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

The Passion of New Eve

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  3,225 ratings  ·  248 reviews
I know nothing. I am a tabula rasa, a blank sheet of paper, an unhatched egg. I have not yet become a woman, although I possess a woman's shape. Not a woman, no: both more and less than a real woman. Now I am a being as mythic and monstrous as Mother herself . . . '

New York has become the City of Dreadful Night where dissolute Leilah performs a dance of chaos for Evelyn. B
Paperback, 187 pages
Published August 27th 1992 by Virago (first published January 1st 1977)
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 The Passion of New Eve, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Passion of New Eve

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,225 ratings  ·  248 reviews

Sort order
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
You have to read this book just for the plot which involves, and I'm not making this up, all of the following:

-post-apocalyptic America
-force sex-changed Evelyn (it's British) to Eve
-a tribe of Amazonian super-women
-a goddess with 6 breasts
-a cult of an androcentric self-created demigod
-a love story between an MTF and FTM
-LA in flames
- and a boat.

I mean, come on, how can you not read this.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up
It’s been too long since I’ve read any Carter and after this rollercoaster ride, it won’t be too long before I read more. As always Carter is difficult to pin down and this novel is science fiction, fairy tale, dystopia and much more. It’s crammed full of ideas, challenges, satire and plays a great deal with notions of identity and gender.
There will be minor spoilers; necessary to have any meaningful discussion of the novel; however in many ways the plot isn’t the point, the
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Some Foreground Quotes

“She’s the most imaginative of the post-war writers, linguistically…and in registers of different moods. You pick up a page of Angela Carter, and the flashing of her wit and her intelligence and her imagination just happens in every sentence.”

Marina Warner

"It is a wild night, this marathon night's viewing, in the semi-derelict picture palace of twentieth-century illusion.

"...all becomes a bloody carnival of sex and death…

"[The author] exacts a ... surrender from the reader.
Should come with a trigger warning for rape, sexual abuse, forced surgery, paedophilia and transphobia.

Do I think this book is important? Perhaps. Well written? Probably. Did I like it? Not even a little. Am I glad I read it? I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards 'no'. The symbolism is so overt that I'm not sure it can even actually be called symbolism - it's like getting symbolism tipped over your head, or funneled straight into your throat so that you can't miss any of it. Slightly subtle inte
Dec 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fanta, europea, no-grazie
“Quale retorica intossicante!”

Ho concluso il 2017 commentando un libro che ho apprezzato molto. Non un romanzo ma un testo che, a cavallo tra il memoir e l’intervista, dispiega differenti esperienze di donne che hanno lottato.
Apro, dunque, il mio nuovo anno di letture con questo fil rouge che mi lascia sul sentiero femminile/femminista. O, perlomeno, io mi ero illusa di aver teso un filo d’unione.
Pubblicato nel 1977, “La passione della nuova Eva” gioca sulle maschere ed i travestimenti.
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
I'm (very) slowly making my way through Carter's oeuvre, & The Passion of New Eve was my next pick, on the advice of my old thesis advisor. There are certain things you can count on with Carter: lush, ornate, 'high' prose; bawdy humor & an obsessive regard of the 'vile' qualities of the body and of human nature, post-apocalyptica (at any rate, in a number of the novels--this one, Heroes & Villains, Infernal Desire Machines); a wildly vivid & unexpected imagination-in-action; nume ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, queer
I don't really get the pleasure of reading Angela Carter. Her writing is powerful, passionate (except where intentionally deliberate and emotionally parched), every word is perfectly chosen. I can imagine the editing that goes into it. But I just can't enjoy them. It makes me laugh when people say they don't get it because it's a literary text, and sort of assume that an English Lit graduate could manage it. 'fraid not. I find Angela Carter's work nigh on unpalatable, and would much rather read ...more
mark monday
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
you ARE a heretic.

