Joao Vaz's Reviews > Giovanni's Room

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
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Aug 13, 12

Read from July 24 to 26, 2012

This is the heart throbbing story of David’s love affair.

An American in his late twenties that decided to settle in Paris with his girlfriend Hella in the 50’s – He is gay, though. Sometime during their stay, Hella departs for Spain temporarily to distance herself from David because her interest in him was waning. He then meets Giovanni - a handsome Italian bartender – and that is when the twirling events begin…

Amidst poverty, corruption and prostitution, the novel gives evidence of a negative aura surrounding all its characters. The expectedly romantic parisiense environment is nullified by the degrading lodgings and stops. The dreamlike imagery of the Seine, Montparnasse and Les Halles, the terraces and bistros is ruined by the sardonic description of an unfaithful and forbidden romance – so much for the city of love.

All characters, no matter how free-spirited they may sound at the beginning, end up not being able to avoid the impeding hand of social prejudice – either against homosexuality or female emancipation. David is led to believe in the immorality of his love, he grows reluctant and humiliates himself time and time again. In the end, Giovanni’s festered room is used as a metaphor for lust and sin that renders its occupants to plunge into doom.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Susana (new) - added it

Susana sounds interesting!

Joao Vaz it is über sad!! but i loved it ;)

message 3: by Susana (new) - added it

Susana Oh. Does it end badly? Sad books always leave that bittersweet feeling on your stomach.

Joao Vaz yes it does: tragically i'd say :'( mas mais não digo senão revelo muita coisa e tu já não vais querer ler lol embora seja um livro bem piriri

message 5: by Susana (new) - added it

Susana xD não digas. Eu não me importo de ler livros tristes desde que sejam bem escritos. Assim, gosto. :)

message 6: by Pedro (last edited Jul 26, 2012 03:22PM) (new)

Pedro Freitas and it should be even more exciting to read the book when you actually know all these sets and can understand the beauty of the "parisiense environment". ;) E Mr Baldwin está oficialmente eleito o 17º melhor romantista americano! (

Joao Vaz depois nao digas que sou negligente com autores americanos sim?

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