When Andrew Bankson meets fellow anthropologists Nell Stone and her husband Fen in New Guinea, they have just emerged from a treacherous experience studying the Mumbanyo and are looking for an alternative mission of discovery. He offers to deliver them to a new, unstudied tribe a bit further up the river, all the while endlessly fascinated and captivated by the couple -- Nell in particular. Based loosely on events and people in the life of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is a love triangle simultaneously offering readers a tantalizing peek into the field of anthropology in the early- to mid-1900s -- even better enjoyed if you have ever wanted to be an anthropologist yourself. -- Julia S., Eden Prairie Library
Euphoria by Lily King fictionally encompasses the life of Margaret Mead. The story centers on a love triangle of three anthropologists in 1930’s New Guinea. The hardships and medical problems alarm this reader. Why do people forsake comfort and head into darkness and for what rewards? The story transplants the reader into a story like The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The language flowers the area with beauty. The events plunge into realism and despair.
Well written book, but not for everyone. Adult material.
As one reader says this book is "humid". The sense of place and culture was well described, a different view point of history I was not familiar with.
Have not known about Mead before reading the book, I was entertained as a voyeur more than a thinker.
No one figure affected me deep enough to outlast other books, and no fresh point of view to enlighten me, but her imaginative writing on a (mostly) academic subject is lyrical, implicit, and juicy, which is my major positive take.
I liked the writer's style - using a diary to give one charater's point of view, some 3rd person narration and some narration by one of the main characters.
I found the characters interesting, how they interacted, their strengths and weaknesses and how each represented different perspectives of anthropology field work.
I am intrigued to learn more about the real Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune and Gregory Bateson.
The focus on the 3 white anglo characters means it lacks the perspective of the native people, but it is a short novel and can only do so much.
I could not stop listening to this audiobook. The title has two great narrators, as the point of view shifts between American anthrolopologist Nell Stone and her English colleague, Andrew Bankson. Euphoria is a richly detailed, captivating historical fiction set in 1930s Papua New Guinea and loosely based on the life of Margaret Meade.
Loosely based on the lives of Margaret Meade, her first and second husbands, this novel is an intriguing look at the ambitious professional obsession and complex evolving inter-relationships of the three main characters. Piqued my interest to learn more about the real life people on which this novel is based.
My only complaint is that this book is too short. I want more. I guess I will just have to go read more about Margaret Mead.
A wonderfully engaging historical novel based loosely on the life of Margaret Mead. Friendship, love, and philosophy among anthropologists studying river tribes in New Guinea. One of the NYT Book Review's 10 best books of 2014.
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