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1. Tropic of Cancer
2. Tropic of Capricorn
3. Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus
4. Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions
5. Plexus: The Rosy Crucifixion II
6. Nexus: The Rosy Crucifixion III
7. Black Spring
8. Quiet Days in Clichy
9. Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
10. The Smile At The Foot Of The Ladder
11. Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion I
12. Henry Miller: The Paris Years
13. Under the Roofs of Paris
14. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
15. Wisdom of the Heart (New Directions
16. The books in my life
17. The Colossus of Maroussi (Second
18. Always Merry and Bright: The Life
19. Letters of Henry Miller and Wallace
20. Nothing but the Marvelous: Wisdoms

1. Tropic of Cancer
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 318 Pages (1994-01-06)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802131786
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller’s masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller’s famed mixture of memoir and fiction, which chronicles with unapologetic gusto the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer, his friends, and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s. Tropic of Cancer is now considered, as Norman Mailer said, “one of the ten or twenty great novels of our century.”
Amazon.com Review
No punches are pulled in Henry Miller's most famouswork. Still pretty rough going for even our jaded sensibilities, butTropic of Cancer is an unforgettable novel ofself-confession. Maybe the most honest book ever written, thisautobiographical fiction about Miller's life as an expatriate Americanin Paris was deemed obscene and banned from publication in thiscountry for years. When you read this, you see immediately how muchmodern writers owe Miller. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (183)

4-0 out of 5 stars Paris Revisited
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller is a book that is best read when you are young...say of the 20-something set.And while it is true that there are a number of books that fall into this range (Look Homeward, Angel among others), Miller's Tropic books (both Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn) do hold a certain value where a return read through years is warranted.Like all good literature, and Tropic of Cancer is certainly that, there are aspects of the book that ring more true depending on how far in years you are along when you return to it.

If Tropic of Cancer has any downside it might be Miller's take on women in general.Still, it is a worthy read and like so many other books (Ulysses (Gabler Edition), Lolita (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Vintage International (Pb)) , etc), it is a book that changed the course of fiction.However, if you are of the ilk to want a novel with structure then you may steer clear of the Tropics as neither book (Cancer or Capricorn) follow any real plotline.But if you want to read a book stripped bare of literary tricks and told in a bold, truthful style then this novel is for you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Seedy but genius at times
What to say about reading Henry Miller's work? They are like stumbling, drunk, through a dark, seedy alley when suddenly the prose turns into some of the most elegant and energetic copy you've seen-- then, like the drunkard having a brief lucid moment this flash of genius passes leaving you waiting for the next great passage.

This is an earlier and longer work than Quiet days in Clichy (1934 versus 1956) even though both novels cover some of the same events. To me, his prose was much more developed in his later work.

This book was a little rough around the edges but definitely still worth the read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tropic of Cancer
If you enjoy writing full of amazing visuals, brash words, and honest diction don't leave this book out.It was left out of american publication for quite some time because it was tide up in obscenity trials, but if you've dabbled in books that search to understand sexual behaviors you shouldn't be surprised.There is a lot of stream-of-consciousness, so if that sort of plot-less writing bothers you steer clear, but it mainly depicts a man struggling to be a writer.Referenced in many other books and noted to be one of the greatest works of literature it's hard to pass by even if it's not your style.

5-0 out of 5 stars A blood transfusion!
Tropic of Cancer is Miller`s first book and remains his greatest book. Miller wanted to be a writer, but he could not find any publisher. When he was 37 years old, he was sent to Paris to start living in artist's life. Here his anger was reached the limit and he exploded. I have never read such deep expression of one's true feelings and emotions. While this book became international best seller, it had been burned for 30 years in his own country.
If you are not satisfied your life and if you thirst for life, you must read this book. The last 20 pages are purely masterpiece.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nin and Kerouac without talent, ethos or logos
I understand and respect the influence Miller had on later writers particularly Kerouac and Nin, but Miller's style and his willingness to bore readers with tales of himself are not of themselves good or even interesting. Miller's impact on later writers may be likened to the impact of WWI on WWII. The influence is a fact but it does not follow that it is necessarily a good thing.

Kerouac's writing worked because he was exceptionally bright, had a good command of the English language, was a perceptive and sensitive observer of the human condition and was concerned with things other than himself and his bodily functions. Miler is far less talented, significantly less aware of the world around him, a poor observer of others, obsessed about his own physical needs and completely unconcerned with others. Thus while reading Kerouac can be a delight, reading Miller is a bore. Miller's alleged literary skill is rarely on display in his works and largely absent from this book. He is simply inept at writing dialogue and any attempt to put Miller in the same class as writers such as Hemingway is a bad joke. Miller's writing was not formed by exceptional talent but by shortcuts needed as a result of his inadequacies as a writer. You will find the occasional good turn of phrase but you will more often find poorly conceived attempts such as the following:

"That was enough for me. I turned at once to Marcelle and began to flatter the ass off her. we stood at the corner of the bar, pretending to dance, and mauled each other voraciously. Jimmie gave me a big horse-wink and nodded his head approvingly. She was a lascivious bitch, this Marcelle and pleasant at the same time."

This is good writing? No, it is not. If Miller were alive today he would likely be writing Penthouse letters, with the same or less skill as others. If you took excerpts of Miler's writing and submitted them as your own for criticism they would be rightly blasted, yet when Miller's authorship is attributed to them they become gems? No, they do not. Literary snobbery is as responsible for Miller's reputation as anything else. He became popular in the literary world because he tried some new things (to cover his poor writing skills), because of his sexual meanderings, and because he was banned. Had he never been banned, he likely would have descended to his correct role in the literary world.

Miller possessed an impoverished vocabulary of dirty words. The B word, C word and F word are used incessantly, repetitively and rarely to good purpose. His knowledge of sex was amateurish, his writing about sex was juvenile. He was not a sexual man, just a horny man. If you want good erotic writing from someone who was a sexual person, read Nin. Miller's much noted sexual passages are uninteresting, superficial and quite simply boring. Yes, I understand he blazed a trail and without Miller we might not have had the far superior writings of Nin, but it is nonetheless no reason to read Miller, unless you are an academic who is studying literary history. If not, read Nin. Read Kerouac.

Was Tropic of Cancer important in the literary world? Yes. Was it good? No. For some reason literary critics seem incapable of distinguishing between these two concepts.

