From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the '30s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and ultimately, their lives.
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby - the artistic, female-dominated Tam - he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control.
Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice fromaccomplished author Lily King.
Euphoria presents a classic love triangle among three anthropologists in New Guinea between the world wars. The main charcter is Nell Stone, modeled after Margaret Mead, a free-thinking, insightful, deeply empathetic student of native cultures. Her husband Fen is her opposite, cynical, greedy and dismissive of local sentiments. Between them comes Bankson, the narrator, looking back years later on their brief time together in a small village, trying to control their lusts but not their ambitions. The story is well told, more absorbing and suspenseful as the book progresses. The author, like Nell, has a quick feel for other characters. Minor characters are well drawn with a few telling details. You especially feel for several of the villagers whose lives are changed by their observers.
The audiobook has a serious flaw, namely, the drab narration by Simon Vance. Bankson should be an energetic, passionate, vibrant young force of nature, despite his failed suicide attempt at the novel's start. Instead, Vance reads as a depressed and weary old man. This drains the novel of much of its excitement. Xe Sands, reading as Nell Stone, is far better, with the right enthusiasm and wonder in her voice. Overall, however, this was an excellent book.
41 sur 42 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
A beautifully-written and compelling book about fascinating people. The anthropologists are as interesting as the tribes they are studying. I could have gone on listening to this for quite a while longer and am sorry it's over. I completely disagree with the reviewers who panned Simon Vance. No, his reading of Bankson isn't euphoric, but neither is Bankson's character. So much of what is going on in the book is in the contrast between his approach and that of Nell and Fen, and Simon Vance and Xe Sands (whom I also loved) nailed this aspect. Great book, great narration all around. I loved it.
9 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
This was one of those rare books that I couldn't put down from the minute I started it and couldn't stop reading till I had finished three days later. As a temperamental reader, I seldom find books these days that enchant me right from the first page and never let me drift off. The story was fantastic, the plot never rested, but the characters were fully drawn and kept you deeply engaged in their fate and in the things for which they were passionate - in this case their anthropological work.
It is a story about a character inspired by Margaret Mead and it follows her into tribal settings along with her very new husband and his very aggressive personality, jealousy and inability to imagine his life as her spouse rather than vice versa. A third anthropologist encounters them during their Sepic river studies and the trio's balance is upset by the tensions. Tragedy ensues. But how you get there is an intricate and fascinating path through tribal studies and the ecstasy, the euphoria, of thinking you are coming to understand some part of human nature up close.
The book was an intellectual adventure in addition to a well-told tale.
What is unusual for me is that I was not so happy with the audio version, despite the male reader, Simon Vance who is one of my favorite readers of all time - I kid you not I once actually wrote him 'fan mail' to let him know how much I had enjoyed his versions of the Anthony Trollope Barsetshire novels. Yet his reading didn't click for me in this narration, and I especially didn't enjoy having two different narrators - a male for the Bankson narration in the book and a female for the Nell Stone narration. It also wasn't consistent, since each narrator then had to read parts of all the characters in that section of the book - so you had two VERY different characterizations of the Australian accent for Fen.
Since I had purchased both the Kindle and Audible versions, I just finished the book entirely on the Kindle, although I had planned to alternate between the two. I think it's fair to conclude I prefer one continuous narrator for a novel and will think about that issue the next time I am presented with a choice.
Highly recommended novel whichever way you choose to hear it or read it - I look forward to reading Lily King's earlier novels.
47 sur 51 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
The book was very average. Well written but not a great story. Will not look for other books by this author.
Also, the female reader has a somewhat annoying delivery and I will avoid books narrated by her again.
8 sur 8 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
What a story! Lily Tuck is a terrific writer. First book of hers for me but I'll be back for more. Narrators were terrific as well though I disagree somewhat with the way Xe Sands interpreted Nell. But only a minor irritant. Really great listening experience.
5 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
This is such a powerful book. A breathtaking tale of three Anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea, in the 1930’s, it’s history when there were still discoveries made on this planet. Based loosely on the lives of Margaret Mead and her second and third husband, the love triangle develops into an intense character study that will have you feeling for each person at more than one point. The underlying tension that the author builds within the story is outstanding. I also liked how she was able to use small antidotes and scenes to paint whole pictures. The short sex scene in the first chapter just lays out every single thing you need to know about this couple’s marriage. What an extremely talented author.
I thought the audiobook was just a perfect means to tell this story. I enjoyed both of the narrators personally.
I can’t imagine a better, more surprising ending. I re-listened to the last several chapters several times because I was just so surprised by it.
If you were on MY Christmas list - you would alllll be getting this book.
