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Under the Roofs of Paris

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,196 ratings  ·  111 reviews
In 1941, Henry Miller, the author of Tropic of Cancer, was commissioned by a Los Angeles bookseller to write an erotic novel for a dollar a page. Under the Roofs of Paris (originally published as Opus Pistorum) is that book. Here one finds Miller’s characteristic candor, wit, self-mockery, and celebration of the good life. From Marcelle to Tania, to Alexandra, to Anna, and ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 18th 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1936)
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The Lover by Marguerite DurasFanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John ClelandJustine by Marquis de SadeThe Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Mallanaga VātsyāyanaTropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Classic Erotic Literature
12th out of 39 books — 12 voters
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher StoweThe Ugly Duckling by Jerry PinkneyUglies by Scott WesterfeldUnearthly by Cynthia HandUlysses by James Joyce
Good Books that Begin with U
120th out of 173 books — 31 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,161)
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Lynne King
As Henry Miller appears to be a "hot" subject at the moment with goodreads' reviewers, it made me check to see which books I have from this author.

I came across this book this morning and I see that I've never read it. This happens to me a lot. I purchase a book and I never get around to reading it as it gets overtaken by other books.

So I started to read this book as, when I purchased it in 2000, I had thought this was a book on erotica as I always loved the works by Anais Nin on this genre.

I relished nearly every sentence of this bawdy handbook for the sexually unapologetic. If you finish it without wincing, you get a *handjob* for your reward. If you find it compulsively readable, the way I did, we ought to become friends.
M. Sarki
My guess is this book only took me a few years to finish reading, but to my surprise I finally did it. Page after page my head would spin continuously within his relating the countless sins of lords and masters and their man-driven sexual escapades. Miller offers porno as high art. I have never before heard mention the many different tags he uses for the organs, cuts, and appendages involved in sexual acts, my favorite being his word "figlet". I have viewed a few porn films in my time, but nothi ...more
Apparently he wrote this one chapter at a time and sold them to a pornographer who compiled them into a full book. What can I say? It's just porn porn porn. He seems to try to find the raunchiest, most scandalous scenarios to write about. My roommate kept egging me on telling me it was leading somewhere so I kept reading. Apparently he was dicking me around because the story didn't go anywhere and I felt like I'd wasted my time reading it. There's plenty of better stuff out there to spend your t ...more
Max Nemtsov
Ну вот мы и дожили — зарабатываем на хлеб порнографией, хотя у Миллера это роман скорее политический, чем порнографический. Чистый секс — это же всегда политика. Зато интересно почувствовать себя Хенри Миллером, который где-то после первой трети, как хорошо видно, страшно заебался писать в избранном жанре и разбавляет текст разной занимательной хренью.
Но все недаром, да и привет из русской Маньчжурии здесь тоже имеется.
Sasha Zbarskaya
По поводу этой книги у меня есть несколько соображений.

1. это не первый порнороман, который мне довелось читать, -- и не худший, скажем так. последний абзац, каким его предложил Миллер, роману совершенно необходим: он придает всему предыдущему какой-никакой смысл и звук. и все же мировая литература, на мой личный взгляд, обошлась бы без него, не икнув.

тем не менее,

2. такие книги имеет смысл читать, когда все описываемое для читателя -- не просто не теория, а изрядно пропыленная практика; в таком
Feb 07, 2008 Jan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like pornography.
It is porn.
john nielsen boyack
Jul 06, 2011 john nielsen boyack rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ages 16 and up
Recommended to john nielsen by: Roseanne Barr

I read an article during my freshman year of college, or perhaps even before, that the New York Times published about the English language's poor treatment/approach to sex, along with most authors' inability to land more squarely in the middle between too scientific or too corny. Struggling is not uncommon, for most, but Miller shows no sign of it.

This book is a struggle for most readers, I imagine. It's exhausting, in fact. Like many other reviews I read, it was my first erotica nove
Oct 24, 2007 Jer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with an open mind
This is absolutely one of the most depraved and satirical book I have ever read. It almost approaches the level of debauchery achieved by the Marquis de Sade. The opening scene has to be one of the wildest things I have ever read, it is insane even for Miller. It's graphic nature notwithstanding, it has some extremely humorous moments and descriptions of events.
Dirtiest book I have read. Ever.
content of book summed up in a single sentence: I may be a baby fucker, but who the Hell cares .... Snuggles is a damned fuckable baby.

there is no real plot to speak of, just page after page of women / girls / babies / midgets / satanists getting HONK HONKed in their dripping HONK HONKs. the word 'abricot-fendu' is thrown around liberally, in addition to synonyms 'fig' and 'figlet'. i read this next to some orthodox jewish guy on train and felt v. uncomfortable

one thing that i really admire (?)
Though many view this novel as obscene, I see it as a beautiful piece of art. Sometimes it's difficult to get through, the monologue during certain scenes drowns out the setting and when Alf zones back in I'm left thinking, "Wait. What's going on?"

The use of rape and pedophilia is prevalent, Miller doesn't hide this, nor his thoughts of disgust and piqued interest. He bears his character's soul and touches on taboo topics.

This novel isn't for everyone. There are violent scenes of rape, many leve
Cand mi-a fost recomandata ca "roman erotic", nu asta am avut in minte. In timp ce o citeam nu puteam sa n-o compar cu Luni de fiere a lui Bruckner, care m-a dezgustat cam in aceeasi masura. Ce-i drept, am reusit s-o termin numai din ambitie, fiindca incerc sa ma lepad de obiceiul de a lasa carti neterminate.
Nu o recomand persoanelor care sunt usor de impresionat sau scarbit. Temele precum incestul, pedofilia sau alte fetisuri se regasesc in aproape fiecare pagina.
Ross Carroll
I knew Henry Miller was one of the greats of twentieth century American fiction so I thought I would give this one a go. I didn't realise it was completely smut! To be fair, it's extremely well written smut. But, my God, the sex scences (which is pretty much every scence - honestly!) make the ones in American Psycho look tame. Not really one for the train in the morning but a humorous and enjoyable read nonetheless.
This was my first Henry Miller book and it was the refreshing sense of reality that made me read all he ever published. Not my favorite Miller book, but I love it for introducing me to a fantastic writer and for being one of the first books that taught me how to read between the lines.
Tami (synchro from BL)
This was PWP with a lot of taboo.

I waited a long time for any kind of story line. Didn't happen.
The constant sex got boring after a while. And repetitive.
It was not badly written, but just not great either.
I didn't like the incest, rape and other taboo tropes he used.
За първи път в книга (много условно наименование) на Хенри Милър литературата ми се разми, удави се в подгизналите от телесни течности страници. Вихреното слово и ведрия, жизнен смях от последната корица, както и Париж, също ги няма там. Тези 300 страници, безцелно натъпкани с инцести, -филии, преплетени и секретиращи в непрекъснати оргии тела, урина, косми, миризми и неизброими имена на органи можеха да се случат навсякъде, да имат произволно заглавие и всеки неначесан графоман за автор. Писани ...more
This is one of those books I liked very much...but I'm not sure that I should admit that. It's a somewhat guilty pleasure. Henry Miller is one of my favorite authors, and this is not his best book, but it's arresting and memorable.
It is stated that Henry Miller was paid a dollar per page for this book, provided that he included some aspect pertaining to sex on every page.

For those whom have read this book (or others by said author), you know that he went far above and beyond that which was requested. This book is not for the easily offended or the faint of heart; it paints a vivid picture of the most hedonistic acts that can still be considered extreme and mind numbing to this day. Henry Miller has always been able to as
Crystal Doering
This is one of the over the top sex stories. At times I couldn't believe I was reading it, but yet I could not put it down. It took me a very short time to read it. I would have given it 5 stars, but I was really disappointed with the ending. I don't want to give anything away but... I understand why the main character runs away at the end and I probably would have done the same thing in the same circumstance, so maybe it was just that I had a secret desire for the book to continue on or maybe I ...more
Chiamiamo vizi i divertimenti che non osiamo provare.

