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G. Paperback – Oct 25 1973


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Paperback, Oct 25 1973
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (Oct. 25 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140034749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140034745
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,324,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Fascinating...an extraordinary mixture of historical detail and sexual meditation...G. belongs in the tradition of George Eliot, Tolstoy, D. H. Lawrence and Norman Mailer." -- The New York Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"Fascinating...an extraordinary mixture of historical detail and sexual meditation...G. belongs in the tradition of George Eliot, Tolstoy, D. H. Lawrence and Norman Mailer." -- The New York Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
"G", by Mr. John Berger is the work of his that won the distinguished, "Booker Prize". What is perhaps more remarkable is that this was completed while he had published the first two, and was completing the final volume of his, "Into Their Labours Trilogy". This trilogy is one that I just read and I feel it is the best of his work that I have had the pleasure to read. Perhaps as it was broken into separate volumes and issued over 15 years made recognition of the trilogy impossible.
This work is different as we begin learning about, "The Protagonist" long before he has been born, and it is quite later on that he is finally referred to as, "G". The only time he actually takes his Father's name is when it is in the form of a falsified passport, which in the context of the story is as it should be. G has an extraordinarily eventful life, however it is devoid of a traditional Family. It is this method of his being raised that leads him to become a veritable predator of woman. But it is not just G who describes what he has planned and what he experiences, but also the women he pursues. However the Author that sets the stage for the events between G and his female friends offers another layer of insight.
The Author's voice is present and at times the dominant presence in the narrative. This book reminded me at times of Mr. Berger's works of non-fiction when he takes the senses that we use without thought and explains their workings so they become fascinating. He makes them this way not by explaining how they perform their tasks, but how they collect and interpret information well in excess of what we are consciously aware of.
I thought G personified an individual who was focused on one basic drive of all animals while being oblivious to what was really going on around him.
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By "tksc" on April 20 2000
Format: Paperback
What is fascinating about this book is how Berger tells the story of the modern Don Juan (Don Giovanni) from the perspective of the seduced. Instead of telling the heroic tail of the 'conquests,' Berger focuses on the reception of seduction. Rather, seduction is a two-way street. "He" is the seducer--but so are his partners. They all come with interesting stories.
The 'protagonist' is uninteresting; he's not even all that attractive. Yet, Berger isn't all that interested in why G. would be attractive for so many women. Here there are no heroes and no victims. In sex there is the encounter of two: 'who' they are isn't reducible to status and power; rather, it is the activity of anticipation, the clamouring, the lust, the mutual surrender, and the tenderness of fleeting moments.
Such moments are told against the backdrop of an astute historical understanding of the role of the sexes. Berger obliterates our preconceptions of sex-roles, our unconscious historical memories, by focusing on the mutual nature of passion.
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By A Customer on Dec 15 1998
Format: Paperback
The main character - or should I say protaganist- of this book is not particularly interesting or endearing.But the story in its narrative form is compelling.The writer describes the events partly as an historian and partly as an author but then compounds events by addressing the reader with the first person - as though he personally was a witness not only to the events but to the personal emotions of the characters as well. There is much wisdom in this book - not in a cosy way, but in defining life and its intricacies, reminding us of events in our own lives but making us remember those events as exceptional-which I suppose - is the basis of romance. One is engaged with the author whilst we learn about G -closer to the author than the character. G's quest is ultimately pointless, as he single mindedly trawls through his life, marked only by physical conquests - doomed through lust and avarice - his sincerity is faulted, he lives only for now - ultimately he has no vision.
We learn not from his actions but from the authors descriptions and eloquent prose - that there is magic in life, that our experiences count for everything.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Perspectives... April 20 2000
By "tksc" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What is fascinating about this book is how Berger tells the story of the modern Don Juan (Don Giovanni) from the perspective of the seduced. Instead of telling the heroic tail of the 'conquests,' Berger focuses on the reception of seduction. Rather, seduction is a two-way street. "He" is the seducer--but so are his partners. They all come with interesting stories.
The 'protagonist' is uninteresting; he's not even all that attractive. Yet, Berger isn't all that interested in why G. would be attractive for so many women. Here there are no heroes and no victims. In sex there is the encounter of two: 'who' they are isn't reducible to status and power; rather, it is the activity of anticipation, the clamouring, the lust, the mutual surrender, and the tenderness of fleeting moments.
Such moments are told against the backdrop of an astute historical understanding of the role of the sexes. Berger obliterates our preconceptions of sex-roles, our unconscious historical memories, by focusing on the mutual nature of passion.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A tonic for the weary Dec 15 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The main character - or should I say protaganist- of this book is not particularly interesting or endearing.But the story in its narrative form is compelling.The writer describes the events partly as an historian and partly as an author but then compounds events by addressing the reader with the first person - as though he personally was a witness not only to the events but to the personal emotions of the characters as well. There is much wisdom in this book - not in a cosy way, but in defining life and its intricacies, reminding us of events in our own lives but making us remember those events as exceptional-which I suppose - is the basis of romance. One is engaged with the author whilst we learn about G -closer to the author than the character. G's quest is ultimately pointless, as he single mindedly trawls through his life, marked only by physical conquests - doomed through lust and avarice - his sincerity is faulted, he lives only for now - ultimately he has no vision.
We learn not from his actions but from the authors descriptions and eloquent prose - that there is magic in life, that our experiences count for everything.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Jan. 2 2009
By Richard Pittman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm at a bit of a loss on what to say about G. It's about a character obsessed with sexual conquest who, as a result doesn't notice the world around him.

