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Arcadia

A Novel

By Lauren Groff

Arcadia
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012,
    304 pages.

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There are currently 33 reader reviews for Arcadia
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Carrie W. (Arcanum, OH) (12/06/11)

Arcadia
I could not connect with any of the characters in this book, I found it very difficult to read.
Becky H. (Chicago, IL) (12/06/11)

The 60's were better than this book
I really wanted to like this book. I tried very hard to like it. I just couldn't. I didn't like the characters. I didn't like the lack of quotation marks. I didn't like Arcadia house or most of its inhabitants. I found it really irritating that Hannah was depressed (maybe) but you never knew why she acted the way she did. Handy had very few redeeming qualities. Bit was just ...Bit. I detested Helle. The plot wandered so much I lost track of it. The writing DID show that the author knew how to put words together -- often in lyrical and surprising ways. It just wasn't enough to make this a compelling read. I was really hoping for more. I was disappointed. I have a book group with 44 members. I can't think of one of them that would enjoy this book.
Katherine Y. (Albuquerque, NM) (12/05/11)

Another Hit from Lauren Groff
If you enjoyed Ms. Groff's first book, "The Monsters of Templeton", you're bound to enjoy this second excellent effort. And, if you haven't read her first novel, I recommend them both. The world she creates is filled with wonderful characters and a great story.
Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA) (12/03/11)

Another taste of Groff
As someone who has read and relished Groff's 2 prior books, I was caught off guard at first by the pacing of this novel but ultimately loved it as much as the others. The style may be an acquired taste but for those can see the world askew, this book should satisfy.
Alice S. (East Haven, Ct) (12/03/11)

Engrossing Book
Arcadia was an engrossing and enjoyable book. The story is told by the character Bit, a young man born and raised in a commune. It is through him you see the way the world changes from the idealism of the 60's into the future. As someone who was a teenager during that time, the whole atmosphere of the first half of the book reminded me of how wonderful it was to be young and alive then and how hopeful and optimistic we were. I can see this as a good book for discussion in a Book Club. One question that can be asked is why is the idealism and unselfish way of living of a commune so hard to sustain and how did the "real "world get in the way?
Also, what events occurred during that time in the U.S. that changed people?
Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL) (12/02/11)

Arcadia by Lauren Groff
I felt this book was mediocre at best and would have put it down after 50 pages had I not been committed to reviewing it. The main characters did not engage me at all nor did the descriptions of Arcadia, the Utopian community in NY where Bit and his parents lived. The story jumped 10 years without explanation and I found that frustrating. I would not recommend this book to either of my book groups.
Sylvia G. (Scottsdale, AZ) (11/30/11)

Don't miss a visit to Arcadia
I began Arcadia with great anticipation, as I loved Monsters of Templeton. I was disappointed in the beginning. It was very lyrical, with some beautiful imagery and language, but fragmented and often murky. Then about 50 pages in, I became hooked and was turning down pages to mark absolutely gorgeous and wise writing. The best book I've received in the First Impressions program. Memorable, haunting, meaningful, this would be an outstanding book club selection. Filled with unique, flawed and fully realized characters, Arcadia travels in time from a hippie community to the future and is filled with great compassion and wisdom.
Madeline (Florida) (11/29/11)

Language vs Story
The language in this book is absolutely lovely. Almost every line has a musical, poetic quality and the details and descriptions are both spot-on and unique. The problem, for me, was that I cared more about the writing than the characters and I didn't find the story/plot all that interesting or compelling.

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