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

Tropic of Capricorn

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  13,804 Ratings  ·  542 Reviews
Banned in America for almost thirty years because of its explicit sexual content, this companion volume to Miller’s Tropic of Cancer chronicles his life in 1920s New York City. Famous for its frank portrayal of life in Brooklyn’s ethnic neighborhoods and Miller’s outrageous sexual exploits, The Tropic of Capricorn is now considered a cornerstone of modern literature.

Hardcover, 346 pages
Published 1961 by Grove Press (first published 1938)
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 Tropic of Capricorn, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Nick Barefoot No. Chronologically, the events of Capricorn happened before Miller's decision to become an expatriate bohemian. He wrote Cancer in France where he…moreNo. Chronologically, the events of Capricorn happened before Miller's decision to become an expatriate bohemian. He wrote Cancer in France where he met Anais Nin, the would-be love of his life. He wrote Capricorn for Anais, as a recollection of his old life, of the life he had abandoned for that which is described in Cancer, and the wife he eventually left for her. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I am so thoroughly healthy and empty. No dreams, no desires. I am like the luscious deceptive fruit which hangs on the Californian trees. One more ray of sun and I will be rotten."

Henry Miller

The first thing, if you are lucky, that you discover about Henry Miller is that you shouldn't introduce him to your wife, your sister, your mother or any other female that you care to leave unsullied. He is like a bloodhound once he catches the scent of a female that he has not had carnal knowledge with.
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
All throughout this book I was thinking about one thing: when was Cancer and when was Capricorn written. The first one was published in 1934, and the second in 1938. Four years made this huge progression – Miller really evolved as a writer, he became more concentrated and maybe a bit humbler. He is still unconventional, but although he's a mad man (I even felt sorry for him, which I think he would hate the most), I've found so much mellowness, wisdom and truth in his words that I found myself ha ...more
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edgy
...and Cancer is separated from Capricorn only by an imaginary line.


Henry Miller’s second book is a strange and sometimes bewildering but often exhilarating exploration of his early years, before heading to Paris. He pays homage to Dadaism and Surrealism, but not as influences so much as discoveries after-the-fact; discoveries of like-minds who he never knew existed until he was already like-minded.

The narrative is dense, compacted, sometimes a single paragraph will extend over several pages, an
وائل المنعم
Although this novel less famous than tropic of Cancer - for example 8,174 ratings, 309 reviews against 26,082 ratings, 1,465 reviews in goodreads - But it's the better one.

When i read Tropic of Cancer i were prepared to all the beauty in it, I read it many years ago translated into Arabic, read many articles about it, But with Tropic of Capricorn - as i thought that Miller is a one work artist - it was like an aesthetic shock. Again the beautiful language, again the charming prose, I'm ready now
Julie Rylie
Everything I ever said about Henry Miller is NOT true. I was a senseless child when I read The Tropic of Cancer and I thought he was a machist and so on and you know what? I want to read the freaking Tropic of Cancer again! And now I sole it so I have to buy it again! damn youuuuuuu. But I had the book in Portuguese though and I want to read it in English, so it was not so bad after all.

Anyway, it was one of the happy moments of 2014: recognizing that Henry Miller is an intelligent, sensitive h
Jun 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first few was boring....then I skipped chapters hoping he would get more interesting..he didn't....kept was still boring...towards the end...he is pathetically sentimental, self-indulgent and boring...

I think it is because he was mooching off his wife while trying to shag someone else's wives in order to mooch off them too...and too much mooching off the labours of women while being an annoying left bank Parisian bum, made him go "cunt, cunt, cunt" a lot...

Rainbow Jaguar
cunt cunt cunt.

I hate this book. I love this book. At moments I'm completely swept away or disgusted. Lost in a bleakness and shaking my head in pity for Henry. At times his existence is loathsome like a bad acid trip. Other times it's over the top sexy. Juices tumbling out of groins. I feel like I'm in between those loins.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Found it completely pointless. Maybe I dont get surreal style at all. Maybe this zig-zag approach to reality makes me dizzy.

