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The Vagabond Paperback – Sep 5 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2 Reprint edition (Sept. 5 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528041
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,160,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The paradoxes of great literature are those of human nature, and Colette is nothing if not human . . . Accessible and elusive; greedy and austere; courageous and timid; subversive and complacent; scorchingly honest and sublimely mendacious; an inspired consoler and an existential pessimist--these are the qualities of the artist and the woman. Its is time to rediscover them. (From the Introduction)

The Vagabond, one of the first and best feminist novels ever written, is that rare thing: a great book which is also inspiring. (Erica Jong)

About the Author

Born in 1873 in France, Colette was the author of many acclaimed novels noted for their intimate style. Other Colette titles from FSG include Gigi, Julie de Carneilhan, and Chance Acquaintances, The Complete Claudine, Chéri and The Last of Chéri, and The Complete Stories of Colette. She died in 1954.

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TEN thirty....Once again I'm ready too soon. Read the first page
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By A Customer on Feb. 15 2000
Format: Paperback
Colette's Renee Nere is complex, her name alone tells us that (the last name is the first name spelled backwards, not to mentioned that Renee means "reborn"). This female protagonist would certainly fit in with the modern notion of being female, and in the early 20th century, this was not only rare, but not very-well understood. I adore this book because of the way it encourages women (by example) to carve out their own existence and not to rely upon men for security. It is also wonderfully written. However, you'll be in for a shocker if you read the sequel, "The Shackle".
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By Stacy on Aug. 15 2003
Format: Paperback
This was my first reading of Colette. What a poetic, beautiful, and amazing writer she was. In this novel, we meet a woman who is definitely revolutionary for her time and ours. Colette is aware of the sorrow and happiness that are intertwined in life. The main character's life follows a path that has much loneliness and doubt, but she, most importantly, has her will. This is truly a feminist classic. What I admire most is the courage to write such a work and to write it so well. The language is intoxicating.
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Format: Paperback
The Vagabond was my first delicious introduction to Colette, and the first book to make me weep openly. I related strongly to Renée, a professional woman who clung desperately to her independence while falling hopelessly for a man who relentlessly tugged at her vulnerability. Renée's confusion about whether love and happiness could coexist kept me captive in suspense until the very last (and infinitely satisfying) page.
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By A Customer on Dec 16 1999
Format: Paperback
Gigi may be the best known of her works, but 'The Vagabond' stands out in pure beauty from the rest. The plot (an actress on the stage who faces public scorn and problems in love) seems to be most autobiographical, and narrator and main character, Renee Nere, is a delight. Both beautiful and painful in spots, this book deserves to be read, as well as its sequel, 'The Shackle.'
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Colette breaks free of Willy in great triumph! Feb. 21 2005
By Susan J. Bybee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Colette's beginning as a writer is one of the strangest in literature. In her early 20s, she married a no-talent hack named "Willy" (that was how he signed his pieces) and wrote a series of novels about a young girl named Claudine. Willy took these pieces and published them under his pen name, giving his young wife no credit.

In her early to mid 30s, Colette grew weary of Willy, and turned her back on him to embark on a career as a dance hall performer. This is the setting for THE VAGABOND, Colette's first post-Willy novel, and the first to bear her own name.

The main character, Renee Nere, has been touring for 3 years, and although she's sometimes lonely, is enjoying her freedom and self-sufficiency. She's also suffering from what we'd refer to nowadays as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Her marriage to her philandering and abusive husband was so wretched, that when she meets another man who loves her, the slighest familiar gesture or word will trigger memories that incite revulsion.

THE VAGABOND is a gem of a novel that beautifully shows off Colette's gift for prose as well as her wonderful descriptions of life backstage as part of a touring group. If that isn't enough, she is also very gifted at revealing the psychological insights of her character. The introduction by Judith Thurman is well-done, and both the introduction and the novel left me wanting more Colette.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps Colette's greatest . . . Dec 16 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Gigi may be the best known of her works, but 'The Vagabond' stands out in pure beauty from the rest. The plot (an actress on the stage who faces public scorn and problems in love) seems to be most autobiographical, and narrator and main character, Renee Nere, is a delight. Both beautiful and painful in spots, this book deserves to be read, as well as its sequel, 'The Shackle.'
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Vagabond inspired me to become a writer Aug. 13 2005
By Colette M. Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Vagabond was my first delicious introduction to Colette, and the first book to make me weep openly. I related strongly to Renée, a professional woman who clung desperately to her independence while falling hopelessly for a man who relentlessly tugged at her vulnerability. Renée's confusion about whether love and happiness could coexist kept me captive in suspense until the very last (and infinitely satisfying) page.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Way ahead of her time Feb. 15 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Colette's Renee Nere is complex, her name alone tells us that (the last name is the first name spelled backwards, not to mentioned that Renee means "reborn"). This female protagonist would certainly fit in with the modern notion of being female, and in the early 20th century, this was not only rare, but not very-well understood. I adore this book because of the way it encourages women (by example) to carve out their own existence and not to rely upon men for security. It is also wonderfully written. However, you'll be in for a shocker if you read the sequel, "The Shackle".
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Penetrating and Original Aug. 15 2003
By Stacy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was my first reading of Colette. What a poetic, beautiful, and amazing writer she was. In this novel, we meet a woman who is definitely revolutionary for her time and ours. Colette is aware of the sorrow and happiness that are intertwined in life. The main character's life follows a path that has much loneliness and doubt, but she, most importantly, has her will. This is truly a feminist classic. What I admire most is the courage to write such a work and to write it so well. The language is intoxicating.


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