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Between his skin and hers, there was the smallest of spaces, barely enough for air, for this slick of sweat now chilling Even still, a third person, their marriage, had slid in. This book is beautifully written I can t deny that and I won t try, which is why it gets an extra star Fates and Furies is everyday poetry for those looking to turn the mundane into a meditation on the beauty of words and the power of metaphor But when it comes to plot, characters and emotion, it leaves something to be desired.Peeling back the layers of poetry, I found nothing This truly is a book of poetic words masking uninteresting characters and a boring plot Both of which are viewed through a distant, purple tinted lens, delivering no warmth or connection to the story.Personally, I do not think this is like Gone Girl at all, story wise or stylistically Especially not stylistically The comparisons emerge from a marriage being told with changing perspectives and how this changes our view of it , plus the upper middle class wealth of the characters Gone Girl, for all its faults, uses words to tell a mostly compelling story with fascinating characters Fates and Furies uses a weak story as a means to explore language, word usage and metaphor The basic, fundamental goals of each book feel different.Plus, I think and this might get some raised eyebrows that the characters of Gone Girl are saved from being completely unlikable Or perhaps, at least, elicit a powerful enough response from us that we care about them, remember them, and love to hate them Amy might be view spoiler a crazy bitch hide spoiler Book 1Shelby 0 I hate this book There I said it I keep trying to read it and then I look down and it says I still have soooo much time left in this book I m never going to finish.The only character that I m somewhat interested in is Chollie The rest of them are just pretentious hipster assholes.I m a dnf er And I m proud Booksource Netgalley in exchange for review I m probably totally missing out by not making myself finish this book I m still not gonna do it but my friend Leanne loved it and wrote a beautiful review for the book. Two word review pretentious garbage.My apologies to the author, Lauren Groff, for being so harsh, but this novel is terrible.Is Fates and Furies the worst novel I ve read in 2015 We still have almost 3 full months remaining, but I have no doubt it will at least be in the top 3 worst reads of the year I hated this novel I only finished reading hate reading, actually so I could have an outlet for my anger and disappointment namely, writing a review of this novel.Reading the description that Goodreads has posted on its main page for Fates and Furies is making me physically ill Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation A dazzling examination of a marriage To the contrary, Fates and Furies is the antithesis of a literary masterpiece The only expectation it defies is that of one expecting to read good literature It is dazzling only in its level of insipid ludicrousness.I am so angry that this book, so highly touted and so extravagantly praised1 has failed utterly to live up to the basic premise promised namely, the story of a marriage told first from the husband s POV and then, with startling discoveries, from the wife s POV nope, it is no such thing yes, there are two POVs, but there is hardly anything startling or eye popping this is not the Gone Girl of relationship fiction 2 is so horribly written all of the characters but especially the two main characters are fake and phony, barely resembling in their words and deeds the actions of any real human beings the novel reads as if Groff spent a year watching nothing but Dallas, Dynasty, and reality television shows about rich jerks and drew her characters compositely therefrom 3 has proven to be insipid to a degree that leaves me bemused Groff s knowledge of New York theater, which plays a very prominent role in the novel, is so often so completely wrong that I am stunned did no one from the theater world read an advance copy of this novel she frequently makes up details that are so obviously false and ridiculous such as someone selling blood sausages on the black market during WWII that I cannot help but wonder how the editors failed to catch these outlandish errors.My two prior reads just before Fates and Furies were Don Winslow s The Cartel and Jonathan Franzen s Purity These latter two books are touted as two of the biggest books of the year After reading two such good works of literature especially the Winslow novel , it was truly disappointing to encounter something so awful as Fates and Furies How this novel made it onto the longlist of finalists for the National Book Award is beyond my comprehension.Even the two main characters names are prima facie ridiculous Lotto short for Lancelot is the husband and Mathilde is the wife Yes, one of our protagonists is called Lotto I realize that this is just a matter of personal taste and is rather petty on my part, and I shouldn t really fault Groff for something so trivial as these names, but I just found these names to be stupid, really, really stupid and annoying I could