Point is, I am sure many of his admirers, if they missed the famous author name, would feel as I do about this book.
Ioannis Savvas
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ένα καταιγιστικό βιβλίο, αλλόκοτο, χωρίς πλοκή, χωρίς ειρμό. Χειμαρρώδες, όμορφο, κολασμένο, ονειρικό, χλευαστικό, ανήθικο, διδακτικό. Ο Μίλερ είναι ένας άξιος εκπρόσωπος του υπερρεαλισμού. Αν και έχει γνωρίσει τον ντανταϊσμό, δεν τον ενστερνίζεται. Ακροβατεί ανάμεσα στο παραλήρημα και τη φτηνή αυτοβιογραφία. Φτύνει το κατεστημένο, την πραγματικότητα. Ταυτόχρονα ζει την πραγματικότητα, το τώρα, ως το μεδούλι. Υμνεί τη γυναίκα και τις ωοθήκες της, την ίδια στιγμή που τη φοβάται και τη λατρεύει σα ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

this is actually really sad for me, because i was so excited to read this book. in the beginning i thought it was exquisite with the narcissistic and arrogant tone of the author that i quite liked, to be honest. but then it contained offensive pieces. every black man is a "ni**er" and he constantly cheats on his wife and makes it look normal. i actually found reviews with people saying that he's "living more than us" to which i gagged. there were some parts that i actually liked, but the more
Zoey Heath
Nov 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Racist. Sexist. Let's move on.
Dolly Delightly
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is no mean feat to take-away from a book an erudition. Reading Henry Miller’s work schooled me into realising that there really is “only one great adventure and that is inward towards the self”. And, more importantly that inveterate boozing and smoking, carousing, quixotic philandering and riding life out “on the wind of the wing of madness” like one has “iron in the backbone and sulphur in the blood” is elementary in the success of that adventure; and the manumitting of oneself from the ne p ...more
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I should preface this review with a warning. This is an explicit book. This book has full of sex. And this book has no plot.

Ten years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. It opened my eyes. It was the first book that I read that had no plot at all, and I was looking for a story in the book, and yet there were none. It was just a three-hundred page rant about the traipsing of the author. I liked it.

This time, I read Tropic of Capricorn, ten ye
Adrian Anghel
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ca un carusel. Un montaigne rousse pe care pleci agale, ridicându-te pe culmi și apoi coborând amețitor prin tot felul de rotații, alte șuișuri și coborâri adânci și abrupte. Asta aș putea spune despre Tropicele lui Henry Miller.

Privind retrospectiv ambele lecturi, mă simt ca și coborât dintr-un astfel de monstru de distracții. Pline de adrenalină, de trăiri, de gânduri, de filozofie jucăușă, cu erotism dus la obscen, cu efuziuni de lirism și imagini puternice, printre care se strecoară diferite
Eliana Rivero
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La oportunidad más maravillosa que ofrece la vida es la de ser humano. Abarca todo el universo. Incluye el conocimiento de la muerte, del que ni siquiera Dios goza (p.226).

Trópico de Capricornio me ha gustado más que su antecesor. Aquí hay más espiritualidad, filosofía y reflexión. También hay más sexo, escenas repugnantes, sífilis, machismo, miseria, pobreza. Pero es una novela genial, intensa, absorbente, que te deja con un vacío y con muchas preguntas. Es una novela que te hace explotar la ca
Deniz Balcı
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zor bir kitap "Oğlak Dönencesi".

Yazarın "Yengeç Dönencesi"ni okuduğum yakın zamanda, Henry Miller'ı keşfetmemin ne kadar geç kaldığını anladığımda büyük bir panik hali yaşamış ve en kısa zamanda "Oğlak Dönencesi"ni okuma kararı almıştım. Ancak "Yengeç Dönencesi"nde ki oburluğum burada kendini gösteremedi. Kitap yordu beni bir noktada. O yüzden yarısında ara vermek ve araya birçok kitap sokmak durumunda kaldım. Bu, aslında Miller'in değil, benim densizliğim. Zira Miller tempolu bir hayat içerisin
أحمد شاكر
ومع أني لم أنتهي من الكتاب، إلا أني أجدني مدفوعا برغبة غامضة للكتابة. مع العلم أني لم أقرر بعد هل سأكمله أم لا..
بالأمس، كنت في حالة من عدم الاتزان؛ حالة ذهنية ونفسية شديدة السوء، لم تداهمني من قبل، ربما الاكتئاب هو السبب. المهم وأنا في تلك الحالة، وبينما أجوب شوارع وسط البلد مع صديقة لي، ضاع الكتاب. نعم ضا ع مدار الجدي في مكان ما. سأحكي لكم: صليت الظهر في زاوية صغيرة، ثم قابلت صديقتي. سألتني: كتاب جديد؟ قلت: لا. قديم، لكني أقرأ فيه. هنري يلهمني وأنا أكتب. كلمتها عن أهمية الكتاب، ثم ذهبنا وتناولن
Karen Cockerill
Jan 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In the contraversal debates on Fifty Shades of Grey this was one of the books suggested as being a better read. So I thought I'd try it. I'm almost halfway through the book after much skim reading - for me on the negativity of life - I'm ready to throw the towel in and move onto a more pleasant book.

Sean Wilson
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, fiction
"I wanted to be wide awake without talking or writing about it, in order to accept life absolutely."

More than just a 'companion piece' to his first novel, Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn is one of the purest, most intellectually stimulating works of spiritual, sexual and artistic awakening I've ever come across.
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry Miller is mad. I’m not sure anymore that he’s mad in a good way. This book was more ranting and raving of a genius writer, but if you take it personally it can appall or depress you. I didn’t think it was as good as Tropic of Cancer. That book was a constant high for me, but this one faltered at many places and at times bored me. But boredom doesn’t last longer than a page or two when reading this book. Something really good will take you out of it and keep you out of it for a good while.

Nicholas Moryl
Sep 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Worse than Tropic of Cancer. Vulgar for the sake of being vulgar, and no compelling plot, characters, themes--in short, nothing that warrants literary merit.

Tropic of Capricorn, along with Tropic of Cancer, may have been groundbreaking at the time, but without the historical context they're just crude, misogynistic, violent, and ugly. When it is not that, it is boring to the point of punishment. Miller writes like a stoned undergrad, contemplating his place in the universe through endless obliq
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Henry Miller book I ever read, and until I read The Rosy Crucifixion, I considered it his best. Most readers and critics seem to focus on the sexual aspects of Miller's work, or else the profanity, or that his work was autobiographical, and they tend to say that his work isn't relevant to a 21st Century audience. I disagree; while his language might be more suited to an audience from an earlier time, and his cynicism and sexual explicitness might put readers off (personally, I ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miller is either a sheer genius or a madman; perhaps both. This is the companion work to Tropic of Cancer, and actually predates it in chronological time line.

Miller exhibits an extra-ordinary ego, an inability to focus on much anything beyond sex and money both of which he seems to feel entitled, without commitment. There is certainly a bit of the pedagog in him, and he displays it often and distractingly.