I and many others also do not care for Miller's writing in large because we have no interest in or respect for him as a man, and his writing is, if nothing else, about himself. I cannot imagine going to dinner with him. His world revolved around himself to the exclusion of any concern about others. His politics were immature, poorly formed and almost childish, much as were his attitudes toward women.

Miler did at least exhibit some honesty and show some self awareness when he wrote "Life, said Emerson, consists in what a man is thinking all day. If that be so, then my life is nothing but a big intestine." ... Read more

2. Tropic of Capricorn
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 348 Pages (1994-01-13)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802151825
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Banned in America for almost thirty years because of its explicit sexual content, this companion volume to Miller’s Tropic of Cancer chronicles his life in 1920s New York City. Famous for its frank portrayal of life in Brooklyn’s ethnic neighborhoods and Miller’s outrageous sexual exploits, The Tropic of Capricorn is now considered a cornerstone of modern literature.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

3-0 out of 5 stars I struggled... but I get it
I get why people love this book and I understand why some do not.I am exactly in the middle.There are times where Miller's story telling is completely engaging and there are other times when his rants are too cumbersome and egotistical.I told everyone how much I disliked the book and then realized that I was talking about this book more than most I have read.It definitely hits a cord and like most great books, it makes you think.This book is provocative and based on the period of time, it is amazing that Miller was so advanced.I will read this book again and see if it has a different impact on me....

4-0 out of 5 stars Waylaid by History: A Theory about Capricorn
I thought this was Miller's best ... until, two-thirds of the way through, he began rhapsodizing about world history and overindulging in the kind of philosophical rumination that can drive is fans crazy, and not in a good way. Much as I like Henry Miller, it's clear that deep thinking was never his strong suit.

Miller guided me to other writers--Celine, Knut Hamsun, Anais Nin, Blaise Cendrars, among others--as he did for many others. In my case, out of an inclination toward history, he turned me on to Oswald Spengler, with whom I was so taken that I spent a year reading and rereading Decline of the West, an obsession culminating in an essay that appeared in the old Los Angeles Free Press.

Here's my Capricorn theory: Given evidence that Miller was similarly captivated by Spengler back then, I'm guessing that out of admiration, and the unconscious imitation a writer manifests when encountering an influence--something I know a bit about--Decline of the West interfered with what Henry Miller does best: presenting an adventurous everyday life in flowing, literate, often humorous detail. Which is why, I believe, Capricorn fell down.

Still, it's certainly not bad.I Think, Therefore Who Am I?

3-0 out of 5 stars Good in parts
Henry Miller was capable of brilliant story-telling and, as this book shows, he could also be a tremendous bore.

There are big parts of the book where the story-telling is first rate. He gives a very vivid picture of the vulgar and rather brutal working class milieu in which he spent the first 3 or 4 decades of his life. He makes his experiences and the people he associated with come alive, though one wonders to what extent the experiences are real and to what extent they are made up. One can well imagine a working class male in Brooklyn in the early 20th century having the experiences and thoughts that Miller portrays himself and his associates having. The first and largest episode in the book is Miller's life as manager of a telegraph company's message delivery service. Then there are other episodes in Miller's life that are detailed, going back to his childhood.

It helps Miller in his story-telling that he is completely un-restrained in his use of language. He uses every four letter word imaginable and describessexual escapades in extremely graphic language. He uses the four letter word that begins with "c" to describe the private area on the lower front part of a woman's body. He frequently refers to this private area throughout the book and his fondness for accessing it. The account of theperiod when Miller was the messenger service manager is laced with constant references to the sexual encounters that Miller and his buddies pursued (even though most of them were married at the time). Miller portrays himself in this book as a raging sex maniac. Let me give a summary of some of the sexual experiences detailed in the novel. For instance there is his piano teacher. He is in his mid-teen years and she is in her mid-20's. He is seized with an intense desire to access this teacher's private area and one day while they are seated at the piano, he makes some groping gestures in the direction of the private area. She thoroughly rebukes him but not long after, she encounters him outside sitting down in an isolated area. He lunges at her again but she successfully resists him, saying she doesn't want to do it there. They walkto another isolated area, I believe near a lake, and there she attacks him and apparently the subsequent copulation is quite intense. Then there is Rita. Rita is the sister of his friend Maxie and Henry intensely wishes to have a sexual encounter with Rita but Maxie does not approve of that. Henry runs into Rita one day and they go back to the vestibule of her family apartment and have mind-blowing sex on the floor. Henry is very proud that he was able to fornicate with Maxie's sister "right under" the nose of Maxie. Miller provides fairly vivid description of the placement of his hands and some other details that occurred during this vestibule fornication. Then there is a young gal who I believe Miller calls Agnes. We are introduced to Agnes in a story that seems to take place during Henry's mid-to-late teen years. One day, Henry, Agnes and another girl play naked tag by the river. Agnes and Henry also have other experiences together. For instance, they copulate in various public places, including public telephone booths. Another activity of Henry and Agnes takes place on street cars. On the street-car, Agnes, wearing nothing under her dress, lifts up the dress and sits on Henry's lap and.....you get the picture. Agnes also tells Henry the story how she bullied her brother into running his fingers around her.....um........There is another more graphic allusion to incest in this book. Henry has a young friend/protégé, an aspiring teenage thief/con-man named Curley. Curley appears impressed with Henry's skill in hustling money from friends and acquaintances; Henry does this because he is always dead broke. Anyway, we learn that Curley is involved in a sexual relationship with his aunt. His parents were circus folk and apparently abandoned him and he was forced to live with this aunt and this aunt feels that.....etc.

These brutal and nasty stories of life in working class New York in the early 20th century are not all related to sex though there is a lot of that. It is from the perspective of a working class male possessed of a chauvinism not untypical of the time. Women don't figure much in this story except as actors in sex scenes. There are episodes where sex plays no part, for example the story of Miller's father's embrace of religion in his elderly years as well as the excellent and vivid stories about some of Miller's childhood friends and acquaintances.

The episodes are sometimes unpleasant and nasty but very real and it is unfortunate that Miller has to break up the power of this novel by placing long rambling incoherent mystical discourses in between the episodes of the book and especially in the last part of the book. These psychedelic tirades really get tiresome and almost completely ruin the book. Tropic of Cancer, thankfully, has little of this gibberish.

