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Three Lives: Stories of the Good Anna, Melanctha, and the Gentle Lena Paperback – December 14, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gertrude Stein (1874 1946) was born in Pittsburgh to a prosperous German-Jewish family. She was educated in France and the United States, worked under the pioneering psychologist William James, and later studied medicine. With her brother Leo she was an important patron of the arts, acquiring works by many contemporary artists, most famously Picasso, while her home became a popular meeting place for writers and painters from Matisse to Hemingway. Her books include Three Lives, Tender Buttons, and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614272131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614272137
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I found the characters and their lives of the time very interesting, I thought Ms. Stein's repetitive writing style was detracting. The continual retracing of ground previously covered gave this reader a sense of unnecessary bulk and filler that is more often found in the works of novice writers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Three Lives is Gertrude Stein's first published work and it is an experimental work. It attempts to tell the inner lives of three women in a unique way that, simply put, repeats everything as often and as awkwardly as possible. There are at times simply lists of general adjectives describing characters. They are good, strong, caring, and gentle. We are told in plain terms what characters are thinking much more than we are told what they are doing, but we still always feel as if we are at a distance from the characters. None of these detract from the stories, as we are given three life stories (look at that title!) in the end of which we know everything we can about who the characters are, what happens to them, and their reactions. In this respect, Three Lives is a successful experiment. So why only four stars? While the experiments work, the stories themselves aren't that interesting. For example, while Melanctha works as an experiment, at points the story drags on simply because there are parts in the story that would have dragged on whatever way the book was written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms. Stein as we all know, was at her best when writing about reality. These three stories about 3 very different women is about their lives and how they lived them. Even though these women were from different walks of life the one thing they had in common was they had a very difficult time coping with reality.

Reading these three stories was like watching Jeopardy when the person is trying to answer a question and they can't come up with the answer that you know and have no way of letting them know.

This book was an Amazon free book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Gertrude Stein is not a favorite writer for me, I think she's an important one. There is a sense of the time she was writing these stories and there's something to be learned from her style. It is a good example of her short work and a chance to deepen your understanding of who she was as a writer
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a motivated reader, having always wanted to read something by Stein. As such, I found it tough going at times; Stein's repetitious style akin to finger nails on a chalk board. However I give the book a three star due to Stein being a pioneer of her times especially as a woman writer; and for her creativity, risk taking and courage to dare to do something startling new - quite which avant garde in her day. Upon finishing, frankly I thought I would never read anything by Gertrude again. On second thought, I do have An Autobiography of Alice B Toklas in my bookshelf which I have always wanted to read ... To think, this woman gave writing advice to Hemingway!
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