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Spy In House Of Love: V4 In Nin'S Continuous Novel (Vol IV) Paperback – Unabridged, January 1, 1959

ISBN-13: 978-0804002806 ISBN-10: 0804002800

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Product Details

  • Series: Swallow Paperbooks
  • Paperback: 139 pages
  • Publisher: Swallow Press (January 1, 1959)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804002800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804002806
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anais Nin—the celebrated novelst, diarist, and short story writer—was born in France and spent her childhood in various parts of Europe and in New York. Nin returned to New York just before the outbreak of World War II, and she spent the rest of her life living there and in Paris and Los Angeles. Her work is characterized by a interest in the subconscious. Her five novels in the Cities of the Interior series focus on different female types and follow their lives through lovers, art, and analysis. In 1973 Nin received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.

More About the Author

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) was born in Paris and aspired at an early age to be a writer. An influential artist and thinker, she wrote primarily fiction until 1964, when her last novel, Collages, was published. She wrote The House of Incest, a prose-poem (1936), three novellas collected in The Winter of Artifice (1939), short stories collected in Under a Glass Bell (1944), and a five-volume continuous novel consisting of Ladders to Fire (1946), Children of the Albatross (1947), The Four-Chambered Heart (1950), A Spy in the House of Love (1954), and Seduction of the Minotaur (1961). These novels were collected as Cities of the Interior (1974). She gained commercial and critical success with the publication of the first volume of her diary (1966); to date, fifteen diary volumes have been published. Her most commercially successful books were her erotica published as Delta of Venus (1977) and Little Birds (1979). Today, her books are appearing digitally, most notably The Portable Anaïs Nin (2011).

Customer Reviews

The way she moves, the way Ms. Nin breathes life into her is absolutely a piece of art.
Vivek Tejuja
It could have been interesting to see sexual behavior from a woman's point of view, but she was writing for men and trying to put it from a man's point of view.
Bruce Ferguson
The dialogue often felt too much like she wanted to make a point and so it goes from being artful to being unrealistic and turned the characters into ciphers.
Sam Quixote

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Tejuja on June 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I just finished one of the most amazing book of the century gone by. I do not know why people always associate Anais Nin and her works to Erotica when there is so much more to it. Yes she did write a whole lotta sensous reading material but then again she was only portraying the truth, wasn't she?
A Spy in the House of Love is all about a woman named Sabina and her life as she flows or rather drifts from one lustful experience to another. She lies, she deceives, she puts on an act only never to find solace in places where she looks for the most - in the arms of strangers but her own husband Alan.
My feelings ranged like tidal waves while devouring this book. I felt like a thief hiding a secret and at the same time felt so connected with my emotions and responses to what my body demanded.
Sabina as a character is so quite that sometimes her silence speaks volumes. The way she moves, the way Ms. Nin breathes life into her is absolutely a piece of art. Rising from the ashes and yet unforgiven. A true to life caricature of what desires can do and their power on our mortal lives.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Douglas King VINE VOICE on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I actually owned this book for years before getting around to reading it, and then when I finally did I was kicking myself for not reading it sooner. "A Spy in the House of Love" is the story of a young woman named Sabina who, despite having a kind and loving husband, engages in adulterous affairs with men she barely knows. What is it that motivates Sabina? Is it a thirst for adventure? Lust? Resentment towards her husband or the roles society imposes on her? Instead of being a trite morality tale where the "sinner" is punished by facing horrible consequences (like the recent film "Unfaithful") this book explores, without judgement, Sabina's conflicted emotions and motives.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It takes somebody who has lived all those situations to write such a wonderful story like this one which is full of love & desire.I guess Anais Nin was meant to write it with such vulnerability & passion because she herself,was a spy in the house of love.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
Anais Nin delves into the sexual natures of women and men in this brief novel. The enduring feature of this novel is that it is not a social analysis of love but rather a pshycoanalysis. Ms. Nin, as many became aware of from her diaries, was a freely permiscuous woman despite her marriage which lasted most of her life. While Ms. Nin wrote this book in the third person, its main charector is clearly based on herself. She provides insights which are concise, though sometimes drifting into stream of consciousness type naration. She appreciates the complexities of people, which in my view is the only way to remotely be able to provide insights into why one loves. Her "analysis" of the various sexual relationships in the book has elements of Freudian thought though neither blindly nor exclusively such. Though Ms. Nin's charector, a restless "actress", appears to have her soul comforted at the end of the novel, there is no real resolution of any of the philosophical or psychological dillemas of her lifestyle. I would recomend this book to anybody as a "quick down and dirty" source of insight into the nature of love and sex
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Sammis on March 17, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I often find parallels between what I'm reading and what I'm watching and with A Spy in the House of Love I find an affinity between the book and a film, Dark City if that film were told from the point of view of John's "wife" and I also see an affinity with the anime series, Serial Experiements Lain. In all three cases they are stories of women struggling to find themselves among the artifice in which they live, whether it is self created or created by others. To put in terms the book uses, Sabina is like Duchamp's painting of Nude Descending a Staircase; she is a series of frames, a moment of action captured on canvas, but not a single destilled representation of that woman. No one will know what that woman looked like but they will know how she walked down the steps.

Sabina has memories of past loves, past adventures, past meetings but so current feeling of who she is. She is a name. She has a husband who loves her dearly but she is constantly running from him looking for love among her artist friends. There is also clearly a strong note of autobiography in the last third of the book where Sabina meets up with the artist's enclave in New York and that gives this otherwise sensuous tale a note of sadness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brown Dalmatian on September 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was the first book by Nin that I've ever read and although the writing was incredible, and even inspiring, the story was rather boring. It's a pretty short book though, so if you've got some time to spare and you want to read about lots of gorgeous men, depressive feelings and sexual desires described so interestingly and beautifully, then check it out.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tara Tainton on April 13, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After my introduction to Anais through reading "Henry and June," I adjusted to her casual style of writing in her diary and fell for her honesty and the intricacies of her mind. I wanted to find the same in this book.

There's no doubt that Anais's unique style, insights, and sense of description all appear in this work, but I think she left out the nitty gritty. She's capable of more. If nothing else, I'd love to see the book about 3 times or more this tiny length, enough space to really delve into Sabina's character, how she got to her breaking point, why she even chose that path in life.

For others considering reading "A Spy in the House of Love," I do recommend it as a unique look into the mind of a woman who's found herself leading separate lives for a single reason, who's in search of a happiness that alludes her, and never finds reason to really be herself, all of herself, at any one point in her life. The book is a psychological slice of a person...a person most of us are at one point in our lives as we seek to be our true selves in every moment, a lot of us never even reaching that point of complete freedom.

Anais also writes of the lure of sex, the psychological reasons why one may seek it out in any way possible, but the book isn't explicit in detail. That's left up to the reader's imagination as Anais only gives us the psychological details. There are many great insights here, most previously untold, but Anais is (was) capable of so much more. Looks like I'll have to turn back to her diaries for that.
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