Large Print - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
English anthropologist Andrew Banson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in 1930s New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide. Then he encounters the famous and controversial American anthropologist Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, who have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo. Nell and Fen and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2014
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781410472939
Branch Call Number: LP KING-L
Characteristics: 357 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

AL_ANNAL Dec 26, 2017

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.

BostonPL_LauraB Jun 24, 2017

Loved the setting and reading about how the early anthropologists might have worked, including the main subject of this story Nell (loosely based on Margaret Mead), her husband Fen (ugh), and a British anthropologist named Bankson. I even kind-of liked the love triangle aspect, although it was very obvious who she *should* choose the whole time. I found it to be an insanely fast read, which may also help with my rating of it as well. I think I'd recommend it, but be prepared for a bit of a love story and the pining that may accompany that.

Megan_PNW May 02, 2017

This book is humid. It is dense with a strong sense of place and filled with complex character relationships. A great pick for book clubs!

Apr 19, 2017

The writing is good. One sticks with it to the end. Don't know what this says about the reader.

This is the second novel of Lily King's hoping the 'heroine' would off herself and let all the people she's been abusing get on with their lives and find some happiness.

Why does this author write about dysfunctional and somewhat abusive but "wildly attractive" (according to her) women who have some terrible secret to hide from their distant past that makes them irresistible to decent men and children?

I'm tempted but determined to stay away from The Pleasing Hour until I've read something positive and uplifting beforehand.

Oct 26, 2016

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. I particularly enjoyed the scene with Nell's mental rendering of her fellow white women's cultural grooming habits in anthro-speak. It's a slim volume, and a quick, delightful read.

Oct 05, 2016

Wonderful characters and sense of place—well done historical fiction.

Oct 03, 2016

While I was reading this book, I was thinking - What a waste of a really good topic and interesting material: endless names of tribes; unlikeable, incomplete, characters of westerners...
But last 30 or so pages, raised my opinion of the book.

Sep 21, 2016

There was so much to love about this story of 3 anthropologists who are doing field research in New Guinea. The setting is great - both moody and interesting and I loved the introspective approach to revealing these characters and their awkward relationships to each other. Every time I picked the book up, I would just fall into that world for awhile. I love when a book can do that for me. I will definitely come back to this book again and will look for other novels by this author.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

Euphoria is full of voice and setting, and it is these two elements that carry the novel. If you like anthropology, philosophy, or psychology, or just about any fictionalized tale of science, I recommend giving this one a try.

May 02, 2016

A truly wonderful book; I would give it 6 stars if I could. The writing is spectacular, rich, creating a sense of the euphoria of its title. Three finely drawn, unforgettable characters: Bankson, the troubled, conflicted, earnest narrator, struggling to overcome the disappointment of his parents and brothers at his failure to become the great biologist; Fen, the envious, marginal anthropologist constantly overshadowed by the brilliance of his wife; and above all Nell, passionate, brilliant, insightful, beautiful, immersing herself in the culture of the tribes, capturing not just the facts but gloriously embracing the romance of it all. Penetrating insight into human intellectual competitiveness, the search of an individual for his/her own destiny. King's presentation of the anthropologist's dilemma when encountering an alien culture is perfectly apt, questioning "how we believed we could be objective in any way at all, we who each came in with our own personal definitions of kindness, strength, masculinity, femininity, God, civilization, right and wrong".

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TPL

To Top