• Title: Giovanni's Room
  • Author: James Baldwin
  • ISBN: 9780141032948
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Giovanni s Room An alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here Baldwin s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality and a classic of gay literature In a s Paris swar
    An alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here.Baldwin s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to liveAn alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here.Baldwin s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself After meeting and proposing to a young woman, he falls into a lengthy affair with an Italian bartender and is confounded and tortured by his sexual identity as he oscillates between the two Examining the mystery of love and passion in an intensely imagined narrative, Baldwin creates a moving and complex story of death and desire that is revelatory in its insight.

    One Reply to “Giovanni's Room”

    1. ”He grasped me by the collar, wrestling and caressing at once, fluid and iron at once: saliva spraying from his lips and his eyes full of tears, but with the bones of his face showing and the muscles leaping in his arms and neck. ‘You want to leave Giovanni because he makes you stink. You want to despise Giovanni because he is not afraid of the stink of love. You want to kill him in the name of all your lying moralities. And you--you are immoral. You are, by far, the most immoral man I have [...]

    2. God, Giovanni's Room is heart-breaking. I've been avoiding reviewing it, a bit, because it boils so much to the surface. No summary or review could do this book total justice. What Baldwin achieves is a desperate account of two gay-or-bisexual men struggling with their sexuality, their society, and most importantly their identities: identities which are at once masculine and yet deprived of that masculinity by their complicity with a society that doesn't understand them. Baldwin's artistry is fo [...]

    3. It is under the foreign sky of Paris, where identity is protected by anonymity and the most darkest secrets do not transcend the limits of a room, that David, an American young man, is forced to face the convoluted layers of the true nature of his identity. Told in the first-person narrator, Giovanni's Room bewilders the reader because of the perturbing sensitivity with which Baldwin portrays an extremely delicate predicament; that of listening to the self-deprecating inner voices that corrode t [...]

    4. I wasn't sure any Baldwin book would surpass his Go Tell is to the Mountain, which I loved, but this one was even better and an immediate favourite. This story was wonderfully-written and explored a gay storyline which I have never encountered in African-American writing from Baldwin's era.Supposedly quite a few prolific African-American writers were not such big fans of Baldwin due to this reason.This story is set in Paris and is about an American man, David, who is in love with both a man, Gio [...]

    5. Read for Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge: #17 Read a classic by an author of color*3.75/5*This was a super enjoyable read! I went into this not really knowing what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised by how modern this felt, even though it was published in the 1950s. The way Baldwin approached the affair of the two main characters, who are both men, was so effortless and accepting, which I found to be really refreshing. Hella, who is the one primary female character in the book, als [...]

    6. WowI read only one review of this bookwhich was soooo good.I immediately bought a used copyt, I don't think 'any' review prepares a reader for what they are about to experience. I have two words: Morally Mystifying!!!! THANK YOU *Lizzy*. I stayedd I 'was' granted this masterpiece.

    7. وراء كل سعادة تختفي تعاسة ووراء كل متعة يختفي ‏خوف‏‎‏___________الحديث عن المثلية أمر شائك دوما ‏في كل مكان وزمانلا تظن أن الغرب قد تخلص من عقدة العنصرية ‏حتى بين أبناء جلدته ووطنهفلا يزال المثلي يعامل باضطهاد شنيع‏يصل للقتل في أحايين كثيرةنحن دوما أعداء ما نجهلودوما أعداء ك [...]

    8. "for nothing is more unbearable, once one has it, than freedom."- James Baldwin, Giovanni's RoomBaldwin is everything. He ability to articulate the struggle to be a man in a world where both black men and gay men were considered 2nd class (if lucky) citizens taught me. He is the reason I read (or at least one of the reasons) good fiction. It transports me into the experience of the other. His writing is a gift. The emotions of this novel are expressed as if Baldwin's heart was set aflame in Pari [...]

    9. I am in awe of James Baldwin's seamless way with words. His writing shakes me to my very core, I feel so vividly all the emotions described, the contradicting war within the world and within the self between hot, flaming fire and ice cold water, between fervent heat and stone cold detachment. The motif of water and the ocean and its metaphorical association with time, Giovanni's room itself, the inescapable self and claustrophobia particularly struck me- I feel overwhelmed and shaken by this tra [...]