2-0 out of 5 stars Henry Miller: the most interesting failure I've read
I was looking forward to reading this book, but unfortunately most of it was self indulgent filler with absolutely no payoff. Sure, blinding light would occasionally cut through the floating gray clouds of endless paragraphs, but for the most part this book seemed more like a literary endurance test. The beginning piqued my curiosity, but reading the rest of the book made me feel like I just wanted to get my money's worth. I think the most depressing thing about the book was toward the end when Miller was quoting the surrealists, ha ha, and I loved those quotes and it made me want to explore Breton and such, but they stood in harsh contrast to Miller's own writing. Miller seems like an interesting name dropper, a coach of literature that isn't so hot on his own two feet; but then again, I haven't read all of his work, but I'm wondering if it's worth the effort. Henry Miller seems to touch upon things that have already been done better by other writers: Dostoevski was a better rambling, ranting madman writing in a common vernacular; Rimbaud executed the dynamic between bitter nihilistic despair to innocence and hope better; and Lautreamont was much more obscene and capable of creating perfect, surreal, jarring imagery.

5-0 out of 5 stars Miller's Tour De Force
I may have a soft spot for this book because it's the first of his I read, but this comes off as no less than his finest hour.The first fifty or so pages are almost unbeatable. Miller nails the very essence of the American character down with an unflinching vitriol that hasn't really been matched in anything else I've read.Given how banal much of the literature that comprises the curriculum in public schools is,I was somewhat shocked and completely mesmerized by someone exposing the degradation and absence of ethics in the the modern workplace so openly. Reading it well after the year 2000, it still was spot on in spite of taking place in 1920s New York.

Sure, much has changed since then.Racism and sexism have become more veiled and subtle, but are still present in oblique and diluted forms. On closer inspection, I have come to think that the book tacitly makes the point that racism always was partially a red herring. The real enemy was a system that treated people as mere statistics and robbed us all of our humanity.

A lot of people like Cancer better, but I have to disagree. This book is everything he was trying to do in Cancer and then some. Whatever style he was trying to formulate in Cancer, which while still very good basically only described a sort of expatriate hipster aesthetic.That isn't without its merits, but Capricorn was the book that looked not only looked America right in its hideous face, but saw Miller making "the only true journey which is to the self" (paraphrased). The sexual aspect of the book gets overplayed again and again, but it was only part of a larger transparency in Miller's writing.He wrote graphically and directly about sex in a time when it was utterly unacceptable to do so in popular discourse.His ability with the English language is largely unmatched in American prose. It was in this book, where he wanted to lay out his thoughts in the most naked manner possible, that he hit full stride stylistically.

Unsentimental, deliriously descriptive, and brilliant. ... Read more

3. Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 404 Pages (1957-01-17)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201074
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In his great triptych "The Millennium" Bosch used oranges and other fruits to symbolize the delights of Paradise.Whence Henry Miller's title for this, one of his most appealing books; first published in 1957, it tells the story of Miller's life on the Big Sur, a section of California coast where he lived for fifteen years.

Big Sur is the portrait of a place—one of the most colorful in the U.S.—and of the extraordinary people Miller knew there: writers (& writers who didn't write), mystics seeking truth in meditation (& the not-so-saintly looking for sex-cults or celebrity), sophisticated children & adult innocents; geniuses, cranks & the unclassifiable.

Henry Miller writes with a buoyancy & brimming energy that are infectious. He has a fine touch for comedy. But this is also a serious book—the testament of a free spirit who has broken through the restraints & cliches of modern life to find within himself his own kind of paradise. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Miller Fans
For fans of Henry Miller this is a great book. For those that aren't, yet still bother to read this review: Henry Miller is conversational in all his books (early 3rd person attempts aside), what you are doing when you pick up his books is to sit and listen to him speak, his conversations are always interesting and can fly off into any direction: He wasn't precious, and that's why many of us like him.
I enjoy where he talks about being withdrawn, sullen, and bad company when he writes, yet a glowing talkative companion when painting.

5-0 out of 5 stars a free spirit finds his paradise
In many ways, this is Henry Miller's most upbeat book - a patchwork portrayal of episodes and characters in his newly-found home on the wild Big Sur coast. The prose flows very well - generally, it is a mellow narrative, although there are plenty of instances of the wicked humor and sarcasms left over from his TROPICS days. As Miller settles into his mid-life, hermetic lifestyle in this coastal paradise, it seems that his roamin' days are pretty much over. Yet, his notoriety soon catches up with him, with so many unannounced vistors seeking out the famous author of his once-banned books.

This is an entertaining book, a mulligan stew of philosophical musings on art and living; of sketches of Miller's neighbors and wayfarers just passing through; of vignettes of the natural history of Big Sur and its pioneers; and, finally, of details of his very palpable everyday life with friends and family. It is Miller's insatiable love of life that pulls the reader into his portrait of this unique spot, the one he is immersed in as his home.

The writing itself is some of Miller's most evocative I think; and yes, it rambles and strays a bit. But this is what makes for such an engaging read. These narrations are from a Henry Miller still searching for meanings to the Big Questions; yet now, the ramblings are being done through the immensity of Big Sur's grandeur instead of the streets and cafes of Paris and New York. It is here that Miller feels he can flourish as a writer, with a fresh freedom and outlook as he stares out at the vast western horizon each day.

Hieronymus Bosch used oranges and other fruit in his painting to symbolize the delights of Paradise; Henry Miller has used his words as symbols to reveal to us what he has found in this enduring version of paradise. A most highly recommended read.


The Cloud Reckoner

"Extracts: A Field Guide for Iconoclasts

5-0 out of 5 stars Henry Miller is the Best
This one is slightly different for Miller, more laid back, but as usual he is the most brilliant and intensely unique writer ever to come from America (at least to my knowledge). He's a Walt Whitman and a Mark Twain and a William Blake rolled into one genius. I say read ALL of Henry Miller you can get your hands on, and be glad!

5-0 out of 5 stars Art is a healing process
My first glimpse into the world of Henry Miller has brought me a new highly admired author to read. Though 'Big Sur' is reputed to be one of his more 'tame works'...Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn having been banned works for years due to their highly sexual content, the mind of Miller is indeed a wonderous place to explore.

I came across this title while searching online for info about Kerouac's novel 'Big Sur', and decided to indulge in this one as well. And a happy treat awaited me.

