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Blood on the Dining-Room Floor: A Murder Mystery
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Blood on the Dining-Room Floor: A Murder Mystery

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Shortly after the publication of her bestseller, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Stein found herself stymied by writer's block. A series of local crimes inspired this attempt to revive her artistry, a droll detective novel in which the central mystery involves rediscovering the path to creativity. Also includes the short mysteries "Is Dead" and "A Waterfall and a Pia ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published September 1st 1982 by Creative Arts Book Company (first published 1948)
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3.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: virago
3.5 stars
This is Gertrude Stein’s foray into detective novels; written not long after her success with The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas and at a time when she was suffering with writers block (written about 1934 it wasn’t published until 1948). It is an experimental novel and it is quite apt that the virago edition I have has a Picasso painting on the front. It is a cubist painting and Stein was interested in cubism and this is also her attempt at a cubist novel. Modernism does not sit easily
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
from a more extended discussion on my blog:

Blood on the Dining-Room Floor is probably best read twice: once quickly through, on its own terms; then again with thought given to various annotations. The edition I have was published by the Creative Arts Book Company (Berkeley) in 1982 in an edition with a helpful afterword by John Herbert Gill; it has been made available on the Internet. The first time through you'll perhaps be irritated and/or bored; this is a frequent response to Stein's writing
Daniel Polansky
Gertrude Stein wrote a mystery novel!?! Sort of! I mean, it’s not exactly Chandler, and there are most hints of a plot than there is an actual storyline, but there’s certainly a strong whiff of nefariousness in this, as well as a ton of absolutely fabulous writing, as would be expected. I mean, it is a little much, the endless reliance on pronoun and repetition, but when it works, as it often does, one is left gasping enthusiastically at Stein’s brilliantly precise language. Lots of fun. (PS the ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ouch. That was painful.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm a book that is more about style and words rather than any discernible plot. But the words are good & it is short - I suspect it would be beyond my limits if it were much longer
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. This Stein book is obscure for a reason. I much prefer Three Lives and Tender Buttons.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
oh my god! this woman was brilliant. this book is meant to be read out loud. it is a character and totally a stae piece.
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wiffley, repetitive sentences, nothing said directly, punctuation is random, no idea what's happening...
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
like any Stein, a cleansing experience.
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Gertrude so I guess it's ok.
Jul 07, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cats, and people who are convinced they think like cats.
A genre "murder mystery", filtered through the mind of a genius.
Mary Ronan Drew
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Simon at Stuck in a Book recently read and reviewed Blood on the Dining Room Floor (1933), a quirky mystery by Gertrude Stein based on real blood on her real floor. She doesn't do a bad job, at least not by Stein standards. Here is the review I wrote when I read it back in 2008.

It was the summer of 1933 and Gertrude Stein had just achieved real success with the publication of her famed autobiography, The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas. But when she returned to her desk to begin writing her next
Di Gertrude Stein mi era molto piaciuta la “Autobiografia di Alice Toklas”, letta anni fa.
Di questo libro, invece, non so cosa dire, né tantomeno dare un giudizio.
Recita una recensione “.. Gertrude Stein presenta una serie di delitti e di indizi invitando il lettore a fornire il suo verdetto. Il risultato e' un giallo sui generis, dove la storia rimane solo tracciata, c'e' si' il sangue in sala da pranzo, ma la trama si frantuma e con essa il linguaggio. La scrittrice condivideva, con gli esp
Guille Osorio
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Gertrude Stein might be considered part of the "Lost Generation" and she is recognized around the world for her work, but this book was unnecessary.

The book is about mysterious events which mix fictional and real facts in an elaborated and sometimes meaningless writing style. It is important to emphasize that Steins is known for her particular style and that this was her first work after a writing crisis in which she was unable to write.

I could understand the book after reading the introduction
This crime novel won't be loved by crime novel lovers.

I liked the book. I loved the introduction. Once again Janet Hobhouse perfectly invites us in the world of Stein's writings. Of course we can only gamble about what actually happened in G. Stein's head and soul but I completely trust Hobhouse's descriptions. She has done her homework and I believe Stein's way of seeing things and expressing this seeing in her writings is perfectly explained.

This is not a typical crime fiction. It is Gertrud
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
If you're 1) reading your way through Stein or are 2) super into the detective novel genre this was a fun read.

For 1) This is so typically Stein in that she completely ignores the fact that she's branded this a murder mystery and spins a story about a murder into a story about a town's politics, but she doesn't even let you rely on the facts she gives you and at times outright contradicts herself; After two chapters I realized there was never going to be an answer to who the murderer was. This
May 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
мені подобаються тексти з девіантними нараторами. серед моїх абсолютно улюблених персонажів є, наприклад, фолкнерові вардаман і бенджі. я тішуся з того, як за їхніми словами вибудовується сюжет, з того, як треба попрацювати, щоб склалася цілісна картинка.
але "кров на підлозі в їдальні" – це не той варіант. це пазл, частину шматочків якого замінили чужими, частину пожував пес, а ще частина витерлася до невпізнаваності. і найсумніше, що, пропонуючи його читачеві, ніхто навіть не спробував навести
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can’t imagine any list without Stein on it. This is a charming murder mystery in Stein’s inimitable, intelligent style. Hemingway observed that Stein discovered many things about rhythm and repetition, and so she did. It begins: They had a country house. A house in the country is not the same as a country house. This was a country house. They had had one servant, a woman. They had changed to two servants, a man and woman that is to say husband and wife. The first husband and wife were Italian. ...more
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
is impossible to follow. There is no mystery, really—or there are mysteries, but not explicitly, and nothing is resolved. It’s meant to be read out loud, and Erik read it out loud to me. It’s not very long. It’s interesting mostly nonsense, I would say. I liked it a lot. I’ve read other books by Gertrude Stein, and this one was less follow-able.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I understand that this is meant to be confusing and frustrating, but I just don't really understand it at all.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The must-read of the 20th century literature that is almost impossible to read.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Keep an eye on the underclass.
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Minor Stein, but still quite fun.
How confused are you all but I, I am not confused.
It really is not confusing.
--Gertrude Stein, p.24
Nov 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: given-up
I tried really hard, but I just couldn't read it.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite reading serious literature for over 30 years I think I need someone to explain to me if this is any good. What a weird book. Were the sentences jumbled?
Aug 31, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Secondo libro della Stein che inizio a leggere, secondo libro che non concludo. Personaggio che amo, ma ahimè la sua scrittura mi risulta molto difficile: sarà il suo particolare uso della punteggiatura? Sarà quell'intercalare, "Lizzie capisci.", ma chi è Lizzie? "Senti questa." Ma chi? Cosa? Sarà la traduzione, forse dovrei provare a leggerla in originale. Proverò.
Gardenia Plant
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I did not really 'get' this. Short, odd, with prose that is twisting and turning. Not really sure what to make of it, I didn't like it exactly...
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This is not a murder mystery.
Not wholly successful, but an utterly fascinating experiment nonetheless.
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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