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Nocturnes for the King of Naples Paperback – July 15, 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (July 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312022638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312022631
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,088,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As a writer, White possesses the rare combination of a poetic sense of language and an ironic sense of humor..." --Newsweek

"There are few novels which defy reviewing. They are the ones that provide us with unique reading experiences, which become valuable additions to understanding of the world and ourselves. Edmund White's new novel is one of these...he has embodied his story in some of the finest writing to be found in recent American fiction." --Doris Grumbach, Washington Post Book World

"Nocturnes for the King of Naples is a baroque invention of quite startling brilliance and intensity." --Gore Vidal

"Qhite is unquestionably the foremost American gay novelist." --Newsweek

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I asked Ed White what his favorite output was I hoped that he would say "Nocturnes For The King Of Naples." He did. When I asked Ed White what he regretted about his career, he did not mention this book. It is short and easily readable in a single patient sitting: I read it on a flight from Boston to Salt Lake City that was ten hours from start to finish. I was mesmerized and I wept as I read: because these words meant so much to my own life, because I thought to myself that I would never have the godsend inspiration to produce a novel with so much self examination, so much poetry, so much questioning of God. Along with "The Little Prince" it is among my most favorite books.
Edmund White writes novels that tell of the world he lives in in New York and in Paris, and he has been heralded world wide for his talent. He advocates an unbridled sexuality. We have fought over this point and I love his writing despite his stance. Despite all his free love manifestos, he wrote a book that details that passion he felt for his past, for his past lovers and for his father. This is it and you wil never find a more engaging, moving tale of the search for love and affection.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book, in order to be fully experienced, should be read very slowly. White is a master of sensual description. You should visualize the images and forget about plot and character.If you let your mind linger over the words you can experience the novel with all of your senses. The atmosphere is almost tangible. The variations are stunning.I must say that reading this book after having read 4 other White novels I was prepared. If you jump right in you can easily become lost or disoriented. Maybe that is part of the author's wishes. I read an interview where he commented that unlike the 19th Century novel where the reader is given a roadmap and a clear view, this book requires the reader to work and make connections. If you do persevere you will be rewarded with a haunting series of visions that will not readily be forgotten.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. Halkin on July 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Put on some cool white linens, open an excellent bottle of red wine and lounge on your chez in the garden, or in your conservatory: This and 4 hours time are the ingredients you need to read or re-read this jewel of a novelette. Seldom has a book so resembled a piece of music, as this does. Clear your mind and let it in - this epic poem - this little night music. I have never stopped thanking Edmund White in my prayers for giving the world this piece of beauty. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gac1003 on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
An American, now living in Europe, creates an homage to his lover that he let slip away. He reviews his life, from childhood and his unstable upbringing to the self-made end of his perfect relationship and on through the aftermath of various lovers in whom all he can see are aspects of his one true love. through poetic use of language and masterful imagery, White has crafted a unique novel about what happens when you shut out the one person who means so much to you.

It's by no means an easy read, and I admit that I had to re-start after 20 pages because I was trying to zip through such a short novel. This novel deserves to be read slowly so that the words and images can make an impact on you, otherwise you will miss something.
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