Having only recent begun to enjoy 'biography as fiction' works, it takes a rare author to put one at peace with their words, when they are simply a recounting of thier own life and adventures. Miller wrote 'Big Sur' not so much as a 'novel', since there is not a conventional thread to follow, other than the location and himself as protagonist, but more as a memoir of the 15 years spent in this California 'paradise' of artists, bohemians, and eclectic characters. Through describing his tranquil, ambling days spent walking back and forth with supplies from town, meeting the thrice-per-week mail delivery, or simply writing, the reader gets to experience the serenity that Miller enjoyed throughout most of his time there. Being a Virgo I look for structure, order, sense, etc., in most things, especially literature. Little of that is to be found here, really, but Miller's style is so captivating that you can't help but read on.His serenity at Big Sur easily becomes your own.

But be warned, that serenity is interrupted by the arrival of an oversees acquaintance, Conrad Moricand, who turns Miller's idyllic home upside down during his stay there. Moricand, an ailing, miserable, curmudgeonly man comes to Big Sur upon Miller's request, and had the term 'houseguest from hell' been utilized in the days this novel was written, it's easy to say that Moricand would have received this title.

For anyone thinking of exploring the works of Henry Miller for the first time, perhaps avoiding his more famous works until gaining a bit of insight into something a little more 'platonic' such as this book might be well-advised.It will pave the way of interest into this fascinating author, and hopefully spark further investigation, as it has with me.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable -- You'll dig it!
After writing The Air Conditioned Nightmare, Henry Miller had almost given up hope on America. This book, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, recounts how he feel in love with the country all over again. Set in Northern California, Big Sur is portraitized as being no less than a paradise to this influencial writer. He was seeking to eke out some peaceful lifestyle in the mountains, and for a while he found it. But it did not take long for groupies, love children, and any other manner of lost souls to begin knocking on his door. They were looking for the "cult of anarchy and sex!" and they thought Miller, who had already published and gained notoriety with The Tropic of Cancer, would be the one to lead the way. This book has a definite buoyancy that the reader thrives off. His descriptions of writers, artists,children,and vagabongs is top notch. I would also advise anyone who is seriously interested in the subject, to pick up a copy of Hunter S. Thompson's The Proud Highway. It includes an excellent essay on his take on Miller's "sudden" fame. So pick up this book! Other quick Amazon picks would be Tropic of Cancer, The Losers' Club by Richard Perez ... Read more

4. Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 216 Pages (1964-06)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201120
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Any Praise I Give Here is Understated - This Book Rocks!!!
I absolutely love, love, love, love, love, love, love this book! I agree with the person who said you don't have to be a writer to enjoy this book. I am a writer still "finding myself" in mid-50s and this book is absolutely MAGICAL to me. In the most atheistic and blissful sense of the word. I first got a hardback (New Directons Paperbook) copy at the local library. Then I had to renew it. And now I have had to order a copy for myself because I want to LIVE with this book -- touch it, read it, hold it, carry it, cherish it. Is it that good? Yes, it is that good. It is so good as a matter of fact I just spent all of next week's grocery money to get a copy in hardback. I feel as if I just bought a Ming vase or a rare coin collection. I cannot explain. Here is one of many awesome quotes in the book:

"By being crazy is understood losing one's reason. Reason, but not the truth, for there are madmen who speak truths while others keep silent,"


"'Je ne parle pas logique', said Montherlant, 'je parle générosité', I don't think you heard it very well, since it was in French. I'll repeat it for you, in the Queen's own language: 'I'm not talking logic, I'm talking generosity'. That's bad English, as the Queen herself might speak it, but it's clear. Generosity -- do you hear? You never practice it, any of you, either in peace or in war. You don't know the meaning of the word. You think to supply guns and ammunition to the winning side is generosity; you think sending Red Cross nurses to the front, or the Salvation Army, is generosity. You think a bonus twenty years too late is generosity; you think a little pension and a wheel-chair is generosity; you think if you give a man his old job back it's generosity. You don't know what the f**king word means, you bastards! To be generous is to say Yes before the man opens his mouth,"


"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths."

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely Pick Up A Copy!
If you read Henry Miller, you are well aware that his use of language is both poetic and direct. He does little apologizing, and this book follows that philosophy. The book is a gathering of previously and not previously published works concerning the art of writing. It is edited by Thomas H. Moore, who worked with Miller to complete it.

Throughout the pages we see Miller in familiar lighting as he stresses those things about his craft that are most important to him. We also read how Miller was sometimes so absorbed in his work that he couldn't get through a meal with scribbling out pages between bites. To that end, Miller gives his greatest lesson to would-be writers - Dedication and discipline are the pillars on which the writer lives. Without those, one merely writes. He even lists "Commandments" in part of the text, wherein he describes the requirements that he placed on himself. These include, basically, writing without bounds, living fully, and placing the art of writing above friends and hobbies. It is this reinforcement that shows how hard Miller struggled to maintain his place as a writer. He reminded himself to work on one piece at a time.

There is a section entitled "Obscenity and the Law of Reflection," and it defines Miller's view on what obscenity is why it cannot truly be debated or defined. All of this is treasured reading for the Miller fan. There are many fine chapters covering the various aspects of the life and the profession of Henry Miller. It is extremely well written and organized. If you enjoy Miller, this book will only enhance your opinions. If you do not care for his work, perhaps this book will explain why Miller chose to write what he had inside of him and how he shaped his style to fit his soul. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Miller, but very much on my mind since I purchased it off Amazon is "The Losers' Club" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Treat!
If you read Henry Miller, you are well aware that his use of language is both poetic and direct. He does little apologizing, and this book follows that philosophy. The book is a gathering of previously and not previously published works concerning the art of writing. It is edited by Thomas H. Moore, who worked with Miller to complete it.

Throughout the pages we see Miller in familiar lighting as he stresses those things about his craft that are most important to him. We also read how Miller was sometimes so absorbed in his work that he couldn't get through a meal with scribbling out pages between bites. To that end, Miller gives his greatest lesson to would-be writers - Dedication and discipline are the pillars on which the writer lives. Without those, one merely writes. He even lists "Commandments" in part of the text, wherein he describes the requirements that he placed on himself. These include, basically, writing without bounds, living fully, and placing the art of writing above friends and hobbies. It is this reinforcement that shows how hard Miller struggled to maintain his place as a writer. He reminded himself to work on one piece at a time.

