I genuinely enjoyed Jeffrey Eugenides' previous books The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex. Out of the two, The Virgin Suicides was definitely a smoother read and deliciously overwrought. I had a harder time getting into Middlesex but once I did, it proved to be a better book than The Virgin Suicides by far.
While in college, and majoring in music, other students/teachers used to love to note what John Cage used to say that if something is boring...complete it no matter what. Or something to that effect. It only made me wonder why Cage was pushing his latent masochism onto everyone else. Man, life is too short for self torture!
Anyway this all ties into Eugenides recent book The Marriage Plot which I've taken out from the library. The library was how I discovered Middlesex and inspired me to purchase it because it was so good. That will not happen with The Marriage Plot. I've been trying and trying for the past few weeks to read this book. But it doesn't hold my attention. Already I can tell the characters want to make me reach into the book's world and throttle them. I don't really care about the love lives of bratty, over privileged, rich kids in Ivy League colleges. I mean, it is laughable. I also believe the book is revealing an unseen flaw in Eugenides' characterization work. He can not write for a female protagonist. The lead, Madeleine (yeah, I get the 12 girls in straight lines BS), is loathsome and wrapped up in problems that I find hard to believe. I keep wondering if this "girl" is really an autobiographical version of Eugenides. Well if it is, then why didn't he make the character male?
Holy Cheezewhiz! The book is due in another day. I think I will extend and force myself to read a few more lines. But if it remains the same, I'm going to chuck it.
Labels: books, commentary, writing