almost give Mathilde a pass for her name because she is French, but I won t because everything else in this novel has poisoned my judgment to the point that even of the names of the characters are repugnant.If I may, I shall, without spoiling anything, simply list some of the inanities of this novel 1 Mathilde once allowed a leech that had latched onto her leg to stay because she was so lonely Lotto thought this story was so touching that, years later, he began telling it as if it were his own Yes, Mathilde was so lonely she let a parasite suck on her for a few days until it fell off in the shower, and when it fell off, she was sad And her husband found this story moving Right Because lonely children love parasites sucking on their flesh This is idiocy that defies description 2 About 5 months after Lotto s mother, Antoinette, has died, Lotto is discussing how he and his mother had been estranged Lotto is very emotional and is tearing up, and Chollie, his best friend, refers to Antoinette as a loveless cunt pardon the language, but this is a direct quote Yes, Lotto s best friend, who supposedly loves Lotto than anyone else in his life, tells his weeping, grieving friend that his dead mother was a loveless cunt Does Groff really expect us to believe such balderdash 3 Just before Chollie makes his loveless cunt comment, Lotto is speaking with Ariel Mathilde s former employer , whom he has not seen for nearly two decades Ariel mentions, just off the cuff, that he heard Lotto has come into a shocking inheritance Yes, Ariel, who is basically a complete stranger to Lotto after a long absence from Lotto s life, apparently sees nothing at all ill mannered in asking a stranger about inheriting a lot of money Because this is how Groff imagines that real people act It s utterly unbelievable.4 Lotto seems to write a brand new play, cast the actors, and produce and stage that same play all within about a year s time And, when most productive, he is churning out one play a year In what fantasy world of New York theater does Groff thinks that this happens 5 Lotto and Mathilde get married after only knowing each other 2 weeks Before the marriage, Lotto had been exceedingly promiscuous with both women and men, but he immediately settles down completely upon meeting Mathilde, gives up his promiscuous ways, and never comes close to cheating on her throughout their marriage I suppose this is within the realm of possibility, but Groff changes Lotto so completely and instantaneously that the change just does not ring true.6 The prose is just horrible and ludicrous At one point, Groff provides a list of the items in massive garbage heap floating in the sea Spin of bottles and flip flops and zip ties and packing peanuts and boas and baby doll heads and false eyelashes and inflatable taxidermy page 200 Inflatable taxidermy What Does she even know what taxidermy is Is she just throwing words on the page randomly 7 More horrible prose there the moon was, glowering Fickle, inconstant, that monthly changes in her circle orb page 199 Her circle orb Really I get the Shakespearean allusion, but still how utterly pretentious 8 Lotto and his sister, Rachel, refer to their mother as muvva I ll just leave it at that without further comment.9 Lotto and Mathilde have a dog named God Yep, that s just hilarious, isn t it It s not that I m offended by this I m not I just think it s dumb Really, really, really dumb.10 Trying to describe an idyllic scene at Mathilde s grandmother s dairy farm in France a grandmother who, we are told earlier, sold blood sausages on the black market in France during World War II that s not even a thing no one sold blood sausages on the black market in France or anywhere ever , Groff writes, The manure had been spread that morning and could be tasted in the milk page 216 Groff thinks this is a good thing Ummmm, so if the milk tastes like manure, it s contaminated That s nasty and gross That s not how milk is supposed to taste I m a vegan and even I know that milk is not supposed to taste like bovine excrement Sheeeeesh 11 Mathilde takes a high performance Mercedes for a drive at night She turns off the headlights and speeds up to 110 mph She hits a culvert and the car somersaults Other than biting her tongue pretty badly, she is unhurt Seriously a car wreck at 110 mph and no real injury at all Unbelievable 12 We get insightful wisdom like this via Mathilde s thoughts on page 269 and what was grief but an extended tantrum to be salved by sex and candy There is so much shitty writing about sex and completely off the wall ideas about and depictions of sex that I almost want to say this book is worse than Fifty Shades of Grey, but it s not Groff is not a completely inept writer.13 Near the end, we get this gem of a sentence These silent intimacies made their marriage, not the ceremonies or parties or opening nights or occasions or spectacular fucks page 389 Yes, she used the noun phrase spectacular fucks I m no prude Vulgar language does not offend me But spectacular fucks Really This is supposed to pass for good literature In a description of what really made our main characters marriage truly meaningful to themselves, we get the phrase spectacular