There is a section entitled "Obscenity and the Law of Reflection," and it defines Miller's view on what obscenity is why it cannot truly be debated or defined. All of this is treasured reading for the Miller fan. There are many fine chapters covering the various aspects of the life and the profession of Henry Miller. It is extremely well written and organized. If you enjoy Miller, this book will only enhance your opinions. If you do not care for his work, perhaps this book will explain why Miller chose to write what he had inside of him and how he shaped his style to fit his soul. Along with this novel, I'd like to recommend another Amazon pick, THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez, which is about a struggling would-be author -- a personal novel obviously influenced by the ideas and life of Henry Miller.

5-0 out of 5 stars NOT JUST FOR WRITERS
A wonderful book, not just for writers or literature lovers, but for anyone interested in thinking and living creatively. Packed with well-worded wisdom. My favorite passages have become guidelines for my life. Some examples:

It should be borne in mind, of course, that there is an inevitable discrepancy between the truth of the matter and what one thinks, even about himself. * Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. * I began in absolute chaos and darkness, in a bog or swamp of ideas and emotions and experiences. * Good and bad dropped out of my vocabulary. * I talk now about Reality, but I know there is no getting at it. * I eschew all clear cut interpretations: with increasing simplification the mystery heightens. * What I know tends to become more and more unstable. * I find there is plenty of room in the world for everybody. * One can only go forward by going backward and then sideways and then up and then down. * My charts and plans are the slenderest sort of guides. * Understanding is not a piercing of the mystery, but an acceptance of it, a living blissfully with it, in it, through it and by it. * Every line and word is vitally connected with my life, my life only, be it in the form of deed, event, fact, thought, emotion, desire, evasion, frustration, dream, revery, vagary, even the unfinished nothings which float listlessly in the brain like the snapped filaments of a spider's web. * I had to learn to think, feel and see in a totally new fashion, in an uneducated way, in my own way, which is the hardest thing in the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional.
An especiallyimportant book for any aspiring writers or students of fiction or the creative mind. Henry Miller on Writing shows Miller as he struggles to learn how to write and questions and wrestles with all theinsecurities and self-loathing that is endemic to writing. As important asJohn Gardner's books on writing, only more readable and more fun. ... Read more

5. Plexus: The Rosy Crucifixion II
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 640 Pages (1994-01-13)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802151795
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Second volume in the Rosy Crucifixion series. More about Henry and June, also chronicling the author's travels to the deep South, and his work as an encyclopedia salesmen (after he'd left personnel). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another of Henry Miller's masterpieces.
Plexus is another of Henry Miller's masterpieces. He can make one yearn for poverty, because along with it dangles freedom on the other end. Whenever I begin to doubt myself, I read a bit of Miller. At times, he makes far more sense to me than the bible. It's soul food. - Mel Mathews - Author of LeRoi, Menopause Man, SamSara...

5-0 out of 5 stars In His Own Words
Perhaps the following quotes from Plexus will help to convey something ofthe insight that can be found throughout Henry Miller's writing - "The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnified world in itself." AND - "It isn't age which makes us wise. Nor even experience, as people pretend. It's the quickness of the sprit." AND - "There are only two classes in this world -- and in every world-- the quick and the dead. For those who cultivate the spirit nothing is impossible. For the others, everything is impossible, or incredible, or futile." AND - "... if one is at all intelligent and sensitive, one naturally ends up in the world of art."

2-0 out of 5 stars As mediocre as Sexus, but without the sex
Reading Henry Miller is like being in a dysfunctional relationship.It's painful and tedious, and you often ask yourself why you stick with it.You have this overwhelming feeling that you're wasting your time, and you wonder just where this whole thing is going to lead to.And yet despite all that, you feel an inexplicable need to keep going, to see if things will maybe get better.But of course they don't.

I'm of the camp that believes that what Henry Miller did wasn't so much "writing" as it was "typing."There's no plot to this book or any other book by him that I've read.There's no beginning, middle, or end.No climax or denouement.No character development, no central conflict.You could skip a hundred pages ahead and come away with no less of an understanding of the book than if you had read the whole thing.Or you could read the last hundred pages first without giving away anything that would make the first five hundred pages any less of a surprise.This isn't so much a book as it is a long, rambling collection of disconnected events in a man's life, and the occasional digression into unintelligible philosophical meanderings.

And unlike Sexus, there isn't even any sex in this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars not the best in the trilogy
I thought sexus was really funny and wild hearted, and this next book isn't really either.Plexus has hundreds of pages of Miller telling boring stories and long winded opinions and outdated analysis of the world and all that, and basically this huge book should have been about 200 pages instead of 600.Most of the time I kept thinking "Okay, Henry...stop telling old man stories and get back to the damn storyline in the book!"

5-0 out of 5 stars not for everyone
This book (this whole trilogy) is not for everyone.Before anyone considers reading this, they should first check "Tropic of Cancer" - probably twice.Once done, consider picking this up.Onlypick it up if you loved "Tropic."Personally, I found thetrilogy a lot harder to digest and a lot slower going.Conversely, I foundit times more rewarding.If you feel like you have something to offer theworld that has yet to be realized, this is the book for you.It will giveyou hope.In his darkest moment, Miller is able to funnel all of hissadness, rage, pain, heartbreak, etc., and somehow smile through it.Forthe dissatisfied soul, trudging through these tomes is like finding afriend you never dreamed of.If you're happy with the way things are andlife is satisfying - god bless you.Keep doing whatever you are and findsome other book to read.There are thousands out there that you will getmore out of.If you feel stuck, however, these books should give youcourage.Read them and act on them.As Miller will show you, there isnothing to lose, and we all have it in us. ... Read more

