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Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
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Giovanni's Room (original 1956; edition 2007)

by James Baldwin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,562392,345 (4.09)248
Member:chrisharpe
Title:Giovanni's Room
Authors:James Baldwin
Info:Penguin Classics (2007), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Norfolk Libraries

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Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin (1956)

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» See also 248 mentions

English (37)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Painful. Beautiful. Sublime. Tragic. ( )
  BooksForYears | Apr 1, 2016 |
Evocative but enervating. A young American in Paris wrecks the lives of his girlfriend and the young Italian who falls in love with him. Seriously - I blame David for everything. He drives Giovanni to murder and starts Hella (great name!) to ranting about the condition of woman. Hey, if you don't want to get married, don't bother, love. Beautiful writing, full of dark truths - 'the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare' - and definitely insightful, but very, very depressing. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Feb 10, 2016 |
Please don't read this until AFTER you come out of the closet - it might just scare you back in there...And it is profoundly depressing. But stunning too! ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
KEY THOUGHTS
*This is one of those books that I could review everyday for a week and have something different to say or a different perspective each time I reflect.
*First of all, it is crazy brave to have written a book about the struggles of denying oneself through the through the story of homosexuality during the time in which Baldwin did. His passion to get his story out regardless of any backlash was enough to make me want to know more.
*The characters were all rather unlikable, especially the main character, but I loved how Baldwin made me understand them, and feel for them.
*I was left feeling like I see a lot of things differently and with other things to think about.
*The sprinkling of French here and there was more distracting than anything. James Baldwin may be a genius, but *I just want a good story.
*I never got as emotional as I was hoping for given the heavy sobering content.
*The ending was good stuff.
*This is definitely a book that can be reread with different effect. ( )
  StephLaymon | Jan 26, 2016 |
I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. It says a lot about the whiteness of “mainstream” queer culture and my own ingrained white supremacy as well as the tendency for every generation of queers to think that there was nothing before us that is relevant. So I could talk for days about that caveat, and much smarter elders and people of color have already talked and written about all that much better than I ever could. So anyway, the book:

Holy shit, this book is so beautiful and heartbreaking and powerful and intense. If you haven’t read it, you need to. But read it when you are prepared to feel shattered and have time to recuperate. Only the best books need aftercare, and this is one of them. This isn’t my first James Baldwin book, but it is the first fiction I have read by him and I was surprised at the beauty of the prose. I don’t know why I was surprised because of course he was an amazing writer, but I think I expected the writing to be more of a hammer and less like the beautiful soft, but strong, silk that he wove. That’s kind of a silly analogy but I don’t know how else to express how this book feels. It is an all encompassing experience. Giovanni’s Room is definitely in my top 10 of all time, which is saying a lot. Read this if your heart can handle it! ( )
  KatieTF | Jan 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editHearts on Fire, Delta (May 11, 2013)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Baldwinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prinsen, G.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I am the man, I suffered, I was there. - Whitman
Dedication
For Lucien
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I stand at the window of this great house in the south of France as night falls, the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385334583, Paperback)

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Set in the 1950s, Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality"--P. [4] of cover.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141186356, 0141032944

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