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The Garden of Eden [Paperback]

Ernest Hemingway
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.71
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Kindle Edition 3.99  
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Book Description

25 Sep 1995
A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, "The Garden of Eden" is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961. Set on the Cote d'Azur in the 1920s, it is the story of a young American writer, David Bourne, his glamorous wife, Catherine, and the dangerous, erotic game they play when they fall in love with the same woman. "A lean, sensuous narrative...taut, chic, and strangely contemporary," "The Garden of Eden" represents vintage Hemingway, the master "doing what nobody did better" (R. Z. Sheppard, "Time)."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (25 Sep 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684804522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684804521
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899. His father was a doctor and he was the second of six children. Their home was at Oak Park, a Chicago suburb.

In 1917, Hemingway joined the Kansas City Star as a cub reporter. The following year, he volunteered as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, where he was badly wounded but decorated for his services. He returned to America in 1919, and married in 1921. In 1922, he reported on the Greco-Turkish war before resigning from journalism to devote himself to fiction. He settled in Paris where he renewed his earlier friendships with such fellow-American expatriates as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Their encouragement and criticism were to play a valuable part in the formation of his style.

Hemingway's first two published works were Three Stories and Ten Poems and In Our Time but it was the satirical novel, The Torrents of Spring, that established his name more widely. His international reputation was firmly secured by his next three books; Fiesta, Men Without Women and A Farewell to Arms.

He was passionately involved with bullfighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing and his writing reflected this. He visited Spain during the Civil War and described his experiences in the bestseller, For Whom the Bell Tolls.

His direct and deceptively simple style of writing spawned generations of imitators but no equals. Recognition of his position in contemporary literature came in 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, following the publication of The Old Man and the Sea. He died in 1961.

Product Description


"A miracle, a fresh slant on the old magic." -- John Updike, "The New Yorker"

About the Author

Hemingway Audio books Audio Reader --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Simply-told though filled with dark implications, this lean-but-lyrical gem is as strong as vintage Hemingway. In this posthumously-published novel, Papa explores the many manifestations of desire as it excites, inspires, nurtures & drives us mad--often all at once. Set in the 1920's on the Cote d'Azur, it chronicles the honeymoon of David Bourne, a writer, & his lovely, impulsive wife Catherine. As her strange compulsions take her on a slide toward either freedom or insanity, David struggles to follow her and still practice his chosen craft. Soon after another woman enters their relationship, the struggle becomes one for control of David's art through his love for both Catherine & Marita, the newcomer. This is a love-triangle with three complete sides (as they pair & repair), and how each of these characters chooses to resolve their struggle belies the more prurient aspects of the book: this is less erotica than a story of how the dark & bright sides of desire inform lives, how they empower & weaken us, and how love may not be enough--even 'true' love.
As entertaining as any romance, though much more provocative, this book is a masterpiece (despite the controversy surrounding it).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and startlingly modern 21 May 1999
By A Customer
the only reason this novel doesn't get 5 stars from me is the abrupt "ending" of the novel in the last few pages. still, i wish there were half stars so i could give it 4 1/2.
hemingway tells the story of the subleties and complexities of human sexuality set across a vividly beautiful backdrop of europe. it's surprising that in this so-called "individualist" day and age, we still feel the need to stick labels onto everyone and everything. this novel is not about lesbians, or homosexuality, for neither Catherine nor her husband nor their lover could possibly be described by either of those words.
They were human, too complex for the categories we still put people into: not heterosexual, not homosexual. People, with varying degrees of desires and wants. Hemingway did a wonderful job of portraying this and the effects that these desires/wants had on the surrounding people. It is also about a descent into madness, about selfishness vs. self-destruction, about the games people play with their own and each other's emotions.
There are no stereotypes or cardboard cutouts here. Perhaps that is why some people find this novel not to their taste. It is not meant to be a comfortable read.
The only downside to the story is that the entire novel reads almost languidly along at a pace befitting the slow beautiful surroundings. But the end of the novel accelerates and then stops abruptly, jarring you back into the real world only to leave you asking, "and then what?" then again maybe that's what hemingway intended.
i would recommend this book to anyone except those that are so narrow-minded they can't get past the sexuality issue.
if anyone wants to discuss this or other hemingway books with me, feel free to send me an e-mail :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful 3 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This book was a posthumous cut and paste job that took decades to edit down from the thousands of pages of Hemingway's manuscript, so I was expecting EDEN to be mediocre at best. But I was amazed to find it a wonderfully moving and graceful novel. Not much happens throughout, but what does happen is executed with such subtlety and artistry, that it makes for captivating reading. Harold Bloom--America's most famous and respected literary critic--put THE GARDEN OF EDEN on his list of Hemingway's masterpieces, and he only put four books on that list (the other three are A FAREWELL TO ARMS, THE SUN ALSO RISES, and COMPLETE SHORT STORIES).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THE Best 23 Jun 1998
By A Customer
I would just like to say for the people who have not read the book, to go and read it. This was my first Hemingway story that I have read, and I got hooked. After that I could get enough of Hemingway. If you like to read, this book is a MUST on your list!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This novel was intriguing, frightening and one of the most sensual books that I have ever read. The book could also be catagorized as a suspense novel, as this emotionally flawed and physically beautiful couple were so volatile and daring. I felt as if Hemmingway had allowed his Katherine of "A Farewell to Arms" to come back to life and live without rules or mortality. The tragedy of this relationship haunted me during the reading and for weeks after.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious. 6 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I found the characters vacuous, infantile and trivial. At a quarter of the way through, on finding it extremely repetitive and dull (including highlights as thrilling as haircut 1 and haircut 2) I thought I'd go for something else. Perhaps with a discernible narrative.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ernest Hemingway - The Garden of Eden | Review 9 Nov 2013
The Garden of Eden has a bit of history to it - it's Hemingway's second posthumous novel, published in 1986, 25 years after the writer's suicide by shotgun. Hemingway started work on the novel in 1946, and was still working on it at the time of his death, sixteen years later. During this time, he also wrote 'The Old Man and the Sea', 'A Moveable Feast' and several of his other major works.

Some people have criticised the published manuscript because the editor removed over 100,000 words and several major subplots, but I enjoyed it all the same - for all I know, those cuts might have been justified, and it still worked beautifully as a novel as it was. Perhaps one day I'll get hold of the full thing somehow and compare the two, but I'm judging it purely as it was presented - if we miss the author's original intention then so be it.

I must admit that it was interesting to see a different side of Hemingway - he examines androgyny and sexuality, pushing against sexual stereotypes that still exist today, although they were much more prominent at the time of writing, some sixty years ago.

But it was slow reading at times, and I could only feel sympathy for the novel's main character, David Bourne. There's a scene where all of his creative hard work is undone, and as a fellow writer, it upset me. Like when we had a database fail and lost scores of unpublished reviews...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This writer offer another quality publication
Why did I not start reading Hemmingway earlier in my life , just a pleasure read from cover to cover - a must for all avid readers of quality writers
Published 14 months ago by Rich
4.0 out of 5 stars A broken triangle.
From what is in this posthumously-released novel, the period of the honeymoon setting was not obvious to me. I eventually settled on the mid-fifties. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by Fusionfan
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
An interesting book, a little bit boring in the first part. But for the rest a good book
Published on 2 April 2010 by Sabrina Fedato
A posthumous work, possibly Hemingway's finest achievment. This tender love story about a torrid triangular relationship is unlike any of his better known books. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2002 by Kelvin MacGregor
5.0 out of 5 stars A brillant work that needs to be savored not read
With this work Hemingway created a rich, vivid textual peice. This is a work that does not need to be gulped down all at once. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars the garden of eden indeed
This was the most amazing book I have ever read. even now, more than a year after having first read it I keep thinking of it. Read more
Published on 12 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different book by Hemingway
This a beautiful book, brilliantly told, with sharp, vivid sketches about a man woman relationship, an unusual subject for Hemingway. Read more
Published on 23 May 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Very poor taste
The book was to strange to the point where I almost had to put it down.
Published on 17 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars In the unfinished more is left said.
The usual foibles of Hemingways style are still present in this never completed novel but perhaps cracks are visible in his defensive distance. Read more
Published on 21 April 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Moveable Paris, the sequel
I've sometimes suspected that Hemingway actually said all he was going to say in "Big Two Hearted River, I and II. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 1999
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