The Marriage Plot

Jeffrey Eugenides, read by David Pittu. Macmillan Audio, unabridged, 13 CDs, 15.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-1308-2
In Eugenides’s perceptive new novel set in the early 1980s, the three sides of a love triangle—Brown University undergraduates Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell—come of age in a complicated and heady environment of semiotics, religious mysticism, sexual freedom, and economic recession. After graduation, the three are forced to confront their relationships, secrets, and desires as they attempt to find their way in the real world. David Pittu brilliantly narrates this audio version of Eugenides’s complex novel, whether he’s rattling off quotes from Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes or creating unique voices for the book’s many characters. Among the standouts are his renditions of the slow and reflective Mitchell and Thurston, the star of the semiotics seminar who speaks in a falsely laconic and disinterested fashion to impress his classmates and professor. And while Pittu’s rendition of Madeline is too soft and flat, he never runs out of voices for this large, global cast. The result is one of the best audiobooks of the year. A Farrar, Straus and Giroux hardcover. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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