Tutti conoscono Miller per Tropico del Cancro o per la trilogia Sexus, Plexus, Nexus. Pochi hanno letto invece Opus pistorum (grazioso gioco di parole), in cui il grande scrittore americano si presta alla pornografia più pura, mantenendo però uno stile preciso e una visione del mondo e delle persone che ricorrerà nelle sue opere successive.
Non c'è una vera propria trama in questo Opus, bensì un vortice oscuro e ammiccante di incontri sessua
While Miller's wit and flow is apparent, this is not a good read. It was an endless "erotic" diatribe on the insatiable desire of women, and it drags on and on. Besides the horrific multi-page rape scene, the story was literally just an endless succession of silly and unrealistic sex scenes. While Miller is a great author, this isn't the book to waste time or money on. He wrote this for some rent money, and who can blame him? But in regards to oeuvre- a waste of time and paper.
Jun 28, 2009 aya rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to aya by: i am the dealer m-i-s
this book gets really tedious and boring towards the middle, which is hard to believe since he's talking about double-timing midgets and banging mother-daughter teams. nevertheless, it gets old really quick. the beginning and end are interesting/good, the beginning in its ability to shock and the end is well-written. apparently, though, most of the book is ghost-written by Caresse Crosby, which might have something to do with why it's just mostly boring.
For better or worse, this book formed the core of my sexuality. I read it when I was 16, I remember not being able to put it down. It made me tremble with excitement. I'm an open-minded reader and so it was not offensive. I wanted to reread this book for many years now. Frankly I don't understand many low ratings the book got here. Why on earth would you read a pornographic novel by an eccentric writer if you can't take a bit of gang-banging...
lori mitchell
Jul 13, 2007 lori mitchell rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: licentious folk
i cannot believe this book was first published in 1941. seriously this is henry miller at his most extreme. i could not read this book in public because my face was permanently blushed. it is very entertaining, that is for sure. don't use this book to introduce yourself to henry miller...i recommend his more autobiographical work first. i loved the bawdy miller i met in his "tropics" and continue to love him today. good stuff.
Opus Pistorium is also more raunch than art. I guess that since people were buying his novels (which were mailed in plain brown wrappers)to use as a sexual turn on, he decided to write for the market??? However, unlike Under the Roofs of Paris, it does achieve artistic success--in my humble opinion.
Escape Art
I'm dropping this at the half way point. I wished I never had picked this up, since it's damaged my feelings for Miller. I'm just hoping he was exaggerating for the sake of erotic fiction? Does anyone know if these stories are true? Rape and Pedophilia are not smut btw. Damn it Henry.
Helena Duque
I like eroticss but I'm not a fan of porn books. And this Miller's is just about sex and dirty ways of doing it. I was hoping to see a society, a character and lots of love but I just was disgusted by somethings I read, like the inicial chapter that describes sex between a little girl who wants do fornicate her dad - I just was... "SO WRONG!". I couldn't even read some parts of it, so, I can't really say that I read this book.

Eu gosto de erotismo, mas eu não sou fã de livros pornográfic
Ted Prokash
If you've read this, then I guess you know. I was given the book by a friend of mine who was a schoolteacher and was literally scared to have it in his house. I'd recommend this book solely on the depths of its filth. It was compiled from work Miller did to survive in Paris - he wrote pornography to make his rent.

As further proof that things never really change, this book, 80+ years old, is just like modern pornography; it's exciting at first, but at some point you stop yourself and say, "what
Karrie Hillis
Very very Provocative - took a long time to get through and parts were quite disturbing.
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Henry Miller sought to reestablish the freedom to live without the conventional restraints of civilization. His books are potpourris of sexual description, quasi-philosophical speculation, reflection on literature and society, surrealistic imaginings, and autobiographical incident.

After living in Paris in the 1930s, he returned to the United States and settled in Big Sur, Calif. Miller's first tw
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