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The Group [Read] ➪ The Group Author Mary McCarthy – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Mary McCarthy's most celebrated novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates known simply to their classmates as the group An eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings they meet a week after Mary McCarthy's most celebrated novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates known simply to their classmates as The Group An eclectic mix of personalities and upbringings they meet a week after graduation to watch Kay Strong get married After the ceremony the women begin their adult lives Traveling to Europe tackling the worlds of nursing and publishing and finding love and heartbreak in the streets of New York City Through the years some of the friends grow apart and some become entangled in each other's affairs but all vow not to become like their mothers and fathers It is only when one of them passes away that they all come back together again to mourn the loss of a friend a confidante and most importantly a member of The Group.

  • paperback
  • 397 pages
  • The Group
  • Mary McCarthy
  • English
  • 17 August 2015

About the Author: Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy – was an American literary critic and author of than two dozen books including the New York Times bestseller The Group Born in Seattle McCarthy studied at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie New York and graduated in After moving to New York City McCarthy became known for her incisive writing as a contributor to publications such as the Nation the New Repub.



10 thoughts on “The Group

  1. Wayne Wayne says:

    I can remember my Dad's married sisters discussing this book they were voracious readers always in the 1960's I was determined to read it and finally got hold of it in 1967 when I was studying to be a Catholic priest My Student Director immediately confiscated it so I knew its reputation was still going strongHe didn't see my two volumes of Nietzsche I'd also bought with money my Mum had given me for my 20th birthday I'd only bought them because I'd already seen him confiscate a Nietzsche on the grounds that it could destroy one's faith and I was already seeing large holes in the Church's fabric myself I mentioned what had happened to my History tutor a Russian woman at Adelaide UniversitySouth Australia and she gave me her copy of McCarthy which I still haveI have read it three times 2007 was the last time and seen the movie several times a very faithful renditionThis book is so elouent and dry and upfront and honest All of these make it totally outrageous but dreadfully refreshingHow many books do this??? And not missing are McCarthy's wit and humourIt makes me believe in intelligent Americans in a way that Sex and the City doesn't It's sad to notice that there is only one American male on this site Well done Dave Aren't they interested in the experiences of their women? Great to see another generation of women responding to this great authorBy the way I never became a priestI left the monastery two years later an atheist And I never read the Nietzsche it was too difficult I still have them thoughlike a symbolI have two copies of The Group nowone to lend out and the one given me by my Russian tutor in History the sentimental memory copyAnd I'm looking forward to another reread of The GroupCheers from WayneSydneyPSHave any of you folk read another magnificent American woman Janet Flanner Paris correspondent for the New Yorker? 5 YEARS LATERThe Group came back into my TV Life a few weeks agoa long time since I had enjoyed the filmand did so again When I wrote this review on 4th Feb 2011 there was only one other male readerSince then there have been many others which is GREATbut of course overwhelmingly womenare the main readers I'm curious to know if this book is read as an important part of American Lit on College or Uni Campusesor is it still scandalous for being upfront ??And I never thought to mention Lakey whose presence must have added to the book's scandalous reputation In these days of Marriage Euality she takes on a Very Modern role in a book set just before WWII But of course Gay men and women have always been living as married coupleswhy would they ask for anyone's permission??? Lakey has the last word in the noveland she socks it to its Meanest Man The scene is done to Perfection in the Film It was Candice Bergen's first roleand definitely NOT her last Hope You All get a chance to see itAnd I'm glad my review has been enjoyed by many readers Thanks

  2. Petra-masx Petra-masx says:

    I read this book when I was really young maybe 12 I just saw a review on it it said The book was very frank about sexuality describing some sex scenes in great detail However it felt clinical like a sex ed text than erotic Not to me it was HOT and very inspirational Masturbation the First Time and Girls who like other Girls what's clinical about that? It was my favourite secret book That is until I found my father's The Kama Sutra The Perfumed Garden drying in the airing cupboard after his weekly bath He had showers every day but a bath on Sunday with an adult book I read his Freemasons' book that way as well

  3. Michaela Michaela says:

    Take THAT Candace Bushnell Every woman who moves to NYC after becoming obsessed with Sex and the City should be compelled to read this book Even though this book takes place between the WWI and WWII they'd probably be shocked to discover that the things change the they stay the same If anything this is probably the most realistic picture of the dynamics of female friendships and their impact on malefemale relations that I've ever readFrank discussion of pre marital sex birth control hasty marriage loveless marriages adultery domestic violence mental illness pregnancy post partum depression lesbianism etc etc etc you'll be stunned that this takes place in the 30's Because you know we didn't like invent promiscuous sex and neuroses or falling in love with the wrong men or anything

