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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Ida, by Stein, Gertrude
Paperback, 154 pages
Published August 12th 1972 by Vintage Books USA (first published January 1st 1971)
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(showing 1-30 of 547)
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Sep 13, 2007 missy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like repetitive phrases people who like people who like repetitve phrases
Shelves: formative-reads
I got through it. I read it at a time when I was feeling crazy and its verse calmed with predictable waves of ida ida ida over and over again. It's a short, quick and hypnotic read.
Because of Stein's stylistic deviations, I'm lead to believe that when explaining a "truth", one must consider the articulation as importantly as the "truth" itself. Despite agreeing with this credo, since a truth, in a way, is simultaneously constructed and conveyed; in the way it is presented and thusly understood, I don't much like Stein's style. I can appreciate it for its purpose, but in separating the quality of the goal and the vehicle, I think even she can admit the possibility of her fa ...more
Sam Lohmann
Stein at her most fun, and it is a lot of fun. It's full of knockout sentences--"Nature is not natural, and that is natural enough" may be the one everyone remembers. There's a very subtle and persistent examination of marriage and family conventions, as well as amazing comic digressions on dogs, clouds, names, U.S. geography, upper-class social life of Washington, D.C., and a colloquy among "the things anybody has to worry about" (namely spiders, cuckoos, goldfish and dwarfs). Ida is also a qui ...more
Ida Ida Ida Ida Ida. I like talking to myself, too. This kind of book gets tiring to read pretty fast. Fortunately, this book is very slim. I think of it as the sushi of the book world. With sushi, you don't really feel like you've eaten, but the idea and the aesthetic of it was a pleasant and somewhat transcendent experience. At the same time, you certainly don't want to eat it everyday.
Amanda L
Simplistic, beautiful sentence structure. Reads like a long continuous poem rather than a novel. You could linger on a sentence to decipher an array of meanings due to the use of ambiguous words that can be construed to have dual meaning or behave as different parts of speech, depending on the context, of which she provides little and of which the reader is at will to create. Her sentences aren't punctuated properly and one often doesn't read into the next. This carries with it the task of const ...more
Aug 11, 2009 Stefan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alex
I read this over the course of a weekend and had a difficult time getting through it. I had read "Three Lives" and found it quite enjoyable, but this book was more of a challenge. I am not a fan of experimental prose.I was once told that this book is one long diagnosis of a mental illness, but did not come away from it thinking that. At time pretentious, at times just good escapism. I did not hate it but rather felt that I either was missing the point of the story or, maybe, there was no story t ...more
Read it as I also read Stacey Levine's My Horse, a good choice because Ida was less of a spiral into a tale. Levine seems to be influenced by the complex, puzzle-like sentence style.
What a little joy. I should read this again when I'm 50.
Read this on Acid. Acid acid acid.
Michelle Lemaster
Jul 25, 2011 Michelle Lemaster rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crazy people!
Recommended to Michelle by: Took this in a woman's Lit class
Shelves: woman-s-interest
There doesn't seem to be a strong enough rating for me on this one. I truly HATED this experimental, modernist text. I decided it looked like there wasn't a book in this world I didn't like, but, truth be told, there are plenty! I'm just more apt to add the books I loved. In Ida, Stein experiments with language and stream of consciousness in very inventive (nonsensical!) ways. Maybe all these years later I should give it another try. But the very thought of it warps the mind!

Okay... I'm going to
Sarah P
Ok... what a weird book. It was hard to figure out what some of the sentences meant, as their construction is all wonky. (Poetic, one might say?) I couldn't figure out what this book was trying to say. On the first couple pages I thought it might be a book about someone who was a twin, but who was always referred to/treated as one person. But then it wasn't. Then I thought, maybe this is a book about someone with a mental illness? But by the end of the book, there was no conclusion. No hint as t ...more
Normally, when I have read a book I have not particularly enjoyed by a famous author, I give it at least two stars by default, but I can't give this on anymore than one star, I'm sorry. None of it made any sense. There was so story-line or plot. It's as if the book had serious case of OCD. Then the hundreds of time I had to read the name "Ida". This book is annoying and senseless. The worst novel I've read in a long time.
I wanted to like this, but it was right horrible and I could not. So there. At least it was short.

I am interested in Stein's works, still, and have plans to read more. I think this was more of an intellectual experiment than a novel, an aberration in the corpus. May take me a bi to get back to her, though.

I don't know, maybe I didn't "get it." It was a seriously struggle trying to finish this book. It was a quick read, perhaps I should have slowed down a bit. Did not make me want to read more Stein... though perhaps the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas could be worthwhile.
I think I got Getrude Stein and Gloria Steinem mixed up. This lady is the one who said "a rose is a rose is a rose" and while that is a good quote, it does not make for a good book that is written entirely in that style. I didn't get it and I didn't like it.
Neil Bomberg
A knockout . . . beautifully written, amazingly told, this story of a woman lost in her own very limited world stunned me for its language, its simplicity, and ultimately its modern character. I highly recommend it.
Some might criticize Gertrude Stein for her repetition and lack of imagery, but I enjoyed it. There is something real in her language and I felt I could relate to the paradoxes and life of Ida.
I liked that the writing style was unique and you could tell that Stein pulled from her psychology background. I didn't enjoy the childish conversational tone - just isn't my cup of tea.
Conceptually I appreciated the book...but really had to make an effort to finish it...and afterwards felt that I would have the same opinion if I'd stopped halfway through
Täysin yli ymmärrykseni mennyt opus. Ei hajuakaan, mistä kertoi tai oli tarkoitus kertoa. Jäljellä on ärtymys ja päätös olla enää toiste tarttumatta tämän matamin teoksiin.
Stein writes the most disturbing, unique prose structure I've ever read. I'm still confused. All I can say is, nothing happens and yes.
To me this book read like a series of dreams. I began to interpret the narrative according to my life experiences. I couldn't finish it.
Really going to have to try it again in five years, then I'll let you know...
Companhia das Ilhas Lda
Estou a ler a tradução portuguesa de Ricardo Alberty (Lisboa, Ulisseia, 1979).
....what the freak did I just read?....
her brother was right.
idk marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
Stine marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
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Gertrude Stein was an American writer who spent most of her life in France, and who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature. Her life was marked by two primary relationships, the first with her brother Leo Stein, from 1874-1914, and the second with Alice B. Toklas, from 1907 until Stein's death in 1946. Stein shared her salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, first with Leo an ...more
More about Gertrude Stein...
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Tender Buttons Three Lives Picasso Selected Writings

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