Con: I disagree with the entire hypothesis of the book (that you can tell a lot about a person by what books they own). Trying to figure a person out from any of their possessions is pointless and misleading.
Take me for example: I try to be minimalistic in general; once every two months I go through my things and donate what isn't needed and/or fun; I get all my books from the library. If you were to look at my bookshelf all that's there are Norton Anthologies and Calvin/Hobbes. Point is, it's a stupid idea that you can tell all about a person by what they own.
Pro: This quote from Phillip Pullman: "The Kindle. Maybe We're on the cusp of a revolution as great as Gutenberg's, but then maybe not. No invention was ever as great as the codex; it's still unsurpassed. Reading the Kindle is sort of like reading a book, because there's nothing else you can do on it: you can't check your emails or look for the football results. No built-in distractions. And it's also sort of like reading a book because the text is arranged in sort of pages. It's much less easy to navigate through, though... I mistrust any device whose continued usage depends on a vast, mysterious and invisible infrastructure of electricity supply, computer servers, broadband connections, credit facilities, and so on. A printing press can exist and work in a room anywhere, with no electricity at all... When the big crash comes, I shall throw away my Kindle without a moment's regret; but my books will last as long as I do."
Middlesex had a few slow patches in the storyline, but the writing was eloquent to the point that you hardly noticed. The Marriage Plot has me loathing every last character from the moment they are introduced and the writing style feels choppy and forced. What was lyrical and introspective in Middlesex feels forced and overthought in this book. Some of the phrasing is hard to take.
Example: "What's the matter? Didn't you hear the bell?" It was Alton's voice, as deep and commanding as ever, despite the fact that it was issuing from a tiny speaker.
"Sorry," Madeleine said. "I was in the shower."
"Likely story. Will you let us in, please?"
While there is nothing technically wrong with that exchange, I hate it. The entire story reads like that. Maybe if I managed to finish the book it would rival Middlesex, but I highly doubt it.
If anyone out there makes it through this and loves it, submit a review about what you liked about it.
1) Stephen King does a great job of bringing the past to life
2) He manages to give the Oswalds humanity
3) He makes a lot of plugs for the value of libraries. They were integral to research in the past, offer aid to millions of people now, and will be extremely important in the future as well.