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Strait is the Gate (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (22 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141185244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141185248
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Some people might have made a book out of it; but the story I am going to tell is one which took all my strength to live and over which I spent all my virtue. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Poldy on 15 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
As children, Jerome, the narrator, and his cousin Alissa, are often together, and Jerome feels that their lives will be bound up forever. He dedicates his life to God, to the twin ideals of virtue and love. As time goes on, it becomes clear that Alissa feels that Jerome will only achieve true virtue if she denies herself to him. Despite his protestations of eternal love, she continues to keep him at a distance.
In this short novel, Gide examines the role of virtue and true love in life. There are no easy answers, but the writing is fresh and direct, and the characters well-drawn in Gide’s best fashion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sporus on 26 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gide's first novel - well, novella - written in his 40's relates the story of a child's infatuation that becomes the defining (and unfulfilled) love of his life. It is beautifully structured and full of resonances that should chime with anyone who's been speared by Cupid. It's telling that Dorothy Bussy's translation should still have such currency. It's over 80 years old and makes Gide - who used to be presented as a writer of radical sentiments - seem almost quaint. The 'existential' attack on religiosity now seems not only appropriate but understated; which makes the irony of the last page encounter seem more significant than it has been historically credited.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 April 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a love story with a very unhappy ending which explores in great depth but with amazing clarity a relationship in which religious excess is the destructive force. The tensions set up in the tale are almost overwhelming and urge the reader on to find out what the final outcome of the story will be. This is one of my favourite novels which is emotionally draining and extremely satisfying at the same time. I have read the novel many times now and never fail to get some new interpretation or meaning on every read. This is a must-read novel!
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By Missy on 3 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm probably not much like the typical reader of Andre Gide (I rarely read fiction and have just completed The Hunger Games trilogy). However a friend gave me a copy last Christmas so I eventually felt obliged to take a shot at it. It's a slow burner and for a long time not much happens. I can see that, rather than being easy entertainment, it might give somebody a lot to mull over and consider, if that's what you seek to gain from reading fiction. Like much of the literature written during the same period, I found the style of the writing to be a little bit irritating somehow; too quaint, perhaps. Although by the final few chapters I felt truly emotionally engaged, it seemed that there was a lot left hanging and a sense that a deep mystery had been brought up, skimmed over and left largely unexplored, left to the reader to reach a conclusion. I assume that Gide intended to leave the reader not fully satisfied.
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By Claudia Saatchi on 19 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book.

It tells the story of a doomed romance between two young people. Sad, poignant beyond words but powerful and moving. That it was written by a man is even more remarkable!

Does that sound sexist? Well, so be it! Gide is a great writer and in this sad, sad tale he proves it.
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