fucks It s so terrible.Okay, so I won t go on any I hated everything about this book Even two of the supposed startling secrets near the end view spoiler Lotto had a son when he was 15 that was given up for adoption and who then shows up at the end of the novel after Lotto has died and has sex with Mathilde Mathilde, when she was 4 years old, seems it s left a bit vague to have intentionally pushed her younger brother down the stairs, which killed him hide spoiler Gone Girl with slightly nicer peoplebut it s Gone Girl only at its most elemental it s the story of the marriage of two beautiful people a marriage whose sparkling perfection and longevity is the envy of all but no one knows what happens in a marriage behind closed doors sometimes, not even its participants this is the story of the moving parts that keep a marriage going the sacrifices and the machinations under the smooth facade it s about how much work it takes to make it look effortless it s about secrets.and that s basically Gone Girl, right the fact that a relationship is work, and if you let yourself slip into complacency, bad things can happen it s nowhere near as misanthropic as Gone Girl, but strip away the sociopathy of dear amy, and you have a pretty compelling cautionary tale instead of amy we have mathilde an enigmatic woman who captivates the charismatic lotto with her beauty and holds him with The dark whip at the center of her How, so gently, she flicked it and kept him spinning. tall, privileged lady s man lotto proposes to mathilde upon their first meeting and loves her all his life later, we will get her side of this first meeting and the calculation and misunderstanding at its center it s a love story about two people who saw each other clearly enough to sustain twenty four years of marriage, and what they didn t know couldn t hurt them right it s hard not to say too much lots of pressure being the very first review on here all i knew going into it was that there were two parts, and the second part marks a huge shift in perspective that changes everything it s not quite as simple as his and her narratives the entire book is told in third person perspectives, including parenthetical interjections from omniscient, possibly divine, commentators but it s like a gigantic advent calendar of a book, where the you read, the is revealed, and the story is given weight it s lauren groff, so there s a bit of magic to it, but only just subtle hints and it s lauren groff, so there is exquisite writing His wife carried their picnic basket to the edge of the lake under a willow so old it no longer wept, just sort of bore its fate with thickened equanimity.it s lauren groff, so i loved it.come to my blog People want to lick other people s faces way too much in this novel Like, once is enough for that particular gesture to occur to a character out of the blue, don t you think You may disagree but personally I don t think most people have regular thoughts about how they want to lick one another s faces So to have characters think somewhat regularly or even than once about licking one another s faces, in the same novel, felt odd to me Indeed I have many questions about this novel My main question is Huh Because it s not just the licking, let s face it, it s the whole damn book, every sentence, that feels gloopy, and a little gross You may find yourself reading along like I was reading along, thinking that this language sounds great and witty But at some point, unlucky you, you might just slow down enough listen to these particular words on the page in front of you, and you may eventually find you are pondering their meaning, instead of just being carried away by their sense impression And then, well, watch out, because the rest of your reading experience will be wondering what the heck the author meant to say People in this novel say things like My family traded me for three mules and a bucket of butter and Bridget is to dating Lotto the way a remora is to dating a shark Do these things mean anything to you Well Then this novel is for you Eventually I stopped saying to myself wow how original and started saying instead but wait, that actually doesn t mean anything and even Of all the silly nonsense, this is the stupidest tea party I ve ever been to in all my life The staccato style of not sentences crammed with unlikely verbs reminds me of Annie Proulx s The Shipping News, but I didn t mind that style back in 1993, because it was new and not derivative, and also because the style was attached to an interesting story about a vanishing way of life, whereas Fates Furies just seems attached to the author s navel That s about my take Try reading it yourself and see what you think Everyone else seems to think this novel is heart palpitatingly amazing and you might agree. Amazingly brilliant Language to die for Fascinating characters Clever format But why did it take me three weeks to read This is a complex love story, full of secrets and regrets and passion Part 1, Fates, is the husband s story Part 2, Furies, is the wife s It is absolutely brilliant.Yeah, so why DID it take me so long to read this Take a peek at my Complaint Board Complaint BoardWho ARE these guys in the twist