  4. Ines Ines says:

    I do it fast and simple A charade of facts events places and characters but nothing that has kidnapped me or anythin significant that has remained in my heartYes this book slipped away from me with absolutely nothing I immediately say that there by there the girls of Vassar College in uestion live their dramas successes and broken destinies but the whole thing is written my personal opinion with total emotional strangeness by McCarthy; There are so many described things and absolutely unnecessary inserts that several times I found myself turning the pages in search of structural action to the story Is that th e problem for us 20th century readers?Certainly many parts reported by McCarthy must have been uite shocking to those who found themselves reading it in 1962 explicit sex scenes attempted rape scene domestic violence lesbian relationships etc For me these parts were not very interesting and it sad that the girls' characters were not well delineated if not for a few of them Kay Norine Priss and Pokey I felt comfortable and interested in reading Priss' motherhood and Kay’s unfortunate lifeThe costumes and 1935's modus vivendi are well brought back by McCarthy but at the same time creating an effect of too much stuffing for the meatloaf If you want to turn your liver in black then read carefully the life of HaraldKay’s husband poor woman the biggest asshole found from all the books ever read in my life Yes a book that pissed me off La faccio rapida e veloce Una sciarada di fatti avvenimenti luoghi e personaggi ma nulla che mi abbia rapito o comunue ualche cosa che mi sia rimasto nel cuore di significativoSi uesto libro mi è scivolato via senza darmi assolutamente nulladico subito che lì per lì le ragazze del Vassar College in uestione vivono i loro drammi successi e destini spezzati ma il tutto è scritto mio parere personale con totale estraneità affettiva dalla McCarthy; ci sono così tante cose descritte e inserti assolutamente non necessari che piu volte mi sono ritrovata a girare le pagine in cerca di azione strutturale alla storia Che sia un problema di noi lettori del 20 secolo? Sicuramente tante parti riportate dalla McCarthy devono essere state ben sconvolgenti a chi si è ritrovato a leggerlo nel 1962 scene di sesso esplicito tentata violenza carnale scene di violenza domestica estrema relazioni lesbiche etc A me tutto uesto non ha interessato piu' di tanto i caratteri delle ragazze non sono stati ben delineati se non per poche di loro Kay Norine Priss e Pokey Mi sono piu' sentita a mio agio e interessata a leggere la maternità di Priss e la vita disgraziata di KayI costumi e il modus vivendi del 1935 vengono ben riportati dalla McCarthy ma creando un effetto polpettone troppo infarcito Se poi volete farmi venire un fegato nero leggete attentamente la vita di Haraldil marito di Kay povera donna il piu' gran cornuto e stronzo di tutti i libri mai letti in vita mia si un libro che mi ha lasciato incavolata

  5. Carol She& Carol She& says:

    Fairly near the start this book had waaay too much detail about 1930's contraception for my tastes it went on for pages Yes I should be sympathetic this chapter also evoked the feelings of confused and furtive shame about sexual matters that I remember from the 70'sBut the further into this groundbreaking novel I got the absorbed I became I especially like the way The Group moved in and out of each others lives some of the characters disappear for chapters and chapters This very much reflects real life Most of the women have absorbing lives but only the most frustrating member Kay has a real career Kay also has a real devotion to the unlovely Haraldview spoiler so wish he came to a horrible end hide spoiler

  6. Greg Brown Greg Brown says:

    After tearing through Mary McCarthy's The Group I'm kinda shocked that it hasn't been inducted into the canon yet The book is a stunning scary look at gender relations in the 1930s yet so searing that it's a shock to see it was written in the 1950s Even Mad Men written from the perspective of today's improvements isn't as damning as McCarthy can be about the oppression of the timeMcCarthy gets uite a bit out of the tension between characters being comedically wrong and worryingly wrong And that's putting it lightly; some of the dialogue can be absolutely chilling especially the prisoners who have learned to love their prison Each of the characters seems promising and aware of their times until they incidentally slip into some pattern of behavior that perpetuates the oppression of women at the timeAs far as those patterns of behavior McCarthy has wonderful treatments of internal dialogues and how women at the time sort of reasoned their way through the world More than their actions it shows the assumptions and prejudices they worked under and the rationalizations that justified horrible results for themselves There's also a tremendous insecurity from the expectations of the day primarily marriageSo many of the dialogues would start with the character considering something and like pulling on a sweater's thread slowly unraveling what they thought they knew Sometimes it's accurate but most of the time you get the sense that they're just running around in circles missing some central lacuna And so many of the dialogues pulled from the pop psychology of the day primarily Freud's It's hard to imagine today how large his impact was but at the time it rivaled Darwin's and possibly exceededSometimes McCarthy steps back and looks at things from an incidental character's point of view showing how these young women are perceived—and in that perception constrained—by men and older women There are yet other episodes that show the fruitless of their analysis and pop psychology by upturning one character's inferences using the experience of another in one memorable case she has one character remember a party that was already described matter of factly except this character's rememberance is overtaken by a single surprising urgeI was surprised by how much the novel was also focused on class how it in some senses liberated the women of the novel to worry less about material needs but at the same time gave them to lose if they worked against the social order It's hard to say whether class lended itself to or less euitable relations—I'd guess because these women had access to education but it's hard to tell given the shared social background of most characters It would certainly vary dramatically by region though with women in East Texas not yet receiving electricity and expected to perform any number of back breaking duties in a dayThat's not to say that our monied characters don't have terrifying experiences of their own The mental ward chapter was especially scary having gone through a similar experience myself Kay's admission is still very similar to how it's done today and is enough to drive one to madness if they weren't already there Public mental health care in the US is like maintaining a fire department without fire codes and it hasn't markedly improved in the last 80 years One's husband cannot trap you in the ward merely on his say so but the criteria for release are still frustratingly vagueThis is in many ways a tremendously important novel to read today even though things have certainly improved for the better Most people today understand that it was bad for women in the past but it's hard to imagine the ways that such oppression sustained itself For so many historical studies of sexism and racism it's a tempting answer to just say they were dumber back in the day; while this is somewhat true when you consider lead poisoning and alcohol consumption of the day it's a dangerously incomplete answer Grappling with the particulars of how we demeaned women is gruesome but necessary so we understand that oppression doesn't come in flashing neon It slips into your very ways of thinking masuerading as a web of supporting assumptions that can't be eliminated until the entire system has been unmasked and hacked away

  7. Sarah Sarah says:

    This is pretty much my ideal novel It's set in 1930s New York and follows the lives of several Vassar graduates There has been only a few truly slow portions of this novel I laughed aloud in several parts of the novel All of the talk of New York high society 1930s politics Freudian psychotherapy and modernism generally was like candy to me All of these characters were pretty darn interesting to me and I was sad when the novel ended

  8. Christine Boyer Christine Boyer says:

    You know when you're in the middle of a good book and you have to put it down you still think about the characters and the story? Well that was NOT the case with this book I never connected and never felt anything about it Apparently this book first came out in 1954 1963 and I think the reason it was popular was because it had very taboo content at least for the 1950's I could see young girls back then giggling and hiding their copies of it Other than that it's filled with flaws No plot; the author tries to tell a story of 8 Vassar graduates but it's too many characters and she doesn't do any of them justice There are also about 30 side characters Plus the bulk of the story is supposed to take place from 1933 1943 but McCarthy never brings that '30s feeling instead it feels so 1950 1960 the time period when she actually wrote it Another major flaw is that no relationships are developed Everyone is talking AT each other instead of WITH each other It's a constant running monologue rather than dialogue It reminds me of old Woody Allen movies Not the good funny part of Woody but Woody movies when he has himself or other characters go on ad nauseam about communism psychoanalysis so 1950's and sexuality It's one character talking just for the sake of talking There was a movie made about it in 1966 but it bombed I always try to find one positive thing so I guess it made me glad that I came of age in the 1980's after the birth control pill was invented And I learned what a pessary is

  9. Alex Alex says:

    There's this story Laura Jacobs recounts in her definitive essay about this book“I used to keep seventy five dollars of mad money in a book We had The Group on the shelf in our guest room and I thought I’ll remember where it is if I put it in there Every guest we had would come down the next morning and say ‘Did you know you had money in that book?’ ”She should have stashed it in Herzog right? No one would ever have found it This book on the other hand which gets almost immediately to a long scene of orgasmic deflowerizationthis is a poor choice for a hiding placeWritten in 1963 and set in the 30s it follows eight women and assorted hangers on after their graduation from college and through about seven years of their lives McCarthy's penchant for thinly disguising her Vassar classmates made her not the most popular kid at reunion Here's a daisy chain which was when the most bright eyed Vassar women carried shitloads of flowers around and has probably been awkward to modernizeThe plot is not compelling It or less falls into the connected short story genre with linking characters and themes and sometimes you get the sense that it's not even that it's of a series of excuses for instructional manuals Here is how to use a pessary That's pretty much a diaphragm Here are some competing philosophies re child rearing They're using cry it out Characters pass the story off to each other like relay batons; the stories overlap like a series of cresting wavesBut for all that it isn't boring Although the child free might nod off a bit during the two chapters about baby strategy Partly that's because much of it is about sex But it's also extremely funny and not just because of the recipes straight out of the 70s Dinner Party Twitter account A marvelous jellied salad called Green Goddess made with lime gelatin shrimps mayonnaise and alligator pear People are described as Given to large tight brassieres and copious menstruation and The sort of girl that people's brothers took out Dottie mishears pessary as peccary and wonders what she's supposed to do with a pig There's even a Jeevesian butlerI mean it's dead serious too McCarthy means to fight make no mistake She tackles miscarriage and rape and death One of the ongoing threads is men making decisions for women with increasingly dire conseuences Birth control breastfeeding institutionalization the effect of men on women gets worse and worse as we go It's not an accident that the final story is about a gay womanOn publication as Elizabeth Day puts it for The Guardian The Group rapidly became a book that everyone read without wanting to admit it Birth control right? Ew The good news it's been 70 years and now you can admit it all you want This book is great

  10. Annelies Annelies says:

    This is for me an absolute 5 stars The manner in which the characterisation of the different persons comes forward is masterful Each person is descriped in a very detailed sometimes sugggestive manner Also the fact how the total store is interwoven is very good done You learn about failed ambition in the thirties not because the women are incapable but because marriage prohibits them to develop themselves You regularly have to laugh with what the persons think or say or how they handle The only negative thing it's difficult to discern certain persons at the end; some come forward and you would remember better other disappeared during the story But certainly a remarkable read It reads like a soap

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