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Giovanni's Room Paperback – June 13, 2000
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"If Van Gogh was our 19th-century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our 20th-century one."
"A young American involved with both a woman and a man...Baldwin writes of these matters with unusual candor and yet with such dignity and intensity."
--The New York Times
"Absorbing...[with] immediate emotional impact."
--The Washington Post
"Mr. Baldwin has taken a very special theme and treated it with great artistry and restraint."
"Exciting...a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction."
"Violent, excruciating beauty."
--San Francisco Chronicle
From the Inside Flap
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
and characters of so many cultures, in such a real, honest and beautiful way. "Giovanni's Room" is romantic, sad, and perfect~ it tells the truth about a time and culture that still exists in many ways today. I read his non-fiction "The Fire Next Time" and was in awe. His fiction is amazing too. Read "Another Country" before this novel~ another wonderful book. But I think "Giovanni's Room" is better and also a good place to start if you are interested in Baldwin's fiction. The characters will stay with me for a long time.
Some of the scenes seemed too long and a bit repetitive.
The writing was good, but not great. Many of the paragraphs were just Baldwin musing or riffing on some notion about love or honesty ... which was fine, but there are other ways that can be done without halting the narrative.
On the positive, the main characters of this novel are brilliant!!!!
They undergo complete, 180-degree shifts, and are barely recognizable by the end.
There is great, great mood to this novel. There's a mischievous and erotic feel in the beginning, by the end it is melancholy and tragic. Even though I knew I was reading a tragic story, I still held on to that hope that it would all work itself out in the end.
The final scene with "Hella," seemed a bit overly dramatic, like something from a Betty Davis movie, but then again, these were the times. So, you can't fault the author there.
But nonetheless, if I could, I would give this 4.5 stars.