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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  324 ratings  ·  21 reviews
"To all those who have for several years sought to discredit the new American literature, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has just dealt a most powerful blow," wrote French critic Pierre Lepape in 1961 when Her was published in France as La Quatrieme Personne du Singulier. Calling it "a masterpiece of the young American novel," Lepape declared it was "the confirmation of a great Ame ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 17th 1960 by New Directions (first published 1960)
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On the Road by Jack KerouacHowl and Other Poems by Allen GinsbergThe Dharma Bums by Jack KerouacNaked Lunch by William S. BurroughsJunky by William S. Burroughs
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Community Reviews

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I think this is one of the earliest books I bought and still have. I can remember the smell of it. I can remember a warm Summer day reading this at a picnic with my girlfriend..
The distant strangeness of those fluid little run-on sentences
and jumbly bumbly perceptions.. mmm.
Sep 01, 2007 David added it
Recommends it for: fans of surrealism and obsessional love stories
Shelves: literaryfiction
only four chapters, stream of consciousness narrative that will pummel you with one powerful image after the other; surprising, involved, not for those who aren't active readers....

one big prose poem to say the least.
Absolutely brilliant! A complete self-indulgent submersion into pure beatnik decadence, into sexy poetic prose that flows like wine through cobbled streets lined with artists and dreamers...
Andrew Dietz
It took me a year to finish this book, ostensibly a novella, because it necessitated reading in great bursts followed by long pauses. I wish I had kept track of how many sentences were used, as I'm sure the answer would be around ten. Ferlinghetti, in my opinion, works best as a poet, and I'm loathe to admit that this book, largely tumbling gushes of stream-of-consciousness dreamlike passages (mostly pertaining to the horror and awe and beauty of Woman, All-Woman, the titular "Her"), punctuated ...more
William Thomas
This book, although published in english by an american author has all the awkwardness of a russian translation, as well as the russians' penchant for repetition. ferlinghetti seems to use this device unwittingly, however, and not because he is as the russians were, thinking that everyone else is too stupid to grasp the symbolism and imagery and metaphor and thus ramming it home to force the audience's understanding of their masterpiece. in her, it is more like a drunk who is trying to ram home ...more
Having been a fan of his poetry, I was curious as to his one longer work. Sadly, I was disappointed. I understand the idea of stream of conscious writing, but have never been a fan of it. The book started off with some interesting thoughts (maybe in the first 20 pages or so) and then dragged on and down for the rest. There were brief moments of interesting thoughts, but they were couched in with so much drivel that after a certain point I had lost all interest and sympathy in the narrator and hi ...more
It begins as a surreal vision of sexual obsession, in which the outmoded conceptual dichotomy of form and content is dissolved, and in the resulting mire, the flesh, both of the Self and the Other, is conflated with Being. But it quickly abandons this subject and devolves into insipid free association, sequences of images devoid of emotional or intellectual content, tired mixtures of crudeness and flowery poetics. It's steeped in a tone of tepid worldliness, a self-awareness that avoids taking a ...more
"Yet I'm still somebody, even if I'm nowhere.
I'm a painter in a shingle shack on a far spit at tide's end at nightfall, trying to produce a world's face from the composite face of many people painting one long picture all my life...

"The message of my eyes was a tongue stopping her tongue, my eyes were lips stopping her lips with kisses that were keys, and this was but the start of it, and I had another skeleton key, lower down, which I could insert in her keyhole, to turn the love of her.

2 parts
Loved this book. It's totally manic and confused. I can easily imagine Ferlinghetti writing this on a bunch of uppers or an absinthe binge.

Different from other beats like Kerouac, in that the story is much less clear. There is still action but it's just a continuous forward motion. Sometimes at a trudge and others at a full sprint. The story's all about feelings of longing, despair, clumsiness, ineptitude, and self-loathing. I liked the hazy and confused manic highs and lows, and am looking forw
Jun 21, 2007 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: would be beats
This "novel" reads as one long rambling sentence, and while that can be very trying and annoying as an experiment, the writing is beautiful and intriguing. It's sort of about how we make our memories or desires of people into objects, but then it's about everything else. Or it's really just about Ferligheti having some sort of masturbatory fantasy. Who's to say?
ah - Ferlinghetti! the 60’s! NYC! Washington Square Park, David Peel and the Lower East Side, St. Marks and 2nd Avenue, Cheetahs!, Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera... The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Paul’s The Scene.
Abbie Hoffman, Suzie and I on East 53rd.
Love... or infatuation...or lust...or madness. Love that this is partly biographical/memoir. It's disjointed and awkward and difficult at times - very short - but it's poetic prose.
man, don't remember much of anything about this, set in france i believe, a novel. yikes. i remember not liking it then which i can only imagine wouldn't make it any better now?
Feb 17, 2008 Maddy is currently reading it
I need a week and a bottle of absinthe to finish this one, and I do mean that as a compliment and excuse for not finishing it.
I'm sitting here trying to think of something to say about it, but can't come up with anything other than "fuck you, read it."
Adrian Todd
Sep 27, 2007 Adrian Todd rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: beat kids
hard to follow, scatterbrained, parts were better than others, some repetitive chunks, some repetitive chunks
Sarah Benton
I have always been impressed by Ferlinghetti :)
Would love to meet him.
Jesper Sorensen
Probably the strangest book I ever read.
my new favorite book of all time(for this month)
Fritz Misteli
I guess I read it at the right time.
This book is reading madness.
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A prominent voice of the wide-open poetry movement that began in the 1950s, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has written poetry, translation, fiction, theater, art criticism, film narration, and essays. Often concerned with politics and social issues, Ferlinghetti’s poetry countered the literary elite's definition of art and the artist's role in the world. Though imbued with the commonplace, his poetry canno ...more
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