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The Golden Bowl by Henry James
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The Golden Bowl (1904)

by Henry James

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It appears as though his earlier works were better written. By the time I got to "The Wings of the Dove" (1902) I had grown tired of him. By the end of his career, there wasn't a simple action or thought that he couldn't convey in an unending stream of words. His mantra seemed to be, "I could be succinct, but why? I enjoy writing. I couldn't give a damn whether I burden the reader with my verbal diarrhea." A highly overrated writer, maybe because he was an ex-patriot. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
"I've just read The Golden Bowl and the last 2 vols of Leon Edel's Henry James biography which I enjoyed very much." (Letter to Bob Smith, 13 April 1973.) (Pym, A very private eye. Granada, 1985. p. 383.)
"I have chosen ... for my Desert Island Discs ... the book Henry James The Golden Bowl (which I have already stumbled through once)." (Letter to Philip Larkin, 27 July 1978.) (Pym, A very private eye. Granada, 1985. p. 444.)
  Barbara_Pym | Aug 26, 2013 |
Rated: F-
I struggled through about 10% of this classic. James' writing style, for me, was a beating. Long flowing sentences and paragraphs the lost me at times. Hard for me to enjoy, so I stopped reading. First book to drop in years. ( )
  jmcdbooks | Jan 28, 2013 |
A little soap opera of a plot expanded beyond bearing with excruciatingly detailed exploration of the uninteresting characters' interior motivations; characters so shallow that I was never for a moment convinced about the delicacy of the thought that James gives them. If James's intent was to show the bored futility of pre-WWI upper class life he succeeds. Plot: A fabulously rich American and his daughter are in England. She marries a out-of-fortune Italian Prince. Her father marries a pretty friend of hers. It turns out that the Prince and the pretty friend have had a previous unconfessed romantic relationship. That's about it. The crisis of the plot turns on the eponymous golden bowl which is introduced with a coincidence of Dickensian improbability. The prose is everything that James's prose is parodied for. ( )
1 vote sjnorquist | Jan 1, 2013 |
I figured wasn't old enough to read "The Golden Bowl" until this year (and here it is the eve of my 57th birthday). The novel is considered by many to be Henry James' masterwork, and certainly its ever-changing points of view and revelations are almost excruciatingly subtle. I'm pretty sure that I would have to read the book several times to get all its delicate little nuances, which are pretty much why people love James or find him tiresome beyond endurance.

Read the rest of this review at http://thegrimreader.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-plumb-subtleties-of-henry-james.html ( )
1 vote nohrt4me2 | Sep 12, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donoghue, DenisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Prince had always liked his London, when it had come to him; he was one of the modern Romans who find by the Thames a more convincing image of the truth of the ancient state than any they have left by the Tiber.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432353, Paperback)

'This story of the alliance between Italian aristocracy and American millionaires is "a work unique among all [James'] novels: it is [his] only novel in which things come out right for his characters ...he had finally resolved the questions, curious and passionate, that had kept him at his desk on his inquiries into the process of living. He could now make his peace with America - and he could now collect and unify the work of a lifetime' - Leon Edel in "The Life of Henry James".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:07 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

James' controversial novel probes the mind of an American heiress as she becomes aware of the affair between her husband and her father's young wife.

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