Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Miracle of the Rose” as Want to Read:
Miracle of the Rose
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Miracle of the Rose

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  709 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This nightmarish account of prison life during the German occupation of France is dominated by the figure of the condemned murderer Harcamone, who takes root and bears unearthly blooms in the ecstatic and brooding imagination of his fellow prisoner Genet.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published January 13th 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1946)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Miracle of the Rose, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Miracle of the Rose

Maurice by E.M. ForsterBrokeback Mountain by Annie ProulxThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGiovanni's Room by James BaldwinTales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Best Gay Fiction
245th out of 1,152 books — 1,523 voters
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. PirsigA Girl Named Disaster by Nancy FarmerEmma by Jane AustenThe Tortilla Curtain by T.C. BoyleOn the Road by Jack Kerouac
Books I couldn't finish
20th out of 31 books — 10 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,535)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jun 02, 2012 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: how the fuck do I explain my own self destruction and still remain trusted?
Recommended to Mariel by: all I ever wanted was to pick apart the day put the pieces back together my way
Ugliness is beauty at rest.

My friend told me that the reason that I dislike memoirs is because I expect them to be true. Well, this is kind of true and kind of not. That's how I like my truths, with enough shedding snake skins under belly on the way to something else.

Pardon me if I talk about a couple of other books for a bit of background knowledge on the Mariel take on memoirs. The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer is not strictly a memoir but the restrictions on what information was allowe
Inderjit Sanghera
Genet is like an alchemist, he is able to transform jail life into a kind of dream like atmosphere, the prose pulsates with poetry as he describes his time in jail, the unique sexual relationships and status quo of the "big shots", "chickens" and "queers" who populate prison life. Murderers become poets, instead of writing poetry with pen and paper their crimes and violence are transformed into acts of love, into works of art which Genet transcribes for us; violence becomes an act of love betwee ...more
The miasma of history readily befuddles me. It leaves me stranded and confused. That said, sometime in the last century a friend told me something. In her words, I needed to get rid of those gay books and listen to Eminem. Not usually falling prey to suggestions for life changing elements, I did in this case. I listened to the hip hop artist's first two albums a number of times. I don't like hip hop, but i am from Detroit. I wasn't excited by the music. I couldn't tell if it all was a marketing ...more
Genet seems really trendy, but regardless, this is a pretty impressive book. Confessional without being whiny, fabulist without being unbelievable, and nonlinear without being unstructured, Genet turns the brutalities of prison prostitution and gang violence into something beautiful and poignant. While I find myself often irked at that very French tendency to worship rogue figures, I still find this rogue so fucking vulnerable that I can't help but be sucked in.
D.S. Mattison
This is Genet's song about the vicissitudes of prison life. The mystical language enshrouds an otherwise straightforward, linear narrative. Every prison movie I've watched comes to the surface of my imagination. The inside voice of Genet articulates the scenes I have viewed henceforth superficially. The men covetous of their "chicken." The grim, hot, young thin man (Bulkaen) who seems straight because he won't give our author the time of day, is really just someone else's bitch. In fact he's the ...more
Richard Kramer
To get myself ready for this I read Edmund White's 600 page bio of Genet, which was so interesting I didn't want it to end, and had a quality I haven't applied to a book in about fifty years: it was HARD! But I got through.
And now I have read 94$ of THE MIRACLE OF THE ROSE (in an actual text; the percentage is a guess.) I was sailing along, and then today (half an hour ago) I realized: this is one of the greatest books I've ever read, and if I don't put it down, at least for the next few days, I
Jim Johnson
I’ve owned this book since the late 60’s, but have only recently gotten around to reading it. I knew it was a classic French text written by a famous author, but that it was also considered a counter-cultural work by an author who existed in the shadows somehow. Now I understand why. It is a personal memoir by a writer who was on one level an incorrigible thief and who had been in incarcerated in both a boys’ reform school (Mettray) and later a prison for adults (Fontevrault); on the other level ...more
I don't know whether this book is beautiful or hideous, much less whether I like it. It took me a long time to finish, despite its moderate length. The criminal turned literary savior (?) Jean Genet writes in a prose style that is both highly lyrical and highly lurid about his life in prison and childhood in a penal colony. The disjunct, plotless, self-contradictory narrative bears witness (without any irony whatsoever) to an extreme moral-aesthetic worldview that turns our notions of good and e ...more
Rachel Lindan
I've really deliberated over the rating for this book. It was such a struggle to get through, and I'm unsure as to whether I liked it or not even now. It's a dry, grinding, confusing read, but not without gems, and I did ultimately find reward in persevering and finishing it. For me most of what was illuminating and worthwhile in this book came from insight it offered in being a recommendation of Richey Edwards'. That's not to say there is nothing here for non-Richey fans, but my fandom made me ...more
"No tiene nada de extrañar que la vida humana más mísera se escriba con palabras demasiado bellas. La magnificencia de este relato mío nace con toda naturalidad (debido a mi pudor también y a la verguenza que me da haber sido tan desdichado) de los momentos más lamentables de mi existencia"

