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Euphoria by [Lily King]
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Euphoria Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 3,074 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2014: If I tell you that Euphoria is a novel loosely based on the life of the anthropologist Margaret Mead, your eyes will start to glaze over. Well, they shouldn’t--not when the novel is as wonderful as this one. Its both romantic and intelligent, a combination you don’t need to be a scientist to know doesn’t appear often in nature. Mead, a controversial character in real life, is here transmuted into the equally complex (and somewhat sickly) Nell Stone, who has made a reputation for herself by studying native tribes in New Guinea. Her husband, also an anthropologist, is more jealous than dutiful, although he does manage to make her feel inadequate for failing to produce a baby. Enter a charming-but-tortured third anthropologist, who at times seems to be unsure to which of his new friends he’s more attracted. Sparks of the emotional and sexual kind fly, but what’s even more interesting is the portrait of a growing friendship based at least partly on philosophy and attitudes toward “primitive” cultures. You know from the beginning that some bad things are going to happen, but it is to King’s great credit (and the fact that she changes some of the events in Mead’s life) that you can’t really guess what they are. This is the best kind of historical novel--the kind that sent me running to read more about its real-life inspiration. --Sara Nelson

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review

''In a perfect marriage of words and voice, narrators Simon Vance and Xe Sands join author Lily King to produce an extraordinary audiobook experience. Inspired by events in the life of cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, King has fashioned a haunting novel of love, ambition, and obsession, focused on three anthropologists off-map in New Guinea just before World War II. Delivering the alternating chapters of Mead's stand-in, American Nell Stone, and Englishman Andrew Bankson, Sands and Vance perform the stupendous feat of creating memorable versions of the same characters. Their performances offer nuanced interpretations of the different personalities and echo, but do not copy, each other's approach. Also, each uses a unique narrative pace that enhances the listener's understanding of this unforgettable tale.'' --AudioFilemagazine

''Euphoria is a meticulously researched homage to Mead's restless mind and a considered portrait of Western anthropology in its primitivist heyday. It's also a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace - a love triangle in extremis . . . The steam the book emits is as much intellectual as erotic . . . and King's signal achievement may be to have created satisfying drama out of a quest for interpretive insight . . . Exquisite.'' --New York Times Book Review

''There are some novels that take you by the hand with their lovely prose alone; there are those that pull you in with sensual renderings of time and place and a compelling story; and there are still others that seduce you solely with their subject matter. But it is a rare novel indeed that does all of the above at once and with complete artistic mastery. Yet this is precisely what Lily King has done in her stunningly passionate and gorgeously written Euphoria. It is simply one of the finest novels I've read in years, and it puts Lily King firmly in the top rank of our most accomplished novelists.'' --Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog

''With Euphoria, Lily King gives us a searing and absolutely mesmerizing glimpse into 1930's New Guinea, a world as savage and fascinating as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, where obsessions rise to a feverish pitch, and three dangerously entangled anthropologists will never be the same again. Jaw-droppingly, heart-stoppingly beautiful. I loved this book.'' --Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author

''I have come to expect Lily King's nuanced explorations of the human heart, but in this novel she pulled me in to the exotic world of a woman anthropologist working with undiscovered tribes in 1930s New Guinea and I was totally captivated. Euphoria is a great book! So great, that I stayed up late to finish it.'' --Karl Marlantes, New York Times bestselling author

''King changes the names (and the outcome) in this atmospheric romantic fiction set in New Guinea and clearly based on anthropologist Margaret Mead's relationship with her second and third husbands . . . A small gem, disturbing and haunting.'' --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

''The love lives and expeditions of controversial anthropologists Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson are fictionalized and richly reimagined in New England Book Award winner King's meaty and entrancing fourth book . . . While the love triangle sections do turn pages (Innuendo! Jealousy! Betrayal!), King's immersive prose takes center stage. The fascinating descriptions of tribal customs and rituals, paired with snippets of Nell's journals - as well as the characters' insatiable appetites for scientific discovery - all contribute to a thrilling read that, at its end, does indeed feel like 'the briefest, purest euphoria.''' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

''Set between the First and Second World Wars, the story is loosely based on events in the life of Margaret Mead. There are fascinating looks into other cultures and how they are studied, and the sacrifices and dangers that go along with it. This is a powerful story, at once gritty, sensuous, and captivating.'' --Booklist

''Writers are childlike in their enthusiasm about other writers' good work. They're thinking: How'd they ever think of that? That's amazing/beautifully written/true! Imagine all the effort that went into pulling this off. Could I do something this original/surprising/moving? I'm always happy to read Lily King, and I particularly enjoyed reading Euphoria.'' --Ann Beattie, award-winning author of Chilly Scenes of Winter

''Fresh, brilliantly structured, and fully imagined, this novel radically transforms a story we might have known, as outsiders - but now experience, through Lily King's great gifts, as if we'd lived it.'' --Andrea Barrett, National Book Award-winning author

''Lily King delves into the intellectual flights and passions of three anthropologists - as complex, rivalrous, and brutal as any of the cultures they study. Euphoria is a brilliantly written book.'' --Alice Greenway, Los Angeles Times Award-winning author

''Adventure and romance, danger and knowledge, desire and desolation: these are a few of my favorite things. And, exquisitely braided, they form the core of Euphoria. Set in the 1930s, in a New Guinea that Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson would recognize with delight and trepidation, this passionate and thrilling new novel reminds us that all our mores are fictions, that culture itself is only a story we tell ourselves. And what a harrowing tale Lily King weaves from these threads. I'm left breathless, excited, ready to wander and explore, a little afraid, enamored, enlightened.'' --Bill Roorbach, author of Life among Giants

''Inspired by an event in the life of Margaret Mead, this novel tells the story of three young anthropologists in 1930s New Guinea . . . This three-way relationship is complex and involving, but even more fascinating is the depiction of three anthropologists with three entirely diverse ways of studying another culture.'' --Library Journal (starred review)
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00HWGLYHI
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atlantic Monthly Press; Reprint edition (June 3, 2014)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 3, 2014
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1211 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 273 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 3,074 ratings

About the author

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Lily King grew up in Massachusetts and received her B.A. in English Literature from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She has taught English and Creative Writing at several universities and high schools in this country and abroad.

Lily’s first novel, The Pleasing Hour (1999) won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second, The English Teacher, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Her third novel, Father of the Rain (2010), was a New York Times Editors Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year and winner of both the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Maine Fiction Award. Lily's new novel, Euphoria, was released in June 2014. It has drawn significant acclaim so far, being named an Amazon Book of the Month, on the Indie Next List, and hitting numerous summer reading lists from The Boston Globe to O Magazine and USA Today. Reviewed on the cover of The New York Times, Emily Eakin called Euphoria, “a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace.”

Lily is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Writer's Award. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines including Ploughshares and Glimmer Train, as well as in several anthologies.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
3,074 global ratings

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Keith Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts out clever, turns out to be cleverer.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2019
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Bobbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2020
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Peretz34
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 1, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Takes you to another world, another time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2021
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Bateman Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, insightful set in Papua New Guinea.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2018
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