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Tropic of Cancer (Paperback) Paperback – 1994

3.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic (1994)
  • ASIN: B002VH3AMK
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I read an old musty copy that made my eyes itch but it was worth every page. I adore Henry Miller ~ it's like reading words that are swirling in a blender. It's like he has a machine gun pointed at you and bang bang he starts shooting every word into your flesh except when they hit you, the words feel like whip cream and you just want to bathe in them. This was one writer that was fully alive. It starts off with him saying that he has no money and no resources and that he is the happiest man alive (love that)! This book was published in the 1930s and banned in America for being too smutty. Yes he talks about sex but he talks more about life and even more about living. He has more interesting things to say in this one book than most people ever say in an entire lifetime. This book is deep and funny ~ my favorite kind of books and people. If you haven't read it ~ give yourself a treat and dive bomb right into it. Henry Miller was a genius and even though he's dead ~ you can still enjoy him. He feels very much alive as you read him because he didn't save anything when he wrote ~ he gave everything and it feels like it. I wish more people were more like that ~ everyone is so busy saving it up for a rainy day. Not Henry.
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Henry; an ex pat in Paris there to write a book, is constantly side tracked by poverty; the need to blag a meal and -as a self confessed lecher -women. All his friends are in similar messes and-like him-are zeroes. But Paris is freedom; not the phoney freedom of the US which is stifled by puritanism ,social standings ethics and morals that kill the soul....
Written in 1934, 'Tropic of Cancer' is still profane and funny -80 years haven't diluted it any-proving I guess Miller's idea that mankind and his desires have never changed; only the organs that stifle alter from age to age. Possibly the only thing that dates this novel to any extent is the attitude to women, who are no more than objects to go to bed with.
What drags this book down a little are the lengthy purple patches where Miller philosophises on freedom; on the need for humans to enjoy everything in the human spectrum from the base (sex with syphilis ) to the highest forms of art-ideas that have been better expounded upon by Guide and Sartre amongst others, being a French school philosophy-but which-for me- always falls down and implodes of its own contradictions and paradoxes. To have absolute freedom is total poverty or freedom from the weight of social etiquette the answer? How much destruction of anothers freedom do you commit in order to sate your own desires of freedom ?(Miller's sex object only women; young boys for pederasts) But all this is for idle debate in a bar or classroom !
This book would have gained from editing out a lot of these purple moments, but even so, you will always have the very funny "adventures of" passages and can see the foundations of the modern novel abound. More than worth it for that.
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By Jorge on January 16, 2015
Verified Purchase
Beautifully offensive
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hmmmm. I read it a year ago. I did like miller's prose as her talks about the human existence. and yes it is smutty byt 1930's standards but not so much today.. and yes I have read the c word more here than in all my years.. I think I did not get it otherwise because it came out in a time and place I am far removed from and being female. I don't think miller likes women much, he LOVES them in the sexual sense, they are only recepticles for his "manhood"..lol.. I admire the guts it took to be different in a time when mores were prim and proper.
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By Kdawg on November 3, 2014
Hard to get into, but well worth staying around for the middle/ending.
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This book changed my life. The profound insights, fiercely intellectual content, and poetic phrasings scattered amongst the sociopathic hedonism of this book is beautiful. This book led me to a spiritual awakening, a new appreciation of life, a new perspective on the world. It's inspiring and powerful, entertaining and thought-provoking.

If you're one of those sensitive types, the kind of person who likes to take the self-righteous holier-than-thou moral high ground, you may not be able to look past the lewd behavior in this book. Then again, you may not have the intellectual capacity to handle the real meat and potatoes of this book anyway. This isn't Naked Lunch. This book actually has something worth saying.

If you aren't a prude, I couldn't recommend this book more.
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someone had to make the world spin a little faster and henry did it. there's a reason for the vernacular and it's here in henry's prose. thankfully someone put the right twist on the titty of society and came down off the high horse of so called literature. his works are earthy and real, there's a smell, a dangerous smell to them. he's smashed around a bit by the fred ward portrait of him on screen but he does ok otherwise. put yourself in his position, a man with a few francs in his pocket, slumming it in paris, i'd hitting up anais nin for lunch and blowing a bit more on hookers too.
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By The View on December 24, 2015
Love Henry Miller.
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