Shocking, banned and the subject of obscenity trials, Henry Miller's first novel Tropic of Cancer is one of the most scandalous and influential books of the twentieth century - new to Penguin Modern Classics with a cover by Tracey Emin Tropic of Cancer redefined the novel. Set in Paris in the 1930s, it features a starving American writer who lives ...
Shocking, banned and the subject of obscenity trials, Henry Miller's first novel Tropic of Cancer is one of the most scandalous and influential books of the twentieth century - new to Penguin Modern Classics with a cover by Tracey Emin Tropic of Cancer redefined the novel. Set in Paris in the 1930s, it features a starving American writer who lives a bohemian life among prostitutes, pimps, and artists. Banned in the US and the UK for more than thirty years because it was considered pornographic, Tropic of Cancer continued to be distributed in France and smuggled into other countries. When it was first published in the US in 1961, it led to more than 60 obscenity trials until a historic ruling by the Supreme Court defined it as a work of literature. Long hailed as a truly liberating book, daring and uncompromising, Tropic of Cancer is a cornerstone of modern literature that asks us to reconsider everything we know about art, freedom, and morality. "At last an unprintable book that is fit to read." (Ezra Pound). "A momentous event in the history of modern writing." (Samuel Beckett). "The book that forever changed the way American literature would be written." (Erica Jong).
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I prefer used, hard backed books with a dust jacket. This was exactly as promised and came in less time than originally stated. I dislike the frequent copy editing mistakes in many modern books (sloppy people, very sloppy - I'm talking to the copy editors who depend on spell/grammar check!) and don't like the feel of paperbacks. Alibris is my "go-to" book store whenever I want a classic.
Now for the book...I read this the first time when it was first published. It got my parents in trouble for allowing their junior-high-aged daughter to read such a novel, I was one of those lucky kids whose parents let me read anything - they figured if I had a question, I'd ask. Re-reading this I got a clearer picture of Miller's novel than when I was younger. It still challenges the reader to follow his thoughts and experiences, but it is also a lucid depiction of the human condition, especially in challenging circumstances. I would encourage anyone to read this novel again, it exercises your brain so much better than any game offered in a television commercial!
Jan 12, 2012
Well worth reading (again?). Was it more popular when it was censored. What does that tell us about drugs?
Nov 12, 2009
I'm in love!
After reading Tropic of Cancer I have fallen in love with Henry Miller, and now I read everything that I can get my hands on by him. This book was truly art. If Salvador Dali was a writer, this is what he would have created. It was wonderfully surreal.
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