Arcadia Lauren Groff, Hyperion pp. ISBN Summary In the fields of western New York State in the s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, a musician and the group's charismatic leader; Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, the book's protagonist, Bit, who is born soon after the commune is created.
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In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this lyrical, rollicking, tragic, and exquisite utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. The story is In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House.
The story is told from the point of view of Bit, a fascinating character and the first child born in Arcadia. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Arcadia , please sign up. Was it just my version or do all the others also not have quotation marks in the book? Isn't it annoying? I was close to putting it down, but I like finishing my books. I did take a long time to finish it, opting to read better written books.
Barbara Fraser I was also close to putting it down. Along with no quotations, I kept waiting for it to end. Waiting to read what happened to Helle.
I felt it was a l …more I was also close to putting it down. I felt it was a little drawn out, and no closure. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Anybody else feel frustrated that we didn't get any closure on Grete's mom? Barbara Fraser I was disappointed about that also. I like everything tired up at the end. See all 4 questions about Arcadia…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.
Start your review of Arcadia. Sep 26, karen rated it really liked it. At last, he writes a note to Sweetie. He labors over it with a red pencil.
Im to little. I have to sleep with Abe and Hannah. When he hands it to Sweetie, she goes speechless. You can read? Sweetie gives the note to Hannah, whose lips form an O. Oh, Bit, you can write? She kneels to his height and kisses him. What Bit hated most in all the Outside world, hated with an irrational, puking hatred, was the goldfish in the pet store a street away, its endless dull slide around the glass. When he passed the store on his way to school, he crossed the street.
He was afraid of himself, of how badly he wanted to smash his fist through the window, to cradle the fish in his bloody hands and carry it down to the river. There he would dip it to the surface and free it into the terrible cold water. It might have been swallowed in a second, a sudden jagged mouth out of the black. He realized as he spoke that it sounded like Arcadia and laughed as he said so.
Helle's voice, so distant, when she said: You're not remembering right. Your memory's doing some kind of crazy gymnastic routine to get happy out of our childhood. Bit said, feeling a creeping sickness in him. Oh, Bit. I can't believe you don't remember. It was cold, Helle said. We were never warm. We never had enough to eat. We never had enough clothes. I had to wake up every single night to someone fucking someone in the Pink Piper.
Everywhere I was smelled like spunk. Handy let me drink the acid Slap-Apple when i was like five. What kind of hallucinations does a five-year-old have? For two months, I saw flames coming out of my mother's mouth every time she talked. We were like guests at the Mad Hatter's table, but didn't even know the world was flipped around hide spoiler ] there is so much damage in this story.
View all 67 comments. Jul 15, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: set-in-the-us , published Arcadia takes us from an enactment of utopia to the dawning of a dystopian nightmare in the span of its pages. It focuses on Bit, the first child born into a s hippy commune which begins with only a few charismatic acolytes and ends with thousands.
Bit is at times a bit of a wimp. You want to shake him out of his benevolent, almost masochistic passivity. As was the case with Fates and Furies , the prose is a constant delight. There are bodies in the billowing, forms created and lost in a breath.
View all 39 comments. Aug 23, Jeanette Again rated it did not like it Shelves: did-not-work-for-me , all-fiction. Am I just the buzzkill who wouldn't drop acid at the party? Did someone shut off the volcano that fueled my lava lamp? How do I explain my huge disappointment in this book? The story is slave to the style. Groff uses a floaty, present tense, semi-random flow that very nearly resembles a plot, but not quite.
Everything is seen through the eyes of Bit, a little boy who somehow doesn't seem to be "all t Am I just the buzzkill who wouldn't drop acid at the party?
Everything is seen through the eyes of Bit, a little boy who somehow doesn't seem to be "all there" upstairs. There's no appreciable dialogue or character development. The whole thing has a sort of dreamlike quality, which I suppose will appeal to some readers. This is a weird book that a lot of people will like. It breaks my heart to give it one star because I like Lauren Groff.
From ’60s Patchouli and Free Love to Darker Days a Half-Century Later
W e are endlessly fascinated by utopian societies, not least because sooner or later, they go horribly wrong. What we witness first is the day-to-day existence of a thriving s commune in New York State. We see everything through Bit's eyes as he grows up in a pastoral world "too full of terror and beauty". In other words, as with all sensitive children, Bit's world is magically magnified.
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Arcadia by Lauren Groff – review
Set on the grounds of a decaying mansion in western New York State in the s an American dream is taking shape. In the fields of western New York State in the s, on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land. He grows up there, becoming deeply attached to Arcadia's way of life and everyone within it, in particular the beautiful but troubled Helle. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He needs to find a way to live in the world beyond Arcadia, but can he let go of the past to forge a new start? Lauren Groff. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and two sons.
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Arcadia, the title of Lauren Groff's second novel, is also the self-mythologising name of the hippie commune in which it's largely set. It's the early Seventies, and we begin with a five-year-old child's take on the commune — the innocent, rose-tinted views of Ridley "Bit" Stone. Groff has a good sense of those peculiar connections you make when you're young. But his child's logic begins to impact painfully and strangely when Bit's mother becomes depressed. Bit stops speaking, to save her from her mysterious illness: to his young mind, fed on the Grimms' fairytales, this pact of silence, a deal with the universe, makes total sense.