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The Garden of Eden Hardcover – 26 Feb 1987

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 26 Feb 1987
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd; First English Edition edition (26 Feb. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241119987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241119983
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 934,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Hemingway's farewell, mannered, thrilling, spoiled, pure, loyal to its monumental maker and itself and with no knowledge of coming darkness." -- James Salter, "The Washington Post Book World"

"Hemingway gives you the look and feel of places, the sensuous brilliance of the world's offerings, the excitement of complex relationships, the precision of a hunt or a breakfast, the tensions of sexual intrigue . . . In short, "The Garden of Eden" is a feast." -- Richard Stern, "Chicago Tribune Books"

"A miracle, a fresh slant on the old magic." -- John Updike, "The New Yorker" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century, and for his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 3 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A simply stunning read. Magnificently poignant and tragically left unfinished. From the pieced together scraps that we have here, we can see what may well have been Hemingway's finest novel. A daring and insightful look into love, romance, sex and gender that Hemingway spent over a decade researching - he even crashed his brand new car so that he was better able to describe the experience (the original ending had the character of Catherine dying in a car crash).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am at a loss to understand the praise this book has received. As you probably know, the book was not published during Hemingway's lifetime and I can understand why. It has been edited down to half it's original size, which may help explain its incoherence, but I would hate to have read the full manuscript. The basic "plot line" is promising: a menage a trois in (largely) the south of France during the 1920s, but the prose is appalling (I counted 10 "and"s in a single 6 line sentence: rules are made to be broken but this book demonstrates that they should sometimes be adhered to. Hemingway is also well known for his sparing use of adjectives and adverbs. This can be effective but those he does use here are bland and repetitive - several "lovely's, for example). The characters are unbelievable and dull, the supposedly daring sensuality is absent and it is frequently impossible to tell what is going on. This is not just my opinion: the whole reading group thought the same and agreed it was the worst book we have read. For Hemingway aficionados and masochists only.
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