The hero (so to speak), G, lives in interesting times with interesting events occurring around him. In these times, he focuses on completely on sexual conquest and truly falls in love with his conquests in the moment and then moves on.

The author is the powerful presence as opposed to G who appropriately isn't in control.

It's not a bad read and the events surrounding G make a good contrast to what might otherwise be a bit tiresome.

It was released in the 1970s and although it is about an earlier time, the attitude towards sex brought to mind the 70s. I'm not sure I can explain it better than that.

I liked it enough but it's a bit of an odd book.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This Earned The Prize May 2 2001
By taking a rest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"G", by Mr. John Berger is the work of his that won the distinguished, "Booker Prize". What is perhaps more remarkable is that this was completed while he had published the first two, and was completing the final volume of his, "Into Their Labours Trilogy". This trilogy is one that I just read and I feel it is the best of his work that I have had the pleasure to read. Perhaps as it was broken into separate volumes and issued over 15 years made recognition of the trilogy impossible.
This work is different as we begin learning about, "The Protagonist" long before he has been born, and it is quite later on that he is finally referred to as, "G". The only time he actually takes his Father's name is when it is in the form of a falsified passport, which in the context of the story is as it should be. G has an extraordinarily eventful life, however it is devoid of a traditional Family. It is this method of his being raised that leads him to become a veritable predator of woman. But it is not just G who describes what he has planned and what he experiences, but also the women he pursues. However the Author that sets the stage for the events between G and his female friends offers another layer of insight.
The Author's voice is present and at times the dominant presence in the narrative. This book reminded me at times of Mr. Berger's works of non-fiction when he takes the senses that we use without thought and explains their workings so they become fascinating. He makes them this way not by explaining how they perform their tasks, but how they collect and interpret information well in excess of what we are consciously aware of.
I thought G personified an individual who was focused on one basic drive of all animals while being oblivious to what was really going on around him. Observations are made for him, as are the interpretations. This is a man who goes through momentous events in History with barely a nod in there direction, while obsessing himself with a planned affair, insult, or other ego satisfying triviality. His lack of perspective and his careless interest in what is important eventually gain his attention. And when this happens the irony is that the attention he receives he has done nothing to deserve other than to be blissfully ignorant.
I would have given this 5 stars, but after Mr. Berger's trilogy I cannot. This is still a splendid read by a master writer that should not be missed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
a really disappointing and annoying read Jan. 7 2012
By Witold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It always seemed to me that the task of novel writing included a cohesive development of a long story. However, in this particular case, a very talented and intelligent author delivered a pastiche of fragments of varied length and often rather questionable quality. I found the reading process extremely exhausting. If you are looking for a well-paced and intelligently written narrative don't read this book. It gets a little better around page 140 when you are just about ready to give up. However, it doesn't lead anywhere. I am a very tolerant reader (some fragments of the books are actually even interesting and the writing itself actually consistently intelligent, alhtough often too dense) but as a novel this book is a complete disaster. It should be called "G. An Awkwardly Disjointed Pastiche About a Sex Addict and Politics". Not a novel.

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