not. Interesting thing is that the dialogue is actually okay - but the narrative voice is making me crazy, tired and just worn out.
Carrie Yes-- although I didn't have an issue with the voice at the beginning, the book gets better as the story unfolds.
Val Rich I felt the same way. Arcadia was my favorite book last year. I loved it so much that I bought multiple copies to give to people. I forced my way through this one, hoping I would find in it something redeeming. I finished it last night and I sort of hated it. It made me sad and uncomfortable and I'm not even sure why. So disappointed. I do agree that the 2nd half was better, but not better enough for me to love it.
Leslie Green I wouldn't. I read all of it for a book club and I didn't like it any more in later chapters than I did in the first chapters unfortunately. I think the characters make really unrealistic choices and there's no one to root for. It gets a bit more depressing too.
Laura Roome This book is well worth the wait. I too was questioning continuing. It all comes together in the second half and is so worth it.
Tim It's funny - sometimes I know I'm not going to like something after the first few pages - this is one of those books. The writing style, for me, was just annoying. So, I gave it a few chapters then out.
Susan I'm about 3/4 of the way through, and I'm loving its unpredictability. It's such a different, creative book. I love the different techniques and plot devices the author uses to reveal different twists and character "tells." It's like looking in a mirror to see a reflection in yet another mirror - or seeing something at an unexpected but surprising angle. I do hope you decided to stick with it!
Sally Lane Everyone says the second half is better. It isn't. In fact, I may be the only person on earth who liked the first half better. I read this book because it was for book club. Otherwise, I would have stopped after the first chapter. The writing. The names. Ugh.
Rachael I'm reading this book now...the first part was difficult for me to get into, however, like the other readers have said, Part 2 makes everything worth it. I can't put it down!
Heidi 2nd half is better, but not sure if it made the whole book worthwhile. I was expecting better with all the hype.
Nancy i questioned whether to keep reading, too. persevered, and am so glad i did. the writing is compelling, the characters so much more than what appears during the first quarter of the novel. stick with it!
Sarah Tittle This novel bears very little resemblance to Arcadia, which I also loved except for the last part, which I hated. If you are looking for an Arcadia-type read then I wouldn't finish. This novelist has a thing for remote blondes who aren't nearly as interesting as she (the novelist--and the blonde) thinks.
Laurel I gave up, too. Just didn't like the voice and choppy non-sentence style. Too many good books waiting.
Lori I couldn't finish it but skimmed ahead and it was more of the same!
Deb Yes! I agree the first voice didn't grab me, but the second half is totally different and enlightening. Worth sticking to.
Megan Tristao I started enjoying this book about 250 pages in. So I guess it depends on how much you want to read other books instead. :)
Kersten No. I got a little further and had to quit. The characters get less likable as you go on
Jill Cordry No! Stop and use your time more wisely. The second half is better, but not enough.
Katrina I'm returning it to the library...only 25 pages in...sorry; I usually try to give a book at least a hundred pages but why waste time on a book you don't love when there are SO MANY great books out there. :)
Sandra Loved this book. Definitely worth the energy to read it. Groff is a vibrant voice on the literary stage today!!
Steph Go read The Monsters of Templeton instead.
Gill I've just finished chapter 2 and am asking myself the same question. I'm not sure that I want to spend more time in the company of such an unattractive character, and agree with others below that the writing style seems contrived and overblown. Given the various encouraging reviews, I'll stick with it for a while, but I'm not feeling enthused by the prospect.
William Wehrmacher Had the same feelings, followed the suggestion to skip, or skim, the first part of the book. Did you? Interested in your opinion.
Tanja Smith I gave up on this one. I felt like it was written by Yoda.
Lara Weberling Impressive. If you can get through the first half, the second half is truly worth it.
Margot Move on. I did plow through it after reading a NYT essay on the value of "hate reads." My difficulty was with the characters. I did not like nor get any of them, except one bit player. It became so utterly contrived and the main character so narcissistic that everyone and everything around him disappeared. I also found the ending truly pathetic. I'm sorry I wasted my time on this one. On to Margaret Drabble's latest!
Nidhi It takes a lot for me to abandon a book without finishing it. But I'm not all the wiser for having finished this one...
Lakshmikanthan Aiyyakan Second half is worth a read.I was really impressed with the second half.
Michael Frank I'm just about 1/2 way through.. very tempted to switch to Les Miserables..
Marissa Mayfield The second half is so worth it, Furies makes the book!
Estela The first part is really hard to push through, the second made it worth it I guess.
Jacquie I thought I was crazy, I was just saying how I hate to NOT finish a book, but this is just not clicking with me! 160+ pages in...might just have to power through!
Leanne Hengesbach I loved Arcadia, too. Reading Fates and Furies was a waste of time
Janet Yes, stick with it. The second half is the pay-off.
Kate NO! The furies section is more interesting but overall I almost stopped reading which I almost never do. It is for a book group so I continued.
Ciel Don't give up. I found the third-person narration dry. I am listening to the audiobook version. There is a point where the characters do become very interesting. I find myself spending longer amounts in the car, which is where I listen to audiobooks, simply to get the next part of the story.

I am not one to stay with something that bores me, and I did wonder about this one, initially.
Hmfogtliwy50 Stick with it. The fates builds a foundation for the furies, a story that will surprise you to the end.
Leslie Yes, but only if you find yourself drawn into Lotto. I don't think it's worth sticking around for the second half if you have no investment in the first.
Jason Hah. I'm on page 130 and I've been asking myself the same thing for like 70 pages now. Someone tell me this will be worth it because so giant yawn.
Nina i stopped on page 50. not one character i liked, style seemed forced to me.
Carrie Sutton-Espinoza This book was a big struggle for me. Even after I got to the second part I still had a hard time. I am not one to leave something unfinished so I toughed through it until the end, but it was rough.
Cari Thank you for this post! I've been reading this book and wondering, "Does this get any better?" Glad to know I'm not the only one struggling and that it gets better. I'll keep plodding along.
Natalie Young really glad to see this question and answers...I'm maybe 60 pages away from part 2 and was about to give up, but looks like I need to stick with it!
Kristin Gately I am about half way through, and thinking the same thing. I will try to push through to Furies, and see if I like it any better. Otherwise, on to the next!
Msamerica Lehman My question to you is this: Do you find the voice unappealing because it belongs to a troubled (because unloved) boy who spends his wild youth making love to any woman in whom he finds the tiniest spark of beauty? I, unlike you, was enchanted by the beginning (and the middle, and, I hope, the end) of this book, for the voice is that of a young man who is enamoured of beauty in its most infinitesimal details. The moment when he meets his future wife is cathartic. It is not an "easy" novel; it is a gloriously poetic (and omg I dislike poetry in general) novel, painted with music and collarbones and wine and lust. I adore it.
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by Lauren Groff (Goodreads Author)
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