Modern Classics Good Morning Midnight Paperback – Aug 29 2000
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About the Author
Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before starting to write in Paris in the late 1920's. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 (when GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT was written) onwards she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with 'Wide Sargasso Sea' in 1966. She died in 1979.
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Top Customer Reviews
I found "Good Morning, Midnight" a fascinating insight into a woman in a "low" psychological state. This book is not recommended if you are looking for an uplifting, feel-good story. "Good Monring, Midnight" would probably lead to great discussion for book groups.
Despite its depressing character, this novel is a fascinating look at a tendency to sink into a psychological state often ignored. It is also a subtle portrayal of an identity built on a knife's edge. Luckily, Ms Rhys did survive this novel (however unhappily). It is a miracle that she did considering the violent lack of self worth of Sasha; to have imagined such a person must have been terrifying indeed.
". . . And I'm very much afraid of the whole bloody human race. . . Who wouldn't be afraid of a pack of damned hyenas? . . . And when I say afraid -- that's just a word I use. What I really mean is that I hate them. I hate their voices, I hate their eyes, I hate the way they laugh . . . I hate the whole bloody business. It's cruel, it's idiotic, it's unspeakably horrible . . . Everything spoiled, all spoiled."
The frightening thing about this book is that Rhys successfully cuts through human illusions and comes out with a stark, brutal view of society as a "pack of hyenas." She suggests society is this way because people are insecure and must appease their egos through cruelty to others, but she does not entirely believe or accept this as a valid excuse for cruel behavior. This is a common theme in Rhys's books -- society committing spritual murder through cruelty -- and it is never shown better than here.
Sasha's bitter plight is quite realistic (it's obvious Rhys has had these experiences herself) and the social commentary biting, told through lean and somewhat dream-like stream-of-consciousness prose. The long dialogues and battles of wills between Sasha and the gigolo culminate in a tense, unforgettable ending -- an excellent book by one of the most underrated authors of the Twentieth Century.
Most recent customer reviews
I have a sentence from 'Good Morning Midnight' tattooed on my right arm. There is no higher acolade.Published on March 11 2001 by Sam Redlark
The pre-existential scalular network of streets--an interconnected web of pointlessness and meta-consciousness--serves as the background to this genre-hybridizing book by Jean... Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2000 by anonymous
This is one of several of Jean Rhys' novels of postwar existence in Europe. It focuses on her time in Paris living an existential lifestyle after she returns from London. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 1999 by firstname.lastname@example.org