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The Passion Of New Eve (Virago Modern…
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The Passion Of New Eve (Virago Modern Classics) (original 1977; edition 1982)

by Angela Carter (Author)

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8311510,880 (3.43)91
Member:othersam
Title:The Passion Of New Eve (Virago Modern Classics)
Authors:Angela Carter (Author)
Info:Virago (1982), Edition: New Ed, 192 pages
Collections:Currently reading
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The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter (1977)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I guess you can describe this as a futuristic dystopian novel. Evelyn, an Englishman visiting New York City, gets caught up in the violent break-up of that city and escapes, driving across the country to the desert. There he is kidnapped by a militant feminist group that turns him into a woman, the perfect woman. Now, as Eve, she escapes that group only to be kidnapped by Zero and his band of seven wives, to become wife #8. They make a pilgrimage to the home of legendary Hollywood star Tristessa. Eve and Tristessa then escape, only to be captured by a band of young militant boys who are bound for California to fight in the civil war there. Just a little too surreal, too weird for me - I didn't enjoy it. ( )
  LisaMorr | Aug 24, 2017 |
Review: The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter.

I decided to read this book and see what all the controversy was about. After the first couple of chapters I thought, “Oh no, I can’t read this book”, but I went on. The only reason I did was because I read some of the reviews and started visualizing a different version of the story. If you’re a kind of reader who can read through the complex depths of what Angela Carter is writing it becomes a whole different story. Much of the book was graphic but not in the form of porn.

At a sub-conscious level it covered all the essence of a character, Evelyn (an English name for a male) a young male professor who took advantage of a exotic dancer. He got her pregnant and then abandoned her in New York when a group of black revolutionaries were about to burn the collage to the ground and in Harlem white feminist revolutionaries where also harassing men. Evelyn then flees New York and heads for the desert where he is captured by another group of feminist who lived underground and worshiped a former surgeon who has transformed herself into a grotesque goddess named Cybele. This feminist goddess is the one who changes Evelyn to Eve physically altering all body parts.

The story goes on visually for the reader as the new Eve tries to survive as a female. One thing he/she does realize is that women truly are made into nurturers, into mothers, and into objects of sexual desire. Eve has now become the hunted and not the hunter….She ends up escaping the feminist Beulah group and is later captured by a woman-hater named Zero and his harem of female sex slaves…..during one of their episodes of gratification Eve, also meets a Hollywood screen goddess named Tristessa who she falls in love with….but Tristessa also has secret but her life is almost over…..The end of the book is near….

Angela Carter’s words are rich, chilling, and also shows passion in a more absorbed way. The entire book was held together by Carter’s boldness, creative style creating Eve’s character and behavior as the topic of the story. The book was complex, graphic, and at times over the top but following the story to the end gave me the advantage to decipher Angela Carter’s intentions.
( )
1 vote Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
This was too "out there" for me, I just couldn't get into it and I really tried. I loved [b:The Bloody Chamber|49011|The Bloody Chamber|Angela Carter|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170357108s/49011.jpg|47950] but this was nothing like that. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
The Basics

America is falling apart at the seams, and amidst this is Evelyn, flown in from the UK and trying to make a go of it. He ends up in a whirlwind of drama, confronted by several extremists and psychopaths. He also ends up being made into a woman.

My Thoughts

There’s almost too much to say about this book. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever read, and I pride myself on reading a lot of crazy fiction. The plot is full of so many fresh turns, it was impossible to stop reading for wanting to see the next, insane thing Carter was going to do with Eve. Or to Eve, in some cases.

It’s very strongly feminist, and while I’ve seen it said that some readers were offended that she takes a character and forces a sex change on them, Carter never acts as if this was a good thing for Evelyn or the right thing to do. More I felt she used the idea of a man becoming a woman against his will to showcase a male character facing what a victimized woman would be forced to face, turning the tables on what we so often see in fiction. I don’t believe she was trying to say that anyone should ever have a sex change forced on them. To me, this book was full of militant viewpoints wherein Evelyn/Eve was a victim to these larger schemes, and no one is painted as being right.

More than all this, I feel like this is a fantastic book about gender. Not just feminism, but all gender. Gender confusion and what it’s like to feel strange in your own body and ambiguity and androgyny and breaking out of the gender box. It’s a very complex character study, which becomes a very complex gender study.

And all of it in this gorgeous package, because it’s written exquisitely. I kept sinking into her words and not wanting to come back out. Carter was a real master of prose. So it’s a gorgeous book with a fantastic plot and a lot of depth. Everyone should read this.

Final Rating

5/5 ( )
1 vote Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
This is a weird book.

It takes place in some sort of dystopian alternate-present, where New York is at the mercy of race and gender riots, and a wall is being built around Harlem by the National Guard. The rest of the country is falling apart too, as we find out through the course of the book. Evelyn is a young Englishman who has come to the US for a job, but it falls through essentially immediately and he is unwilling to go back home since he has met a prostitute and fallen into a sort of twisted, drug-fueled stasis with her. Eventually he sets out from New York on his own and then things get seriously strange.

Sometimes the book reads like some kind of gruesome horror- or disaster-porn, seedy and cheap. And then sometimes it reads like a tract on feminist theory. Neither was particularly my style. If you read this, expect a lot of gender stereotyping, role reversals, rape, kidnapping and helplessness.

Recommended for: Gloria Steinem, fans of fill-in-the-blank-sploitation movies, men in women's studies classes.

Quote: "She seemed to me a born victim and, if she submitted to the beatings and the degradations with a curious, ironic laugh that no longer tinkled - for I'd beaten the wind-bells out of her, I'd done that much - then isn't irony the victim's only weapon?" ( )
1 vote ursula | Sep 23, 2013 |
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Epigraph
"In the beginning all the world was America." - John Locke
Dedication
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The last night I spent in London, I took some girl or other to the movies and, through her mediation, I paid you a little tribute of spermatozoa, Tristessa.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
New York has become the City of Dreadful Night where black, dissolute Leilah performs a dance of chaos for Evelyn, a young Englishman whose fate is that of Tiresias. For in the arid desert, now the post-menopausal part of the earth, a many-breasted fertility goddess will wield the obsidian scalpel that is to transform him into the new Eve. This is the story of how Evelyn learns to be a woman - first in the brutal hands of Zero, the poet, the ragtime Nietzsche, the one-eyed, one-legged monomaniac; then through the gentle touch of the ambiguous, ancient Tristessa, the beautiful ghost of Hollywood past, myth made flesh, in a glass palace full of worn-out dreams. And the story tells of how, in a California torn by civil war, in a deserted cave by the sea, Eve comes to learn at last a kind of enlightenment.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0860683419, Paperback)

This story follows Evelyn, a young Englishman, along a journey through mythology and sexuality. It is a story of how he learns to be a woman, first in the brutal hands of Zero, the ragtime Nietzsche, then through the ancient Tristessa, the beautiful ghost of Hollywood past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This story follows Evelyn, a young Englishman, along a journey through mythology and sexuality. It is a story of how he learns to be a woman, first in the brutal hands of Zero, the ragtime Nietzsche, then through the ancient Tristessa, the beautiful ghost of Hollywood past.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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