At the end, I got to a brilliant twist I knew it was brilliant, but wait..who are these two characters I remember them.slightly All I can say is, thank God I read this on a Kindle I could search the names and get transported right back to the scenes where the characters were mentioned Oh yes, now I see.lovely twist Wow So my beef is you shouldn t have to go back and dig around to find characters that are players in the twist It didn t ruin the read, but it detracted from the excitement, the a ha that goes with a cool twist I m sure it s my old brain that let these characters escape from my line of sight, but I d like to think it s not all me, that it s a flaw in the writing not to have made these characters bigger so I could remember them.Just too long and dense Especially the first part, which is the husband s story The sentence structure, though gorgeous, slowed me down And because of its length a little over 400 pages , it s hard to remember what seem to be minor characters This can be problematic see my first complaint But I m not interested in mythology Or in the husband s plays, for that matter Part 1 has several long excerpts from the husband s plays, most of which are based on myths If you like and know myths, I m sure it s a kick I don t think I ve ever heard a myth that didn t make my eyes glaze over I don t like cilantro, I don t like myths Period Editor voice Cut out the plays They don t enhance the plot, they only interrupt it.Party madness I m realizing that all my complaints are about the husband s story In his story, there is a series of New Year s Eve parties, but they flowed into each other and it wasn t clear at first that there are multiple years being covered Super confusing to me Also, there were several characters that suddenly appeared at the parties, and it wasn t clear whether we were supposed to pay close attention to them And one hostile conversation where a woman is called a total vagina and later a pig face seemed over the top and unbelievable Would people at a party actually say such things The Voice Super minor, but annoying The husband s aunt used ain t , but his family was rich and classy ain t just doesn t seem to fit Also, when the husband s sister was young, she often sounded like an adult.Quick Give me a dictionary I like learning a few new words, but there were a LOT here, sometimes two or to a page Reading this would be a great way to learn vocabulary for the SATs.She s interesting than he is The wife is dynamic and complex than the husband Luckily, her story is the one at the end, so the joy flows as you read on.Joy JarOkay Now for the good no, the incredible stuff To start with, the characters are so vivid, I felt like I really knew what makes them tick They are complex, intriguing, flawed The third person narration made me believe it all there were no unreliable narrators to make me worry that any of it was false This was so clever I mean, I love a good unreliable narrator, but here, it was cool the way the narration made everything believable Groff made the story feel personal, even though it wasn t told in first person I felt like I was in the in crowd it made me feel lucky and privileged that I was getting the real scoop Groff is wise and her ideas are fresh Some sentences made me ponder with glee, even if I did have to read them twice And I ate up the language and the images Here are a few quotes, to give you a taste Chollie, hello He is deformed, crooked, old and sere ill faced, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind stigmatical in making, worse in mind My best friend By the time he stood, anxiety was thickening in his chest he hated putting off work when he was in the mood It was as if the muses were singing rather, humming and he d stuffed up his ears She hated perfume It was a cover for poor hygiene or for body shame Clean people never aspired to the floral This book is an amazing and complex and ultimately sad love story No marriage is what it seems, and this one is no exception there are secrets and sorrows and guilt and failures Insecurities, vulnerabilities, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities The characters are often underground, not exposing their real selves neither their feelings nor actions to each other, though their mutual love is intense Here s a favorite paragraph Marriage is made of lies kind ones, mostly Omissions If you give voice to the things you think every day about your spouse, you d crush them to paste She never lied, just never said Their charged relationship makes for a juicy read, especially when you get to her story His story does have one exceptionally dramatic and memorable section about his stay at a writer s retreat Groff deftly shows us the history and motives many of which are doozies behind the scenes It makes me think just how open and honest are people in happy marriages Happy on the outside, but inside, what s going on The second part is what makes this book sing I kept whispering pure genius as I saw what was happening from the wife s point of view And she was such a fascinating character, I couldn t take my eyes off of her To me, what made this book phenomenal was the constant ah ha s in my head Ah, now I understand Well I ll be damned No Plot twists galore, with a great ending The story made my mind jump, made the book sort of interactive in a cool way, in that as I read the second half of the book, I would naturally remember back to the first way the story was told It made my mind love the play of back and forth, as I looked at two versions of one event pure delight Seriously, I ve never read anything like it But, as I said, this was a slow read, especially the first part I still think this book is phenomenal, and I think it deserves awards 4.5 pretty damn big stars. No amount of beautiful language can gild this piece of shit. *DOWNLOAD EPUB ↝ Fates and Furies ↵ Every Story Has Two Sides Every Relationship Has Two Perspectives And Sometimes, It Turns Out, The Key To A Great Marriage Is Not Its Truths But Its Secrets At The Core Of This Rich, Expansive, Layered Novel, Lauren Groff Presents The Story Of One Such Marriage Over The Course Of Twenty Four YearsAt Age Twenty Two, Lotto And Mathilde Are Tall, Glamorous, Madly In Love, And Destined For Greatness A Decade Later, Their Marriage Is Still The Envy Of Their Friends, But With An Electric Thrill We Understand That Things Are Even Complicated And Remarkable Than They Have Seemed I m approaching my 1 3rd rule with this book if a book hasn t grabbed me by 1 3rd of the way in it s not worth continuing with it and the urge to hurl it out the window is proving irresistible It s not often I say I hate a book, but I absolutely hate this, and yes, I realise I m sticking my neck out, and I ll than likely be in the minority, but c est la vie I cannot join the herd and say I like something when I don tThis is a long, drawn out story about Lotto short for Lancelot and his marriage to Mathilde, The Perfect American Golden Couple He calls his mother Muvva yergh They are beautiful of course who wants to read about plain or ugly people , clever, artistic and neurotic.The prose in this book is so over the top, so flamboyant, obscure and ostentatious I just cannot stand it This particular passage had me cringing She stretched her long arms over her head, and there were little nests of winter hair in the pits She could hatch baby robins in those things She looked at him, savoring her own knowing, his unknowing Often the sentences are just one word Does this author think it s clever to write this way Obviously I don t know if this her usual style as I haven t read anything of hers and this certainly does not encourage me to read her earlier books It s another case of throwing every word you know, whether it actually makes sense or not but never mind, it looks impressive.I don t doubt that Ms Groff toiled long and hard over this, in an effort to write The Great American Novel, but to me it comes across as self indulgent fiddle faddle Described as a literary masterpiece that defies expectation Yes indeed, it did defy my expectation, but not in the way the writer of that line meant Who is it who decides what I, the reader will like who is it who calls this a masterpiece Those of us who don t agree are already at a disadvantage as we will be expected to explain and justify our reasons, whereas those who agree can sit back smugly I dislike this book intensely End of sent me a free copy speficicaly for review purposes. 3.5 Stars I have a mixed feelings toward this novel On the positive note I was interested in the story about the married couple I think this book is an excellent commentary on marriage what makes it work and what makes it fail The author captures each character s individuality while at the same time invites us to experience the intimacy of this marriage I like much on this story yet I m aware I was often detached This was not a book for me that kept me turning pages with urgency I enjoyed it reading this novel but enjoyed my breaks away from it equally as much I seemed to require reading breaks to recharge my own energy Something about this story would begin to drain me it was just an observation I needed to respect With breaks I often did return to my reading with a bright freshness I felt the beginning was very strong when two people were walking up the beach she in her green bikini, he tall both attractive , and then to find out they were married just that morning in secret Yet, after a while, I felt there were too many mind numbing details that started to suck the energy from the story The writing frequently failed to keep my attention I felt exhausted often re reading sentences to bring myself back into focus Although I felt I got to know the characters pretty well I didn t feel strong emotions I was t feeling any human frailty, or sadness, or joy just very neutral Possibly if this novel wasn t as long I might have had a chance to directly feel about each of the characters and the journey they went through This is a big long lush slowly progressing story one that in totality I appreciate and am glad I read it It s also possible that this story may grow on me as time goes on I m aware that sometimes books are enhanced for me once I begin engaging in book discussions This might just be one of those books Thank you to the publisher, Netgalley, and the author, for allowing me to read this.