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Modern Classics Good Morning Midnight Paperback – Aug 24 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic (Aug. 24 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141183934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141183930
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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'Quite like old times,' the room says. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
"Good Morning, Midnight" tells the story of Sasha Jensen in post-war Paris. The author gets inside Sasha's head and exposes to the reader her low sense of self-worth and her misaligned priorities. We get glimpses into Sasha's past to give clues as to what has brought her to this state of depression. Sasha cares too much about what others around her think of her; she is always concious of how she must appear to waiters in cafes, people on the street and workers at the hotel where she is staying. She is always putting thoughts in their head of how they must percieve her. Sasha also does not have her financial priorities straight since she buys a fancy new hat and plans on buying other new items for her wardrobe and in the meantime is neglecting to eat.
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.
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Format: Paperback
It is no wonder that after the publication of this novel people assumed Jean Rhys had committed suicide. It is a dark, introverted, soul-searching novel. It's brilliance lies in the compassion with which Sasha is treated. This is a woman who is unquestionably at the end of her tether. Life occurs almost unconsciously to her. She drinks non-stop and thinks of fashion before eating. But these aren't superficial choices. They are the few soft whispers of a woman about to go over the brink. Throughout the novel you are given brief glimpses of her past as a shop assistant and the troubles in her marriage. In themselves the troubles which result from them are not ample enough to drive a normal woman to such desperation. You feel that the reason for her state of mind is more the result of a profound neglect of her individual spirit by men. She is led on to believe in a progression of being, but is abandoned to clutch at the ghosts of her old haunts in Paris. This is a sharp contrast to the ideas that we have about artistic scene of Paris in this time period. It is a more sincerely concentrated personal experience than most accounts. It is interesting to think of the end in contrast to the jubilant yeses of Molly Bloom in Ulysses. Sasha's yes is one of doom and resignation to a world that has flown past her.
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.
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By A Customer on Oct. 8 2000
Format: Paperback
Just about every night is a catastrophe for Sasha Jansen, the heroine of Jean Rhys's excellent novel. In less than two hundred pages, Rhys has effectively captured not only the bitter sentiments of the "lost generation" but also the huge scope of thoughts and experiences of a lonely brand of humans alienated by a cruel, hyprocritical society. The theme of the book comes straight from Sasha's mouth:
". . . 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.
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Format: Paperback
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 Rhys. One of several of her books focusing on the feminine psyche as it trys to navigate the complicated socioeconomic hierarchical male-dominated society of pre-postmodern Paris. Rhys' main character alternately smiles and crys reflecting the pressures of pre-millenial Parisian society which judges her solely from the view of their ocular organs--a tragedy that continues on into our own post-post-war self-constructed society. Nihilistic twists combined with masterly commentary on the futilism of being erupt into a majestic spewing of anger and pre-post Derridadian philsophy . Unfortunately Rhys is unable to escape the male imposed strictures of the English language resulting in a book which is inherently contradictory--as most, inevitably, are.
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