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The Garden of Eden (Flamingo modern classics) Paperback – 5 Dec 1994

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Paperback, 5 Dec 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; (Reissue) edition (5 Dec. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006546943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006546948
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.6 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,794,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established him as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Truly remarkable. One of his best.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always been one of my favourite books and in reading again this is confirmed
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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
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
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. In fact, it was set in the 1920s. The heavy consumption of alcohol with meals (including breakfast) is a clue to a post-war climate of abandonment for those rich enough.

The novel has a filigree feel to it; the arcs between the writer-character's working life and emotional life seem unresolved. Maybe that is deliberate, showing the writer processing long-stored emotions about his father while accumulating new ones. But I still feel David Bourne's acceptance of his new wife's manic behaviour is unconvincing, undermining the fact of the recent marriage. After all, the narrative focus often moves to close third-person past tense, centred on David, with frequent use of first-person thoughts. Given this viewpoint approach, too much seems missing.

I understand the novel has been carved from a longer, incomplete manuscript. I'd like to think that in the stripped, or unwritten material, would be a mirror through which better to see the three protagonists: David, Catherine (his wife) and Marita (their shared lover). Similarly, the ending seems to elevate the writer-arc over the contemporaneous love-triangle arc. Was that the ultimate intention of the author?

The more specific evocation of the Mediterranean location is beautifully rendered, mostly through now-unfashionably long sentences, and with an effective use of repetition. The erotic passages are masterful, described through cues rather than explicit language. The dialogue is also brilliant, capturing intimacy and madness.

I found the blending of the short-story writing with the main narrative to be technically excellent.
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