23 sur 26 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
This book deals with people at the cusp of anthropology as a science. Anthropologists moved from measuring Indigenous people's heads and watching from a distance to moving into the village and inserting one's self into the culture to understand it. While there are issues with both approaches, the cultural view is far more informative.
The readers are fantastic - the comment made elsewhere on this page about Simon Vance is way off- he's great and always a great voice of his character.
This is a great read!
10 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
Any additional comments?
This is one of my favorite books in years. I was captivated by the written version so I looked forward to the audio. Neither narrator captured the character. Nell's narrator sounded tired and breathy. I like Simon Vance but he seemed wrong for the part.
4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
This is one clever author. King creates a claustrophobic, small world in the vast tropical miasma of New Guinea. Andrew Bangston, whose loneliness is almost a fourth character in itself; brilliant and driven Nell Stone; Nell's lout of a husband Fen - these anthropologists are really the only three characters as the rest are set pieces and background.
King does a great job capturing the arrogance and indeed racism of early 20th C anthropologists - you do wonder what their subjects thought when these frail people plopped themselves into a village that had been peacefully minding its own business. Each anthropologists' approach is shaped by their own demons and biases, and the relationship between the three is glued together by Bangston's desparate loneliness.
The ending snuck up on me, which I appreciated. King had a way of making the reader think the book was about one thing, when it was really about something else.
4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
I've been taken somewhere deep in my memories, to a place I've never been. At once Out of Africa and Casablanca, and do worth it.
9 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
Ein exotischer, lehrreicher, sinnlicher Roman über Passion, Forschung, Besessenheit und zu den Ursprüngen zurückgeführtes Menschsein. In der schwülen Hitze Australiens verlieren sich drei komplett verschiedene Anthropologen in ihren Leidenschaften und Begierden. Einerseits Liebesgeschichte, andererseits detailreiche Veranschaulichung der Arbeitsmethoden von Real-Vorbild Margaret Mead, ist dieser Roman der leise anschwellenden Dramatik etwas Ausgefallenes für Leser mit Lust am Thema und der Fähigkeit, sich langsam aber sicher vereinnahmen zu lassen.
Zu den Sprechern:
EUPHORIA gehört hoch verdient zu den Nominierten für die Audie Awards 2015: Das Hörbuch vereint die sinnlich-fragile Intensität von Xe Sands mit der punktgenauen, klassisch anmutenden Vortragsart von Simon Vance. Erstere Amerikanerin, letzterer Engländer, könnten zwei Stimmen nicht unterschiedlicher sein – und ergänzen sich genau deshalb so unglaublich gut. Vance wirkt als Bankson brütend, vertieft, magisch hingezogen zum Objekt seiner Leidenschaft. In Fen’s Dialogen zeigt sich Vance dagegen von einer erstaunlich wilden, unbeugsamen Seite, hört sich an wie schimmerndes Quecksilber. Xe schafft es, zugleich stark und zerbrechlich zu wirken, sehr weiblich, sowohl im mütterlichen wie im verführerischen Sinne. Trotzdem hören sich Bankson und Fen aus ihrem Munde männlich und markant an.
Die Auswahl dieser beiden Sprecher war ein Geniestreich. Die Kombination ihrer Stimmen ist einfach exquisit.
3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.
Relax, Euphoria is not a biography of the famous and at times very controversial anthropologist Margaret Mead, even if Nell Stone, the protagonist of the story, has a kindred spirit and might remind you of her. With Euphoria Lily King created a deeply moving and highly intelligent novel about human ambition and greed, love and jealousy, life and death, set in the exotic environment of the interior of New Guinea.
No surprise, Lily King knows how to tell a story. Her prose is full of powerful images and she precisely depicts not just the environment, but mood and emotions as well. She literally takes you to the jungle in New Guinea and you will start to smell the stink of rotting vegetation, foul breath and unwashed bodies. You will feel the oppressive heat and the onslaught of myriads of insects and most important of all, you will sense the lingering doom and impending tragedy.
The book tells the story of 3 young anthropologists, studying the culture and behavior of tribes in New Guinea untouched by civilization, the already modestly famous American Nell Stone, her envious and jealous Australian husband Fen and the British Andrew Bankson. Nell and Fen had to flee from their last project, when an enraged Mumbanyo tribe member throws a dead baby at Nell Stone. She breaks a leg during the flight and she and her husband are dispirited, dirty and sick with fever and downcast by failure. This is how they run into the depressed and lonesome Andrew. Andrew craves for company and easily persuades Nell and Fen to restart their research work with the Kiona tribe on a nearby lake. Very quickly Andrew becomes enthralled with the couple, especially with Nell. The three of them do some of their best work together, but it does not take long and love and jealousy get out of control, the three of them are heading for disaster.
It is a great book, beautifully read and the only complaint I have, it is too short.
1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.