I read these two works because they are considered benchmark works in American Literature
Doris Jean
Quite an unusual book! There is no plot, no chapter, no format, few paragraphs. The author appears extremely well-read and knowledgeable in many fields from opera to history to religions and much more. He is extremely open about sexuality. He writes in a run-on style and often continues for seven or more pages without a single paragraph break. His style is very much a stream-of-consciousness. He relates everything to sex, maybe more than half the book relates to sex, often directly and often obl ...more
Brent Legault
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the arrogant, the sexually naive
Should have been banned for its banality rather than its sexual content. I recently reread the first page and counted five cliches.* I'd've found more had I the strength to continue. Miller had pluck, sure, and ballsful of bravado. But talent? I might've wanted to drink with him in some Dijon bordello, listen to one or two of his stories outloud (his novels certainly read like they were dictated) but his written words are weak and watery. Of course, he couldn't see that, blinded as he was by his ...more
Eva Luna
Everything was for tomorrow, but tomorrow never came. The present was only a bridge and on this bridge they are still groaning, as the world groans, and not one idiot ever thinks of blowing up the bridge.

Actually haven't picked this up again. I was enticed by the idea of reading about his life in America, pre-European days, after reading about him in Anais Nin's first diaries. However, the first chapter was one big whine-fest, full of pity and non-belief in the goodness of the human spirit. He w
Jack Rousseau
Sep 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Call me "puritanical", but when I read a line like "The sad thing about Valeska was the fact that she had n****r blood in her veins" (pg. 57) I lose interest in a book. Why do I want to read about a blatant racist/sexist? His musings aren't that interesting. Nelson Algren put it best when he said: "Henry Miller has one fault, he thinks he thinks."
Lynne King
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing Jeffrey's excellent review reminded me how much I admired some of Miller's works, especially his letters to Lawrence Durrell and the Colossus of Maroussi.
Michael Hilde
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of D.H. Lawrence
Many books have the sort of impact that changes your life at the time you read them, but only a few impart that very special feeling of knowing that a book is changing your life as it is doing so. Most books change us as a gradual rippling effect that travels through our lives. Even the most banal, pulpy fiction has the capability to alter your autonomic and subconscious perspective on the world. But when a book comes through with a voice powerful enough to change your life as you are reading it ...more
Sanabel Atya
Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, pdf

American Beauty رواية السيد هنري تُذكرني بفيلم من إنتاج هوليوود اسمه
كلاهما يهدف لإزالة القشرة الخارجية المُحيطة بالمجتمع الأمريكي،والتي تمنح هذا المجتمع صورة لامعة لبقية العالم.. هدفهما فضح المجتمع الأمريكي،، فضح اللاإنسانية والبعد اللاأخلاقي في المجتمع الأمريكي. صورة مغايرة تماماً عما نراه في السينما الأمريكية.

أراه قد عرّج على المجتمع الأمريكي منذ نشأته "المضروبة أساساً" حتى يوم كتابة كتابه هذا.
فأولاً، هو مجتمع لص..اعتمد السرقة في بناء ذاته لأعوامٍ طويلة جداً لقرون!
ثانياً، لم يحترم الآخر.. رأ
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin  Henry Miller, 1932-1953
  • The Devil at Large: Erica Jong on Henry Miller
  • Henry Miller: The Paris Years
  • Mysteries
  • Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8)
  • The Subterraneans
  • Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings
  • Dreams from Bunker Hill (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #4)
  • Death on the Installment Plan
  • Balthazar (The Alexandria Quartet #2)
Henry Miller sought to reestablish the freedom to live without the conventional restraints of civilization. His books are potpourris of sexual description, quasi-philosophical speculation, reflection on literature and society, surrealistic imaginings, and autobiographical incident.

After living in Paris in the 1930s, he returned to the United States and settled in Big Sur, Calif. Miller's first tw
More about Henry Miller...
“I found that what I had desired all my life was not to live - if what others are doing is called living - but to express myself.” 89 likes
“I wanted a metamorphosis, a change to fish, to leviathan, to destroyer. I wanted the earth to open up, to swallow everything in one engulfing yawn. I wanted to see the city buried fathoms deep in the bosom of the sea. I wanted to sit in a cave and read by candlelight. I wanted that eye extinguished so that I might have a chance to know my own body, my own desires. I wanted to be alone for a thousand years in order to reflect on what I had seen and heard - and in order to forget.” 63 likes
More quotes…