Ruth's Reviews > Three Lives

Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
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's review
Jan 26, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 75-books-women-should-read

I mistakenly thought 3 novellas would be a quick, easy read. And, perhaps, if there was a software package that could delete repetitive phrases it would have been a much shorter read. But I did finish it. I did want to quit or move on in the midst of Melanctha's thing, but I continued on.

Initially I didn't think Anna was all that good, but after reading the book, she was the best of the bunch.

Melanctha had some issues and she surrounded herself with others with issues, not a good mix.

Gentle Lena was a limp noodle I never warmed to. Maybe it was her youth, but I just could not wrap my head around her passivity.

I wasn't impressed with the experimental writing. I'm familiar with stream of conscious* and it can work (Faulkner), but I didn't appreciate it in this book. There was no distinction in any characters stream of consciousness. It was as if Melanctha, Jeff and others thought and spoke in the exact same manner. It was what I imagine listening to computers would sound like. And it's not something I want to spend anymore time reading, so I think this might be my last Stein book. * Maybe I wasn't that familiar with stream of conscious writing. I had it confused with interior monologue. For the most part I find it difficult to read and decipher.

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