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A Devil in Paradise (New Directions Bibelot) Paperback


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A Devil in Paradise (New Directions Bibelot) + Wisdom of the Heart (New Directions Paperbook) + Stand Still Like the Hummingbird (New Directions Paperbook)
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Bibelot
  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (April 17, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811212440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811212441
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A nightmarish houseguest provides the focus for one of Miller's signature autobiographical tales.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

A nightmarish houseguest provides the focus for one of Miller's signature autobiographical tales.

” (Publishers Weekly)

More About the Author

HENRY MILLER (1891-1980) was an American writer and painter infamous for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are "Tropic of Cancer," "Tropic of Capricorn," and "Black Spring." His books were banned in the United States for their lewd content until 1964 when a court ruling overturned this order, acknowledging Miller's work as literature in what became one of the most celebrated victories of the sexual revolution.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Oz du Soleil on October 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Very slim book. A quick read. In just a few pages Miller successfully presents the comprehensive problem of dealing with something that outsiders perceive as being so easy--just get rid of that guest of yours.
Well, Miller had made an obligation, and knew what it mean to be needy. So, how does one simply say, "GET OUT!"? But more exciting is Miller's ability to give a sober, fair representation of the rude guest. It would have been so easy & bratty to present the guy as thoroughly rotten; but Miller gains credibility as an artist by delineating the complexity of a condition.
So, I disagree with a previous reviewer who took this book as a rant. No, no. Miller makes a huge effort to be fair to his nemesis. Rants are one-sided and uninteresting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "timmyjones" on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book, unlike Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" or "Tropic of Capricorn", follows a pretty standard form. By this i mean that unlike some of Miller's other work, there is a definite plot to this book; a definite beginning, middle and end. In addition, it lacks the surreal atmosphere of these other works. However, Miller makes up for for this with a superb demonstration of his story-telling abilities. Rather than writing fragmented adventures, Miller here writes a book that flows from beginning to end. In this way, he is able to chronical the relationship that he has with the novel's antagonist, as well as with his wife and daughter. Although the decriptions are not as elaborate as in some of Miller's other works, the imagery is still superior to most other writers. Overall, this is a more toned-down Miller than in his early years as a writer, but for it lacks in youthful lust, "A Devil in Paradise" makes up with crafty story-telling, crisp imagery, and a more focused energy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BLT on March 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love this book! Miller is one of my favorite authors and this work stands out as a favorite. I recommend this book especially to people who have written off Miller as "smut" (or worse). He's a comic genius. And if you've ever had a houseguest from Hell -- this book will show you that you it wasn't *that* bad!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Henry Miller is the writer who asks most clearly the question of relationship between art and real life. In his case, art and life are so strongly linked that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other. He is a kind of character quite impossible to ape : as he said in this book, he has made all the possible mistakes, what made him wiser and richer. His appetite for life makes him a pre-socratic writer : in this meaning he is as pure as a child, and as perverse as Sade, and all human contradictions are within him. In this boook he speaks about one of his incredibly funny, absurd parts of life. He was a man who didn't know shame, or ridiculous feelings; despite he has a strong critic spirit. What he said about astrology is very interesting : it shows that rationality is just one way, and maybe not each time the best, to understand human reality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paris1929 on September 8, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From page one of this book Henry Miller exacts his revenge on his unwelcome houseguest. This book is a superb rant, filled with some of Henry Miller's most brilliant and amusing caricatures. Henry Miller deftly swings between sweet admiration and praise for the object of his troubles, and outright disgust. Set in Big Sur, later in his life, it's a short, easy read, and doesn't contain the profanities that cause some people shy away from in Henry Miller's books. Highly Recommended for those who want to laugh out loud at Henry Miller's audacity and want to better understand HM's genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
What this book is one of the shortest that I can recall Miller writing but one of his funniest. People that take Miller as just an erotic writer dealing with baudy sex and escapades may be disappointed with this read. But for those that truly realize that Miller had a great sense of humor will laugh out loud with this book. It is a story about an old acquaintence named Conrad Moricand that and needs a place to stay. Miller sets him up in an attic/loft at the Big Sur residence and gives Moricand the utmost hospitality at his disposal. Over the course of time, Moricand offends every member of the household to the point where miller regrets ever letting him into his house. To read how Miller lets the reader see exactly what moricand is like and the descriptive language he uses is priceless and any student of writing should study this book for hints.
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