6. Nexus: The Rosy Crucifixion III
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 316 Pages (1994-01-13)
list price: US$14.50 -- used & new: US$6.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802151787
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Nexus, the last book of Henry Miller's epic trilogy The Rosy Crucifixion, is widely considered to be one of the landmarks of American fiction. In it, Miller vividly recalls his many years as a down-and-out writer in New York City, his friends, mistresses, and the unusual circumstances of his eventful life.
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Miller's finest
Henry Miller has influenced me more than any other author ever did. I remember the first time I took to reading one of his books -- The Black Spring. I was only about fourteen -- it seems so long ago -- and, instantly, I was "hooked". There was simply no other writer in the past century that could combine words like Miller did. Eventually, I graduated to his more profound, challenging works, and The Rosy Crucifixion is one of them, Nexus in particular. The finest, most chalenging book in the trilogy, it is filled with not only Miller's so own mumbling, but with something much deeper -- philosophical contemplations on everything from the Western world we live in, to art, relationships, society and suffering. Suffering so typical in America, yet very few authors were able to achive its description as fine as Miller did. Along with The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Nexus is the must read for any Miller fan. Immortalizing the one woman who made it possible for him to become "the" writer he is, is only a part of the story, enabling us to pull the thorn from our side and see the world with clearer eyes is the best gift he could have given us. Highly recommended, but please read the entire trilogy. Starting with book three would be like eating the cake first, without appreciating what went to the dough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sex and Philosophy
I owe Henry Miller a great debt. It was his writing, the way he combined sex and philosophy, that really got me into reading all sorts of different things. Now, 50 years later, I am still impressed by what he has written, and I'm still reading all sorts of different things. What we read becomes a part of us, helps define who we are, what we understand of others and of ourself.So what Henry Miller has written is a part of me and when I go back and reread various things he has written, that helps me remember who I am and that I am still continuing to become who I am.

2-0 out of 5 stars The sound of no hands clapping.....
Boy it feels good to finally be done with Henry Miller.And I don't mean just this book - I mean completely done with Henry Miller.No, I haven't read everything by him, but I've read the "essentials" (the two Tropics and the Crucifixion trilogy).And if these are his best books, I really don't want to see what the other ones are like.

My goodness he is tedious.Reading this last installment of The Rosy Crucifixion was like eating the last Pop-Tart in the package.You don't really want to eat it after already having eaten two of them, but you figure you might as well finish the last one so you can throw away the carton.And then about half-way through it you start to feel nauseous.

Henry Miller deserves a fair amount of credit for breaking down barriers in literature that no one really challenged before him.He made it acceptable, even fashionable, to discuss sex explicitly.He made it safe for future writers to be ruthless in their attacks on established societal institutions.And he opened the door for countless pseudo-intellectuals to put their ideas down on paper, even if they weren't trained in the fine art of writing.So with all due respect, I pay my regards to him.

But that doesn't make him a good author.And that doesn't mean we have to read him.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolutely fascinating and engrossing portrait
What strikes me about the Rosy Crucifixion (and Nexus in particular) is that, even at its worst, it is unbelievably striking and poignant. Perhaps it is how human every aspect of this book is (down even to the flaws), it writhes and rears its head like the humanity that created it. Miller is, beyond anything, a man that is mired in the mass that constitutes this humanity and, from that vantage point, is a writer that creates pure genius.
Even though the book is loosely based around his tumultuous years with his wife (referred to as Mona in this trilogy) before leaving for Paris, the reader gets far more than that. Miller uses this concrete platform to churn out ideas on most anything else in existence. His writing is lucid, thought-provoking, and intelligent here, some of the best he has ever created.
Overall, a fantastic summation of the points articulated throughout the Rosy Crucifixion and Miller's own life. This is an absolutely amazing writer at his best, not to be missed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Henry the First
It is tough describing what is that keeps me so attached to this trilogy, specially this book where Miller describes his pain and his feelings in such a straightforward way.I believe it is his honesty and his bravery to say things one would never even dare to think of. Words come and go smoothly, an so my mind when I read this man.Helps opening up. ... Read more

7. Black Spring
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 243 Pages (1994-02-11)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802131824
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Continuing the subversive self-revelation begun in Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, Henry Miller takes readers along a mad, free-associating journey from the damp grime of his Brooklyn youth to the sun-splashed cafes and squalid flats of Paris. With incomparable glee,Miller shifts effortlessly from Virgil to venereal disease, from Rabelais to Roquefort. In this seductive technicolor swirl ofParis and New York, he captures like no one else the blending of people and the cities they inhabit.
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Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kerouac Konception
Do you know what a mobius strip is?

It is a math oddity...a surface with no outside or inside. Topology actually.

George Orwell gave this book an ambivalent review because of the "mickey mouse universe" created within its pages. The orderly socialist mind of Orwell could not follow the mobius strip of a story that turns upon itself rather than progresses to a fixed end from a known beginning.

This is a finely wrought mobius canvas created with splashes of colorful prose. This book is part of the trioka which includes Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn- Black Spring is the least popular and least sexual of the three. Hmmm....

When I read Miller I can not help but see the counterculture that followed his writing. It is as if Miller was the fetus that became the sixties and grew into the dirty old man of the post modern present. Miller was the staccato force behind Kerouac's typewriter and Vonnegut's grim images of burnt Dresden and a callow bomber crewman.

The images in this book are compelling...

I could see the decks being scrubbed down and the guns polished and the weight of those big sea monsters resting on the dirty glass lake of the basin was a luxurious weight on me. p7

Can't you feel the weight of the water and the ships?

Miller has always puzzled me. Influenced heavily by the King James Bible, Miller seemed immune to its message.

The racism in this book is rife..the n word, asians described as having "glass craniums" even a lurid description of a lynching in the mind of the narrator. Is it any wonder that the government tried to ban Miller's books under the Comstock Act?

Why did Miller feel it necessary to combine his beautiful prose with scatological slurs that seem to insult the reader for no reason? Here he compares the Trinity to sexual organs seemingly to create cheap marketing hype at the expense of his own integrity. Dali used to do the same with his paintings at strategic times at the expense of his integrity. Quality stands apart from hype.

Travel with enjoyment inside this mobius strip but realize that it ultimately ends where it began.. its surface is endless, aimless, Christless and perhaps self indulgent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Black Spring -- my first Henry Miller novel
I just finished reading BLACK SPRING. It blew me away. Henry Miller's storytelling style is so personal, it's kind of like taking an unexpected medium punch in the gut. The geography becomes local, the imagery is rough, obscene and poetic, and goes on for pages at a time. Miller becomes larger than life, powerful through his honesty and vulnerability. I am amazed with his unique ability to effortlessly paint such vivid pictures, wander aimlessly through haunting nightmares, and relive pleasure and passion. From sitting around in the Parisian home of friend Jabberewohl Crondstadt celebrating each other's conquests and madness, to wandering the dark bum-piss hooker-lined streets of forbidden America, I found myself constantly stopping, re-reading and wondering how he took me there. Eventually I stopped raising my hand to ask questions, and just sat back and listened.

