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The Woman of Rome

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,883 ratings  ·  109 reviews
The glitter and cynicism of Rome under Mussolini provide the background of what is probably Alberto Moravia’s best and best-known novel — The Woman of Rome. It’s the story of Adriana, a simple girl with no fortune but her beauty who models naked for a painter, accepts gifts from men, and could never quite identify the moment when she traded her private dream of home and ch ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Zoland Books (first published 1947)
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Tok Yes, the movie based upon this novel. The film is quite good for me (3.5/5) but not as great as book which I liked it so much (5/5).

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3.81  · 
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 ·  1,883 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Steven Godin
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, fiction, italy
This is the first time other than Paris, I have read a book set in the very place I happened to be, after spending a couple of days in Rome. Although it's a wonderful city with some fantastic sights, call me old fashioned, but I would rather have gone back there in the days of Federico Fellini, but for obviously reasons that wasn't possible. Alberto Moravia's passionate 1947 novel is narrated by Adriana, a young woman living with her mother in a small flat in a poor part of town. They both sew t ...more
K.D. Absolutely
My first time to read an Alberto Moravia's (1907-1990) novel and I am... enchanted.

Originally written in Italian, the translator must have done a good job in translating it to English. I had a wonderful time reading because of the prose: clear, crisp, incandescent. I did not have feeling at all that I was reading a old first-published in 1949 book.

Told in first person by an unnamed narrator, this is the story of an 18-y/o prostitute, Adriana who at first did not know she was a prostitute because
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best novels that I have read in my life.... and one of those that once started you cannot put down, you just have to make trough all the 500 or how many pages no matter what. Such a sad, brutally honest and beautiful prose, I just loved it...

I think what I liked most about The Woman of Rome is a certain sense of atmosphere of darkness, filled with restrictions, a suggestions of how tragic life really is and how the horrors of it are not easily avoided. In fact, it is questio
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adriana is a young woman of Mussolini’s Italy who becomes a prostitute, or more accurately, grows into her destiny—what she believes she was born to be. Like another Moravia novel, “The Conformist,” this one suggests that, in a cynical world, surrendering to fate can be the ultimate expression of freedom. But unlike Clerici, the protagonist of “The Conformist” who resists his own nature, Adriana surrenders to hers with dedication, even optimism. One of the miracles of this book is Adriana’s phle ...more
Almost, almost perfect--the second half was not as good as the first, and I think it was due to my dislike of Mino, who I found irritating, superficial, and boring (he's intended to be this way, I know); not to mention the ending was rushed and kind of cray. But it's easy to forgive, especially when everything else about the book was so enjoyable. Definitely a favorite.

Full review forthcoming.
Lora Grigorova
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
The Woman of Rome:

Adriana is a whore, but a good one. She has taken a very difficult profession – to satisfy sexually men, who provoke contrary feelings in her. And Adriana is very good at putting aside her own disgust while simulating passionate love. Adriana derives sensual pleasure from money – getting paid for her sexual activities brings her pleasure. And yet, Adriana has an enveloping personality, one that assumes good in all people, one that doesn’
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Woman of Rome, is told from the point of view of a prostitute.Moravia's skillful chronicle of the moral education of Adriana, an impressionable and essentially kind woman, remains potent, its naturalism complicated by excursions in voyeurism.

Moravia has incorporated in his world the soul of women, he has become woman --- and in this transformation, he makes Adriana such that we, too, become her. At the same time, the men he creates are perfect. We should think of Moravia as a chess master,
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very nice book about young nice girl which dicides to become prostitute because of desillusion of her first love. Nevertheless she is much better than the others in moral side of personality.
Book is devided into two parts. The first part is telling the story about Adriana, her mum and first Adriana's love with Gino. And also there you can read why Adriana become the prostitute and how she thinks about that (it just job for her, nothing less nothing more).
The second part is more scenic. And the s
Diana Krajnikova
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
So cruel yet so tender. Full of oposits. Adriana lives a life of a prostitute yet her purpose's so pure. She is so deep yet so superficial . Moravia depicted such a moral decadence with so much understanding and avoided any judgement over the poor girl so as tooffer a reader an opportunity to come to his own verdict.
Truly interesting reading consisting of interesting plot, tricky topic and psychological anlysing of morality deserves 4 and I honestly cecommend.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the emotions desribed felt so true. when she felt pain, I did too. If angry, me too; happiness, me too...I love the story, it felt real, as if I was right there with her, by her side, and we were connected in our minds and thoughts.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
The naïve girl was clearly mentaly unstable and fell in love every ten pages or so. The book is not devoid of interesting bits, but amazingly it lacks any likeable character
Robin Friedman
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amor Fati In Fascist Italy

Alberto Moravia was a leading mid-Twentieth Century Italian novelist and short story writer. Although his works were quickly translated into English, they were little read in the United States. Fortunately for interested readers, many of his books are now in print again and accessible, including his 1949 novel, "The Woman of Rome".

