Giovanni's Room (Vintage International) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Giovanni's Room Paperback – Jun 13 2000


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Jun 13 2000
CDN$ 43.87 CDN$ 15.98

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Join Amazon Student in Canada


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (June 13 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385334583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385334587
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #309,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"If Van Gogh was our 19th-century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our 20th-century one."
--Michael Ondaatje

"A young American involved with both a woman and a man...Baldwin writes of these matters with unusual candor and yet with such dignity and intensity."
--The New York Times

"Absorbing...[with] immediate emotional impact."
--The Washington Post

"Mr. Baldwin has taken a very special theme and treated it with great artistry and restraint."
--Saturday Review

"Exciting...a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction."
--The Atlantic

"Violent, excruciating beauty."
--San Francisco Chronicle

From the Back Cover

"If Van Gogh was our 19th-century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our 20th-century one."
--Michael Ondaatje

"A young American involved with both a woman and a man...Baldwin writes of these matters with unusual candor and yet with such dignity and intensity."
--The New York Times

"Absorbing...[with] immediate emotional impact."
--The Washington Post

"Mr. Baldwin has taken a very special theme and treated it with great artistry and restraint."
--Saturday Review

"Exciting...a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction."
--The Atlantic

"Violent, excruciating beauty."
--San Francisco Chronicle

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

By gac1003 on Feb. 4 2004
Format: Paperback
David is an American living in 1950's Paris. He has a finacée Hella, who recently left for Spain to make sure that she is ready to marry him. While she's away, David meets Giovanni, a young Italian bartender. They strike up a friendship, and for financial reasons, he moves into Giovanni's tiny room. But, the friendship grows into something more, and David must decide which life he wants to lead.
Throughout the novel, David is conflicted with his feelings of love, loathing and guilt for Giovanni. He loves Hella, too, but desparately wants to find out if her love is what he truly desires, almost willing her to save him. Author James Baldwin uses a very flowing style to permeate his novel with these emotions, allowing the reader to both sympathize and distrust Giovanni and David. One is strong and sure of himself; the other is fighting a battle in his head over what he feels.
"Giovanni's Room" is one of the great novel dealing with someone coming to terms with his or her own sexuality and all the emotions associated with it. A truly fine novel.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
David is an American living in 1950's Paris, trying to flee from bad memories of home with his father. He has a finacée Hella, who has just left for Spain to make sure that she is ready to wed David. While she's away, David allows his urges to take him to one a gay bar, where he meets Giovanni, a young, Italian bartender. They strike up a friendship, and for financial reasons, David moves into Giovanni's tiny room.
Throughout the novel, David is conflicted with his feelings of love, loathing and guilt for Giovanni and for his own homosexuality. He loves Hella, too, but desparately wants to find out if her love is what he truly desires, almost willing her to save him. Author James Baldwin uses a very flowing style to permeate his novel with these emotions, allowing the reader to both sympathize and distrust Giovanni and David. One is strong and sure of himself; the other is fighting a battle in his head over what he feels. This creates one of the better novels dealing with someone coming to terms with his or her own sexuality.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Little Old Me on Oct. 28 2003
Format: Paperback
It is a shame that James Baldwin is so overlooked by the younger generations of readers. There is no parallel to the brilliance in his work and his writing style that is literary and thought provoking. "Giovanni's Room" packs a tremendous emotional punch with its narration of David, an American living in Paris during the 1950's. David's journey is the slow acceptance of his sexuality, as he carries on a relationship with the Italian bartender, Giovanni, while David's fiance, Hella, is abroad in Spain.
This novel has withstood decades of censorship on gay literature and we benefit from it. Baldwin takes on sexuality with grace and patience as we watch the narrator battle his own inner demons. Very early on, David tells us that he knows he is at fault for the suffering of those around him and that Giovanni will be will be executed on the guillotine the next morning. David then takes us back into his history with Giovanni and their life in the small room he rents. As the story unfolds, we watch as David creeps into the subculture of Paris, dependent on the money of his wealthy friends who loiter in the gay underground. Yet, there is a sense of contentment from the narrator with his new surroundings, though he does not openly admit to it. He sees his sexuality and his involvement in this "forbidden lifestyle" as a temporary one and then that fragile stability is shattered when Hella finally returns.
This book is a treasure that accurately documents one person's journey in self-discovery and questions the lines between love and desire. Thank you, James Baldwin, for what you've left behind for us.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
My now-deceased cousin Charles was a gay painter who gave this book to me when I was 16. Back then I followed him around like his shadow, loving his stories of travel and lovers. I grew to travel and thought of how no matter where I went, I took me.
James Baldwin's Giovanni's room, seems to be a story of this realization, of not being able to escape yourself; despite being in the free-est position you'll probably ever be in again. Too bad San Francisco wasn't up and running for a man in his position, back then. Nowadays the pilgrimage to self identity is the same by plane, and having lived in both Paris and Frisco, Paris (for me) is definitely the place to face oneself.
James Baldwin's David seems to be fighting a demon that surfaced long before his sexuality came into question. Between the lines I'm seeing a portrayal of Mr. Baldwin's 1950's America as the P-envying society of self-hate that he has escaped. He arrives in America's parallel universe, Paris; a place where he is accepted without having to reinvent himself.
I lived in Paris for 4 years. I went there with my pre-conceived notions, and was introduced to theirs. Being an American woman in Europe, men see you as the unfulfilled dame who has not been allowed to blossom. They see you as the accepting and unsatisfied victim of a cocky, selfish, binging male culture. They feel obliged to help you recover. to show that quality not quantity is the answer. finesse not excess.
Baldwin's Giovanni's room is a book that makes me think, that the plague of identity issues, sexual, societal, etc., is a monster empowered by self-doubt, a parasite in which strength of character can only defeat. You are your own worst enemy.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback