Pam's Reviews > New Grub Street

New Grub Street by George Gissing
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's review
Oct 21, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: readers who appreciate historical detail

I bought this book a couple years ago, when I was on a 19th-century naturalism binge. As near as I can tell, the book is about writing for money, as opposed to writing as art. One character is totally opposed to reading and education in general. He thinks it's unnatural, and that we should all be out exercising and working, building our bodies rather than our minds.

The book is on some classic lists, and I even saw it on a list of best horror novels. I'm thinking someone expanded the definition of horror. But it's early yet -- maybe there will be a Therese Raquin type of psychological torture later.

Edit: Finished the book. I didn't find any horror, unless not realizing your dreams and ambitions is horror. Maybe it is. There aren't a lot of people to like in this book, but it's worth reading for the insight into 19th century publishing and the lives of impoverished writers.

We've all read Austen and Dickens, but Gissing shows us a different class of 19th century people -- intelligent, ambitious, literate, but outside of society because of their poverty and lack of success.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 21, 2007 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Anna (new) - added it

Anna Auntiepam, thanks for reminding me of this. I read it a long time ago, and it's just the sort of thing that will suit my mood at the moment.

message 2: by Pam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pam Glad to help!

I don't re-read much, but I was in the mood for more 19th century after reading Grub Street, so I picked The Forsyte Saga for my next book. I think a comparison of those two books would make an awesome dissertation for Literature students.

Barbara Murphy Enjoyed your review. It summed it up so well and echoes my thoughts about the book!

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Naturalism!

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