    10. Love, love, love, love, love this. Baldwin, be mine! This is such a gorgeously written little novel. I can't conceive of how Baldwin fit so much sheer emotion into around 150 pages. Baldwin is practically unknown here in Ireland and it's such an injustice. I want everyone to read this and be in awe of the sheer brilliance of it. (Fans of Isherwood would love this btw)

    11. Then the door is before him. There is darkness all around him, there is silence in him. Then the door opens and he stands alone, the whole world falling away from him. And the brief corner of the sky seems to be shrieking, though he does not hear a sound. Then the earth tilts, he is thrown forward on his face in darkness, and his journey begins.Sometimes you read a book and you suddenly find yourself hijacked by a form of spellbinding intensity that spews from a participant narrator. You're pull [...]

    12. Often touted as a classic of gay literature, and I think quite rightly; this is a heartbreaking analysis of love, attachment and the struggle between what society expects and what is felt. Baldwin treats complex relationships with some warmth and no easy or comfortable answers. There is debate as to whether Baldwin is focussing on bisexuality, but you have to look at the context and the sense that the two main characters are on a journey of self discovery with varying degrees of acceptance.The t [...]

    13. Here's what l shall do: buy all Baldwin's books, every single one and just read them all. Back to back to back to back What a genius this man is. What impeccable, perfect writing. How can a story contained in just 159 pages pack such a punch? HOW?!Let the record show that on this day James Baldwin officially, OFFICIALLY became my favorite writer (after Toni Morrison at whose feet I humbly bow, perpetually).

    14. "If your countrymen think that privacy is a crime, so much the worse for your country"Love is(n't) enough.Love is(n't) enough in how it's done. Love is(n't) enough in how it's pressed upon and consolidated and ultimately allowed. When you look at it, especially when looking is all that's allowed, you start to feel that it's how it's always been, and you are the same as anyone. Unless you talk, which here on out is (never) the case. But feeling, though. That's the compass of your crime. It breeds [...]

    15. This is a tragedy of failed love in post-war Paris, featuring a protagonist as hard to judge as Camus' "The Stranger." The narrator, David, is a young man on an extended stay from the U.S. on parental funds, ostensibly to develop his writing skills, but in reality to play. A transient gay fling with an impoverished, artistic Bohemian leads to an idyllic cohabitation while his fiancé travels in the East. You know it didn’t last from the beginning of the book, but as the affair proceeds, you fe [...]

    16. I'm disappointed. This book failed to deliver.Buh-buh-but E.! You gave it five stars. Shuddup, random person on the internet. You have no power here!But how can you give it five stars if it failed?Because it didn't make me gay.Oh, okay. Wait what?It failed in making me gay. Homosexual, if you will. I do not, after having read this book, find men sexually attractive. Well, there is Johnny Depp. That's one pretty man. But, overall, I'm still, like, 99.9% straight. What the fuck are you talking abo [...]

    17. Baldwin picked up where Gore Vidal left off in The City & the Pillar. This novel renders Vidal’s effort a tame, breezy vacation at the hotel de homo, sizzling as it does with dirty-realist conflict, torturous identity politics, and one of the whiniest lovers since Courtney Love hooked up with the entire population of Iran. One frustrating conflict—Baldwin wanted to escape the “Negro writer” ghetto, so made his characters (it would seem) white in this novel. Imagine the stink if he’ [...]

    18. In James Baldwin’s words:They said I was a Negro writer and I would reach a very special audience. . . . And I would be dead if I alienated that audience. That, in effect, nobody would accept that book—coming from me. . . . My agent told me to burn it…. [the publishers] told me, ‘This new book will ruin your career, and we won’t publish this book as a favor to you.’ Fair enough, James Baldwin wanted to avoid being pigeonholed as a black writer. So made his protagonist here white. So [...]

    19. A wise and painful book, it speaks of authenticity and home and loss, how we convince ourselves to make irrevocable mistakes and how these choices harden in us and reveal themselves to strangers. I hope it continues to be as beautiful. This is a book I want to own and make room for. I'm making slow progress, but only because I'm distracted by life, not because the book doesn't capture my attention and consideration. It becomes even more powerful as it goes on, in fact, and even more painful. I'v [...]

