Wow! I finished listening to this today and i have to say– if i had the book in my hand I would have thrown it! What a let down from the author that brought us the brilliant Middlesex. Contrary to the descriptions of this novel this was not a coming of age story, nor a love triangle, nor a story about loving the Victorian novel. It was the droning, pretentious rant of 3 of the most horrible characters.
Madeline is a rich snob with no personality. She loves to read Victorian novels but doesn’t know what she is going to do after college. She meets Leonard in an IMPOSSIBLY boring semiotic writing class (reading the parts that took place in the class required a Masters Degree in English). Leonard is a tobacco chewing, bandana wearing scientist (stinky) that is sooooooo different from any boy she has ever dated. He is smart, funny, and has the greatest penis ever– in fact, it is so huge it is like a third person in bed with them!!! (ok– what girl talks like that?? I hate when male authors make their female characters express male thoughts!!!)
Madeline soon finds out that Leonard is far from stable (he is manic-depressive) but SHE can “fix” him. They have more bad times than good over the year or so that they “date” but she marries him anyway. After a whole 3 months of marriage things don’t really work out. She runs back to Mummy and Daddy who, of course, bail her out. Leonard feels that he is ruining Madeline’s life and “divorces” her Muslim style (repeat 3 times “I divorce you”). He takes off to live in the woods of Portland with his high school pot smoking pal. You are meant to feel sorry for Leonard because he is throwing everything away but you can’t because he’s a narcissistic douche!
Oh, but lets not forget about Mitchell, the third wheel friend. He is a religious studies major who “falls in love” with Madeline because she is nice to him during their sophomore year of college. She uses him time and time again to make herself feel better. He is CONVINCED that they will get married one day. Mitchell travels to Europe and India for a year to forget about Madeline but how can he?? She is PERFECT for him– she is so pretty, she has boobies and has never EVER shown him any romantic interest! Imagine his surprise when he returns home to find out she is married to “Bankhead”. He waits patiently, acting the friend, ready to swoop in, until the day, FINALLY, she gets lonely and sleeps with him. BUT after the sex is over he realizes that it was not as great as he thought it would be. So never-mind– he won’t marry her after all.
Are there really people like this?? I hope not! ONE star!
A note about the narrator who read this book. He did an ok job over all– particularly good at the accents– but when he did the female voices he sounded like he could have been a member of the Kids in the Hall. “Mummy” is Buddy Cole and Madeline is Tammy! I had to laugh whenever “she” spoke!