The book tells the story of Adriana, a beautiful, poor, and uneducated young woman who begins as an artist's model at the age of 16. Although
Philip Lee
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
'The Woman of Rome' ('La romana' – Italy, 1947; USA, 1951)
by Alberto Moravia

I can't begin a review this book, which I first read in 1978, without some discussion of prostitution. 'The woman of Rome' is the first-person narrative of a street walker. Not quite the lowest rung on the Roman pay-for-sex ladder, it asks on the cover of the 1951 US edition, Was She Good - or Was She bad?
It will come as no shock to anyone that sex is a commodity bought and sold on the market. And yet, while the sexual r
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
WOW. This is one of the most amazing books that I have ever read and I do not say this lightly! Just WOW.
Alonzo Church
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I bought a collection of 40 or so random 50s paeprbacks, I was not expecting to get a masterpiece of Italian literature as part of the set. Nor, I suspect, was anybody buying this particular paperback, illustrated as it is with a generic hooker looking degraded, and a breathless cover question: "Was she good, or was she bad?" But, according to all the critics I looked up when this book seemed to be four or five levels of class above what I was expecting, a masterwork is what it is. Well, wh ...more
Amy Jane
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I loved this book! And I wasn't really expecting to. Mostly because I hadn't heard of it which is a bit ignorant of me. It reminded me of novels like Tess of the D'Urbervilles, that beautiful innocent female who is used and taken advantage of and makes the wrong decisions. Adrianna is young, beautiful and inexperienced and although she makes some terrible choices she always seems to mean well she gets lost in their labyrinth. The author makes an interesting note at the start that he wrote in his ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Set in Fascist Roma, this novel recounts the coming of age of a beautiful, young and poor Roman girl. The story focuses on her passage from innocence to experience that is brought about at the hands of her mother and a series of men with whom she has relationships.

The most striking thing about this novel is the protagonist and narrator, Adriana, who is portrayed vividly by Moravia. Her innocence as she opens the story is slowly peeled away by her experiences as the narrative progresses, but is d
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: december-2017
Had long struggling with this book. At the end, I can say that this was a fine book. Some moments were better than the other ones. It's nicely written and there were times where I truly love it, again times I didn't enjoy this at all. Overall even though I didn't like the main character this was fine book
Lina Mouloudj
a total waste of time, but it's ok, i already promised myself to finish every single book i start..

the book is a sort of a biography about a very beautiful girl Adriana who was born poor living with her mother, when she turned 16 her mother took her to start her first job, which is working as model naked for a painter... her biggest dream was to get marry and own a nice home and have children... she met Gino and fell in love with him, after a few days she lost her virginity, Gino promised he of
Zahrah Vawda
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I like this book.

I think the story as a whole explores the self-exploration that we continuously strive to un-puzzle through the reality of ourselves that comes to light when faced with times of despair. It is told through the story of young Adrianna, who was born into poverty and misfortune. Adrianna's story is interesting and emotionally engaging as you fall victim to her sometimes intolerable innocence, naivety and 'good' nature. Moravia's writing style of a classic 'you're going to find out
Irem A
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this read. Undisturbing, even convincing 1st person narrative written of a woman by a man. Didn't feel too long, though detailed at times. Not in any way judgemental of main characters choices and way of life. A pang of heart burning reality about the randomness and doggedness of love thrown on your face at times. To me this was an extremely contemporary read, could have been written yesterday. Looking forward to Moravias other books which are even more famous. But this was a ...more
Tess Fragoulis
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Well-written and somewhat fascinating in that the female narrator/protagonist is finely and thoroughly wrought, but at the same time occasionally absolutely unbelievable in terms of the emotional and psychological reactions the author pins onto her. A long-suffering and somewhat depressing novel, with an ending that is somewhat convenient and cliche. And yet I wanted to know what happened and stuck to it for its almost 400 pages. So my feelings are mixed, and it would really be a 3.5.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-i-owne
I have learned great things from adriana. She is the most self aware women in the world.
Salma Al Rayes
confused about how I feel but I didn't hate it , a whore can have her philosophy too .. but it's not a book I would recommend
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary book.
Marta I.S.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
most relatable female character i have ever read. moraviais literally the only good writer..
Laurie Glenn Norris
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book - very intense - both sweet and sad.
Gregg Bell
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Woman of Rome by Alberto Moravia is a beautiful, rich book. It's like you read and you read and you read, and then suddenly a book comes along and it makes you slow down and really think. It makes you ponder the human condition. Who we are. Why we're here. What we can do about it. The Woman of Rome is just such a book.

It's an existential-type novel that was popular back in the day of Sartre and Camus. Moravia is Italian, and he is writing against the backdrop of Mussolini's fascist regime. I
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't find this easy to start with. It is a dense first-person narrative full of jarringly ingenuous, faux-naive statements such about the narrator's own beauty and attractiveness (though the irritation this style caused may have been due to the translation from Italian, or the dated language and colloquial dialogue of 1940s Rome). For all the convoluted analysis of her own emotions as she has to put aside her dreams of marriage and turn to prostitution, Adriana remains strangely one-dimensio ...more
Jan 21, 2016 added it
Easy to read book. The men with whom Adriana falls into relationships with are unlikable. Astarita is not in love with her. He is in lust with her and frankly, got on my nerves. Adriana's love for Mino is also unnerving. She seems to fall in love with men who do not show their love to her, who treat her badly. I feel that this happens after she uncovers Gino's betrayal and falls into the whirlwind of prostitution. It is as if she enjoys men who treat her badly in some twisted way because she fee ...more
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Alberto Moravia, born Alberto Pincherle, was one of the leading Italian novelists of the twentieth century whose novels explore matters of modern sexuality, social alienation, and existentialism. He was also a journalist, playwright, essayist and film critic.

Moravia was an atheist, his writing was marked by its factual, cold, precise style, often depicting the malaise of the bourgeoisie, underpin
“And we all know love is a glass which makes even a monster appear fascinating.” 243 likes
“This thought strengthened in me my belief that all men, without exception, deserve to be pitied, if only because they are alive.” 33 likes
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