    20. IL CRIMINE DELL’INNOCENZA Piccolo grande romanzo. Piccolo perché breve. Grande perché bello. Molto bello, e ricco, denso, stratificato.Erwin Blumenfeld.Trent’anni dopo averlo scritto, Baldwin ne parlava così:La stanza di Giovanni è su cosa succede se hai paura di amare un’altra persona.E infatti un passo del romanzo recita:Qualcuno, disse Jacques, tuo padre o il mio, ci avrebbero dovuto dire che non sono mai state molte le persone morte d’amore. Ma milioni di persone sono morte e sta [...]

    21. It is difficult to properly review this fantastic book without giving away critical information that is best revealed by reading it in Baldwin's words. There are two sections of the book I went back to read when I finished the novel because their poignancy was made manifest by the totality of the completed story. Giovanni's room, the physical place, is the locus of the all-to-human story of regret, loss and the result of choices we have to make when their aren't any really good options to choose [...]

    22. poetic prose at its most yearning and beautiful. this could have been perfection, but it is a bit hard to ignore the underlying misogyny.

    23. James Baldwin's closet romance is so good that you find yourself pitying the authors of straight romances. There's so much less drama available! There's this whole stratum of pain available to those conflicted or in denial about or hiding their sexuality, and those in their wake. Why do we even read straight romances? So boring!Giovanni's Room is a perfect novel. Clear and merciless and focused. Okay, and screamingly melodramatic, but I've never had a problem with melodrama. And it contains an a [...]

    24. Yes, amazing. What exactly is amazing about this book?-the writing-its theme-the characters-how the story holds together, its structureThat this book with its central theme being homosexuality and bi-sexuality came to be published in 1956 is pretty darn amazing too, but this doesn’t play into why I give it five stars. The writing: You feel the place, Paris, France. The 50s or maybe the end of the the 40s. French lines and expressions used are simply perfect. What these people say in French is [...]

    25. Best work of fiction I have read for months. Very french in terms of the claustrophobic discussions of lovers trapped in the miasma of cigarettes and doubt. I wanted to reach out and scream, to intervene, to prevent. A very powerful novel and a great way to kickstart pride month. What a fantastic introduction to the work of James Baldwin.

    26. How to review this book? A book that shares such angst of pain, shame, tortured love and guilt. The power of these emotions. That guilt can turn something sweet into hate. This is such a powerful book. James Baldwin was such a gifted writer to give voice to this kind of emotion and introduce these themes to an unforgiving audience back when this was a risky thing to do but how he managed to do it with such a tenderness and skill to evoke the passion along with the sorrow. Amazing work.

    27. A love story in every capacity. There is confusion, infidelity, argument, disenchantment, passion, and companionship. I felt like the narrator experimented because he had nothing else to do, he needed a place to stay, a person to keep him occupied. Giovanni is a tortured soul caught in both the narrator's treachery and his own doubtful will. This is a story that could be based on real life.

    28. With unvarnished honesty, covered with a layer of sarcasm which veils the beauty, the desperation, the pain, most of all the fear, Baldwin captures that see-saw of certainty and uncertainty that is me. Despite the tragic story filled with impending doom, he captured me by the writing and did not let go till the end. To tell the truth I do not think he let go then either, because this will probably one of those books that creep up on me in unexpected times in my life.I both hated and pitied David [...]

    29. I'll write a proper review later, but for now I'll just express how much I LOVED this book. Three weeks later and I still don't think I can do it justice. I'd previously heard a lot of good things about Giovanni's room, mainly that it was beautifully written, though heartbreakingly sad, which I would agree with. In the 'didn't like' camp I've read complaints about how David wasn't a likeable character and treated everyone terribly, or that he never accepted his sexuality. Well, this was written [...]

    30. The well-known Buddhist saying "Wherever you go, there you are" may never be more true than when applied to expatriates. Off they go to Paris to find themselves, only to become more lost than ever.There is little I can say about Giovanni's Room that hasn't already been said. This brief novel is vivid and painful, its protagonist, David, so repressed and fearful that there can be no catharsis for him--although fortunately, and relievedly, the reader gets one via another character. Make no mistake [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *