But the second half didn't work as well. maybe I was spoiled because I had already read the wonderful chapter on Mitchell Grammaticus at Mother Theresa's in The New Yorker (and it is the best chapter, presumably why Eugenides had it in the magazine). So the remaining parts were just not as good, and I found myself bored by the slow unwinding of the marriage plot.
A slightly over-the-top book review from Specter magazine is here. The New York Times review by William Deresiewicz suggests Eugenides is having a hard time becoming an adult. Partly I sort of disagree... the people Eugenides is representing don't become adults until 5 years after the book ends, when they have children. Even Madeleine's "shock" into adulthood (grappling with Leonard's mental illness) is never given much attention by her. It is as if her parents, or someone else, would take care of it. She still thinks "magically" about it. It hasn't really ground her down.So they shouldn't become adults if the novel is true to its subjects. But maybe reading about people with prolonged predultessence is boring. And yes I just coined that word myself.