burn, heretic, burn!
Nate D
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: genders of any sort
Recommended to Nate D by: primal narrative landscapes
I'd read Carter's debut Magic Toyshop and it's solid, engaging, well-constructed -- but didn't bowl me over with Carter's reputation as a master fantasist exactly. Now, though there's this one. Here, Carter plays the deft but perhaps half-crazed mythologer, weaving all manner of feminine theology and legend into one cohesive but ever-evolving rope, coiling ever downwards, downwards, through every manner of spiral and tunnel. An apocalyptic America festers, burns, and disintegrates, symbologies o ...more
Adam Dalva
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think I didn't like Passion of New Eve, but I also know that I read it in two sittings and was always curious about what would happen next. Maybe the best way to describe it is ORLANDO meets MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, with a whole lot of brutal Freudian dream imagery thrown in. In dreams, symbolic/metaphorical tropes are often over the top and on the nose. (I've had so many dreams that I don't mention to my therapist because they're too obvious.), and this somewhat exonerates Carter for some of the m ...more

America is imploding along fault lines of race and sex. Into the lawless chaos of New York City arrives the young British man Evelyn, who soon shacks up with a teenaged exotic dancer named Leilah. A familiar dark story transpires and he leaves town, abandoning her, and sets out across the vast middle of the country, headed toward the desert, where eventually his car stalls out, dry of gas, with nowhere to refuel. He is captured...but why spoil the fun in telling you by whom. If you plan to read
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
*Rated 3.5/5 stars
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
oof. that was just... unnecessary. I could've gone a long time without reading that. I feel like I should say something about this story and how it hinges on an exceptionally transmisogynist trope of violent forced feminization and much could be said about how, to Carter, a woman seems to be defined solely by the degradations she endures at the hands of men because it really ended up hitting me in a surprisingly personal place, primarily because of the way in which her trans girl internalizes th ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it

Wait. Hang on.

... What.

Okay, so yes. This in an interesting book. A bizarre, hallucinatory, interesting book that explores sex and gender and mythology. And...


So yes. A man gets kidnapped on his way across an America which is about to decay into civil war by a group of women who turn him into a woman. Then... forget it, you'll just have to read it.

I'm going to apologize here for not writing a very structured review; I think this book would defy any attempt on my part to do so.

I know
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This was easily the weirdest book I've ever read and I loved every minute of it. I'd picked it up when I was considering writing an English paper on fluidity of gender in novels, which was a very bold move for me at the time. I'd read a few novels and short stories of Angela Carter's before and she was fast becoming my favourite author. This sounded wild enough for me to enjoy. Needless to say, I can see where a reader might be turned off by a story about a man kidnapped by rabid feminists who s ...more
Portia Renee Robillard
The Passion of the New Eve would have appealed to a late teens, early twenties version of myself, back when I was younger, more naive, and angry with everything without having the experience to understand, or even know, why. I have long enjoyed Angela Carter's works; she is an intelligent, talented, wordsmith, with often absorbing tales that take the reader into the labyrinth of human psyche. This time, however, she has missed the mark. The content of this novel is nothing more than a contrived, ...more
Andrea Rice
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-lit
Evelyn, a young Englishman from a somewhat privileged background, is a cad when it comes to women. Carter’s novel opens with Evelyn in a cinema receiving a blowjob from a young woman whose name he does not remember. They are in a crowded revival house, and the oral sex is a parting gift, for Evelyn leaves the next day for an academic appointment in New York City. The film on view stars Tristessa, a star of the silent age and early sound movies who seems to be an amalgamation of Greta Garbo, Marl ...more
Ryan Heaven
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away and freaked me the hell out - I suppose that's why I loved it so much. Surreal, disturbing, abrasive yet also colourful and strangely illuminating in places, this book is definitely a rough diamond - and frankly should be more well-known. The book follows a young Englishman, Evelyn, as he travels to New York for a job; New York, however, has other ideas for Evelyn. What follows is an acid trip like no other as we encounter giant rats, sex-changing surgery, an obese many-br ...more
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, lgbtq
Also found here:

So you think that a world where love is a disease is the scariest dystopia you can think of?