1-0 out of 5 stars Non est ars quae ad effectum casu venit . . .

Snuggled like a tumor in between the two 'Tropics' came Henry Miller's grotesquely dull work of semi-self-indulgence, 'Black Spring.' He must have been suffering from some kind of social disease that he humped-up in Paris when this otherwise 1st rate, 2nd rate author vomited up this indigestible piece of trash.

I hated every page of "Black Spring" save one paragraph in the first quarter of the novel in which Miller describes the coal-stained hands of a hot-coffined labourer. Notwithsitting that small bit of grin, I stand by my chopfallen displeasance for not having been forced at gun point to read 'Black Spring' from cover to shining black cover . . I volunteered to spend my time with this grotesque, libidinous assemblage - indeed, an air-conditioned nightmare.

5-0 out of 5 stars TOPPING Henry Miller's "Must Read" List
The "Paris books" are by far the best work Henry Miller produced and Black Spring, a collection of shorter pieces that followed Tropic of Cancer should rank at the top. If I had to make a list: Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn, Tropic of Cancer, Quiet Days in Clichy. Black Spring contains some of his best work and displays his dazzling use of language and the exhilarating build-up of detail. This book contains some his most energetic writing. My favorite is the first piece in the book, his depiction of his Brooklyn days, which stands as classic "memoir" writing. Speaking of which, in Henry Miller's day, there were very few people writing fiction disguised as "memoir." Now take a look around and that's all you'll see! Imagine the world without Henry Miller! No Jack Kerouac, no Frederick Exley, no Dave Eggers. Black Spring is a MUST-READ for anyone interested in this kind of writing. Another recommendation for younger readers: The Losers' Club by Richard Perez

5-0 out of 5 stars I don't need a title....
This, like any of Mr. Millers' other works, is essential to only a handful amongst us. Not that there is not much to be learned from this great artist. But my point is..... it is essential to any aspiring writer, because it itches that urge in us to write. To struggle with it, and fail, and move on. No other author has done such for me. None has pushed me forward more than Henry (and yes, I am on a first name basis, he's like the best friend I could only dream of having) He is the most important writer that has ever lived in the fact that no other writer has ever made the art of writing seem more wonderful than he.

I got my great understanding of the workings of the mind and pathological states, of good and evil, and where our choices inevitably lead us from Dostoyevsky. I received my understanding of the divine from Dante. From Mr. Miller..... I got what every writer needs.....

To know that all that is needed is the urge, the desire to write. Who gives a damn if it's all gibberish, who cares if no one understands? That's not the point to it. Let the critics with no talent rip your work to shreds, let the intellectually elite thumb their noses at you. Creation is all. Nothing else matters. We may have to die one thousand deaths (emotionally so) and sink to the lowest levels a human can sink. But if even one paragraph is created, all was worth it.

I think this is the best place to start with Mr. Miller. Just because of how drunk he gets on his own words (or so it seems) But, it's still just a taste. It's best to tease first, then work up a gnawing hunger. ... Read more

8. Quiet Days in Clichy
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 154 Pages (1994-01-13)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080213016X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This tender and nostalgic work dates from the same period as Tropic of Cancer (1934). It is a celebration of love, art, and the Bohemian life at a time when the world was simpler and slower, and Miller an obscure, penniless young writer in Paris. Whether discussing the early days of his long friendship with Alfred Perles or his escapades at the Club Melody brothel, in Quiet Days in Clichy Miller describes a period that would shape his entire life and oeuvre.
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Customer Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars More on the movable feast...
Much has been written about the interwar period in Paris, particularly by expats, who, of course, did not realize it would be a period between two world wars when they wrote. There was Hemingway's book, referenced in the subject title, George Orwell, Gertrude Stein and many others, including Henry Miller. The `20's were a more optimistic time, the `30's far less so, due to the Depression, and the "gathering storm" of another war. Though he does not state it directly, by referencing the Spanish Civil War, this book is set in the late `30's. Miller fled Paris when the war commenced, so this is a "swan song" for that era. The backdrop is the bohemian setting of Montmartre, and the bars around the Place de Clichy. Miller and his companion apparently lived in the small village of Clichy, just outside the old walls of Paris.

This is my first reading of this book; but I first read Miller for the titillation value, shortly after his better known "Tropic of Cancer" was no longer formally banned in the United States, in the early `60's.I was quite young at the time when I placed the book on the cashier's counter. I felt she had given me a knowing look; guiltily I hastily blurted out that it was "for a school assignment," to which she simply chuckled. For me, having grown up in a conservative suburban milieu, "Tropic" was a stunning view of another world, and at the time I wondered how much was sheer fantasy, or did real people actually live this way? With the perspective of life experience, post-suburb, I realize that people very much do live this way, even the women. And they are probably the poorer for it.

The work is largely autobiographic; Miller is played by a character named Joey. At times he is so poor and hungry that he goes through the garbage searching for food. Trying to support oneself by writing is an arduous task, but checks from America arrive from time to time. Naturally there is much philandering, the Miller "trademark," graphically described in words that would be banned in this review. There are affairs with prostitutes (Joey is the one who seems to have the "heart of gold"), underage kids (that would have resulted in jail sentences even in more permissive Paris), ménage a trois (er, ah, if you'll excuse my French), and sad scenes with mothers.

What is missing is the "why"?There really is no insight into the motivations to his actions, or should be assume we are dealing at a basic level of hierarchy of needs, like food and sex, and that is sufficient. And if there are not insights into the central characters, for sure, all the women are simply "props," or, as more commonly described, they are indeed objectified. As Miller says: "Sometimes, out of sheer boredom, I would take one on, even though it left the taste of ashes."Of all the sections, I found their brief trip to Luxembourg the most interesting, and his observation, true then, and probably more so now: "...the faces of the inhabitants were stamped with a sort of cow-like bliss."

Miller broke a particular shell of conventions with his books, and deserves much credit for that. Many others have followed in his steps, so his work now lacks the "shock" value that it did in an era where presidential and political affairs where kept hidden by the media. As another reviewer indicated though, I prefer "Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem
If you have looked at this book with the aim of buying it do so now. If you want to sample a small representative work of Miller's fiction this is possibly the best one. Quiet Days is a little light novel of Miller's that gives the reader a decent whiff of his thirties Parisian writing and points towards the later Rosy Crucifiction trilogy. Short, sweet, fast and light.