Milagro de la Rosa es un libro difícil, se presenta como un bloque concreto, pero nunca impenetrable, en donde se mezclan las memorias fantásticas y las experiencias de Genet en el reformatorio juvenil de Mett
Sep 30, 2007 Marc rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all with a will to read it
The Jean Genie once again furnishes our hearts and minds with his thuggishly whimsical passages and seminal flowers. A cast iron sensitivity which is candid, shocking and thoroughly surprising. Roll up, roll up, at the gates of Fontevrault prison and marvel at the flights of fantasy confinement can proffer, culminating in the voyage of a judge, a lawyer, a chaplain and an executioner through the living torso of the condemned Harcamone, dream lover and muse. This is a must for all those who beli ...more
Probably my least favorite of the Genet's novels. Although this may have had to do with the dated translation of slang, I found the trajectory of the plot to be a little unsatisfying. This novel mingles the exaltation and abjection in which the narrator revels of the men of Founterevault prison and the boys of the juvenile correctional colony, Mettray.

May have been the inspiration for one of three episodes in Todd Haynes' film Poison.
George Ilsley
Can't seem to find the edition I read here (it's probably the Grove Press one). Always confuse this book with the other flower one by Genet ... is there a difference? Start reading one and then pick up the other -- can you tell them apart. The names I guess. Our ladies of the flower. Always blossoming into the sweetest depravity.
Another Genet that is dark and disturbing. It revolves around a prison and all the inmates and their interreactions.I also have read several of Genets plays. All of his work is very disturbing and dark.It is very bothering but yet I continue still to be drawn to his work. I am not sure what this says about me.
Dec 17, 2007 Nichole marked it as to-read
I was actually looking for a copy of Genet's The Thief's Journal in a used bookstore when I found this book. I wasn't convinced I should buy it until I read the note someone had written on the inside of the cover: "Al: I hope you find it an interesting descent. Harry."
Richard Anderson
This and the other three novels Genet wrote early in his career are unlike anything else in literature. Don't know if one can even call them novels: rituals, perhaps. And you have to read them as a kind of adversary to get anything from them.
Not my cup of my tea at all. In fact, I mostly loathed it. Still, I appreciated it for challenging me and presenting me with subject matter and a moral code so distant from my bourgeois reality.
Simon Powell
Awful. Like reading the turgid ramblings of any melodramatic teenager. The author's constant desire to shock and offend quickly becomes tiresome. Hard work despite it's relative brevity.
Ivy Rossiter
Beautiful, challenging some preconceptions of what role imprisonment has in our society and the relationships of the convicted to each other and to us.
Neil Munday
a strange sad song...... He spoke to me of the mysteries of his many prisons. his foster homes, his jail, the foreign legion and his sexuality.
Helen Moss
I read this as a teenager many years ago and loved it. I don't think I dare read it again in the cool light of middle age!
This book was worth it for the dreamy poetic ending which captured all of my senses. Beautiful and unendingly metaphorical.
Another one who doesn't know how to rate this book. Can't say I enjoyed it, but found his writing fascinating
Possibly the most readable Genet novel? So many lines I want to quote at people.
Poeticised incarceration.

One of the greatest's best.
Evert Eli
Evert Eli marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2015
arto marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2015
Karin Wallén
Karin Wallén marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 51 52 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Alternate Book Cover 2 11 Aug 10, 2014 10:47PM  
  • Genet
  • Eden, Eden, Eden
  • Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr
  • Frisk
  • Selected Writings
  • If it Die...
  • My Mother/Madame Edwarda/The Dead Man
  • Salvation Army
  • La Bâtarde
  • A l'ami qui ne m'a pas sauvé la vie
  • Gemini
  • The Voyeur
  • The Holy Terrors
  • Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton
  • Locus Solus
  • The Baphomet
  • Selected Poems and Letters
  • The Torture Garden
Jean Genet was a prominent, controversial French writer and later political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing novels, plays, poems, and essays, including Querelle de Brest, The Thief's Journal, Our Lady of the Flowers, The Balcony, The Blacks and The Maids.
More about Jean Genet...
Our Lady of the Flowers The Thief's Journal The Balcony Querelle The Maids & Deathwatch

Share This Book

“ is the projection of ugliness and by developing certain monstrosities we obtain the purest ornaments.” 15 likes
“When I got to the street, I walked boldly. But I was always accompanied by an agonizing thought: the fear that honest people may be thieves who have chosen a cleverer and safer way of stealing.” 10 likes
More quotes…