Oh, foolish mortals.

This alternate universe has America in the midst of a devastating civil war (because, you know, the seventies were just too tame), where Czesh alchemists make gold in tiny NY flats, Women (Carter's caps, not mine) go around sexually harassing men and committing terrorist acts, the desert hosts an ultra-modern technology lab that
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, gender
Angela Carter is one of the few writers who makes me jealous. Usually I just sit back and enjoy good writing without a twinge, but there is something about the way she uses words, turns phrases, describes the indescribable that I really envy. This is no exception, there are wonderful things in here. But it is quite mad. Enjoyably so, intriguingly so, but hard to rate because it really is quite mad. I really couldn't tell how I felt about it when I finished it, nor decide what it meant to me, nor ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found this too hard to get into and in the end just plugged on through it. I have LOVED all the other Angela Carter I've read, the eloquent density, the sureness of self, the tangible biological feminine feminist fecundity of the whole fuckin' thing. But this, a story of a man who travels to America and falls into a series of near myths as the US falls into civil war, was just too jagged and extreme, it felt like a tension headache or food stuck in the teeth (of a vagina dentata). There's just ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Overall I was really disappointed by this book, and not because it's a post-apocalyptic gender nightmare, but because the writing starts off really strong - so does the "concept," but eventually the entire thing just falls apart in the messiest of ways. The writing starts off solid - its lush, descriptive, and coherent, but as you read and as the story unfolds, so does the writing. I lost sense of the main character and what his/her purpose was. In the end, I suppose this story was a love story, ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collecting-dust
How's this for complicating the already dizzying concept of gender:

Man comes to United States. Man is kidnapped by renegade woman cult. Man is taken underground. Man is surgically made into woman. Cult tries to impregnate woman with his own semen.

Get the picture? This rarely read post-feminist gem is a must read for everyone. And that's final.
Apr 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non-English speaking Protestant children.
This torpid novel will teach you a lesson in just how pitiful your imagination actually is. You may also learn about the geography of a post-apocalyptic America from the point of view of a cloak-wearing, British socialist.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
wow this is probably one of the weirdest book I have ever read !!!! it wasn't the worst book but it definitely wasn't the best either ..

✨ 2.6 STARS ✨
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I finished this book yesterday but it's taken me this long to think about how to construct a review for it.
Now I don't know if any of you will have read Angela Carter. She's one of those writers that you're going to love or hate. She draws you into her own fantasy world which is still rooted in reality. It's the real world but it's a little off kilter and you have to just let it draw you in and go along for the ride.
The Passion of New Eve is based on the life altering experiences of Evelyn. He's
Chris Sienko
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
I read Carter's short story collection Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces a few years ago. By my count, it was more like 3 profane pieces, 3 eyebrow-raisers, and 3 shin-kickers, but never mind. It seems like Carter's best work is in her novels, especially from the late '70s into the '80s, where she becomes increasingly radical in style and subject.

This was as radical as it gets, a furiously allegorical story with deep roots in Greek myth and legend and gender-bending to all points along the parabol
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Old Men at the Zoo
  • Ascent
  • Bold as Love (Bold as Love, #1)
  • Harriet Hume
  • The End of the World News
  • Sweet Dreams
  • The Influence
  • Red Shift
  • A Glastonbury Romance
  • Hello Summer, Goodbye
  • Lolly Willowes
  • Mother London
  • Cold Heaven
  • The Victorian Chaise Longue
  • Ingenious Pain
  • Pig Tales: A Novel of Lust and Transformation
  • Wieland, or, The Transformation
  • A Card from Angela Carter
Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. Th
“For hours, for days, for years, she had wandered endlessly within herself but never met anybody, nobody.” 28 likes
“we must not blame our poor symbols if they take forms that seem trivial to us, or absurd, ... however paltry they may be; the nature of our life alone has determined their forms.” 11 likes
More quotes…