1-0 out of 5 stars Beware-Not formatted properly for kindle iPhone
I purchased this book for the new Kindle for iPhone app and the book is not formatted properly.There are an endless amount of pages that only have one sentence, sometimes only one word!To read this book you have to flip through a huge amount of pages.Great book, and yes, it was only .80 cents but still... pretty much useless.

4-0 out of 5 stars Meat trimmed of its fat
A few months ago I had the misfortune of watching Jens Jørgen Thorsen 1970 filmic version of Henry Miller's Quiet Days in Clichy. The film was so bad in fact that I made myself watch it again the next day to be sure that it was in fact that bad. It was. However, I do owe it to the film and the recommendations of a friend to read some of the works of Henry Miller, and because I am busy with my graduate school studies and teaching, I decided to read Quiet Days in Clichy because of its count of 154 pages instead of reading one of Miller's longer works. Of course while reading the novel the voices of the actors flooded in my head--Wayne Rodda, as Carl, probably gave the worst performance in film with this train wreck--but as I got into it, I was drawn into Miller's sleazy depiction of the Parisian nightlife during the prewar period.

Supposedly a fictionalized autobiography, Miller depicts himself as "Joey" an American expatriate in Paris whose main concerns, besides the writing of his novels, is to enjoy the creature comforts of good food and loose women. Alongside his roommate Carl, another writer, Joey spends his nights in Parisian haunts hobnobbing with [...], married women, and girls who are just looking for a good time. Unfortunately for Carl and Joey, their lack of money keeps them from enjoying every night to the fullest, but through such things as theft and having an underage dim border, even the lack of money can be overlooked.

Quiet Days in Clichy reads like a stream of consciousness put down on paper. There are no chapters, just two long sections without breaks which make the book quite difficult to put down. Miller's depiction of women, food imagery plays a large role in this, might leave a few unsettled, but it might also be viewed as an honest writing of the id. While not lauded as one of his better books, Quiet Days in Clichy makes for an enjoyable, brief read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A real, gritty and poignant panorama of life in Paris
Miller, in his masterful way, gives us an account of Paris like it was...and is.Far from our clichés of a saccharine city as portrayed in fairy tales like "Amelie", "Quiet Days at Clichy" mingles the picturesque with the down-and-out for a portrait that would have pleased Emile Zola.Whores and cafes, venereal disease and breakfasts of Roquefort and white wine, poetry and squalid prose, Miller dissects Paris in the brilliant way Roman Payne writes about Paris in the novel Crepuscule, the way Zola writes in Therese Raquin... presenting a city that is a filthy beast deserving not less than all our love and praise. ... Read more

9. Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 196 Pages (1962-06-17)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811203220
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
One of Henry Miller's most luminous statements of his personal philosophy of life, Stand Still Like the Hummingbird, provides a symbolic title for this collection of stories and essays.Many of them have appeared only in foreign magazines while others were printed in limited editions which have gone out of print. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stand Still Like A Hummingbird
Henry Miller was so far ahead of his time it's amazing, or maybe it is simply that Henry Miller is timeless.The writing is glorious, the thinking is startling in it's clarity and his wisdom and understanding of what it is to live as a human being is needed in our current world more than ever.If you are a writer and desire to read what a master 'voice' is, this book is for you.If you are someone who wants to think out-of-the-box and in depth, this book is for you.If you want your mind activated intellectually and creatively, this book is for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars a clear vision of Miller's life-affirming philosophy
In this book, Miller presents a series of essays of various topics, including his friends, other artists, and Miller's social concerns. The longest piece is "Money and how it gets that way". Of course, this piece is written with subtle sarcasm throughout. Although the longest piece of the book, it doesnt stand out as the best, and in fact, doesnt seem to fit in with the rest of the essays. In the other essays, Miller demonstrates his ability to exploit what is powerful and life-affirming, laughing off all that is refined, petty, and weak. This comes out especially in the essays on fellow writers. There is an essay on Thoreau, Miller writes: "He found Walden, but Walden is everywhere if man is there". It is this sort of formula that is constant throughout both "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" and the rest of Miller's work: There is something positive and life-affirming everywhere so long as one is alive, it is only a matter of recognizing the greatness of life itself. Although not naively bashing all forms of technology, Miller urges us in "The Hour of Man" to take the time to return the basics and discover not technology, but ourselves, our families, and our friends. As Miller explores that which affirms life, he also takes the time to present piercing criticisms directed at those who are petty, controlling, and all too caught up in the rat-race; for example, he writes: "What, moreover, can you call your own? The house you live in, the food you swallow, the clothes you wear-you neither built the house nor raised the food nor made the clothes. The same goes for your ideas. You moved into them ready-made". This passage is indicative of Miller's insistance on creation and his general emphasis on overabundance and embracing the brilliance of nature and life as opposed to trying to control it. In "Tropic of Cancer", Miller writes that he "loves everything that flows", and one gets the impression that according to Miller, everything flows. Thus, the formula in "Stand Still Like a Hummingbird" can be summed up by saying that rather than try to stop these great flows of life, we should flow with them and embrace their power. Overall, this book is enjoyable, intelligent; yet, for a book of personal philosophy, rarely preaches morality and is never sentimental.

5-0 out of 5 stars As Fresh As Flowers that bloom in the snow
These highly readable pieces reflect the incredible vitality and variety of interests of the writer who extended the frontiers of modern literature.If you think the New Thought movement has some Ancient Wisdom roots, youwill enjoy this collection of stories and essays.If you have read, evenoccasionally, Henry David (Thoreau), Ralph Waldo (Emerson), Uncle Walt(Whitman), this volume is for you.Henry Miller says nothing here eithermore offensive or less insightful than these three Transcendentalists wholived before him.

Miller's genius for comedy is at its best in "Moneyand How It Gets That Way"-a tongue-in-cheek parody of "economics" provokedby a postcard from Ezra Pound which asked if he had "ever thought aboutmoney."Stand Still Like the Hummingbirdprovides a right and perfectmetaphor for this outstanding collection, one of Henry's Miller's mostluminous statements of his personal philosophy of life.Much of this book,while previously published, appeared only in foreign magazines or in smalllimited editions which have gone out of print.

If you're an artist(starving or successful), you'll appreciate Miller's deep concern for therole of artist in society, in "An Open Letter to All and Sundry," and in"The Angel Is My Watermark."If you're a writer (struggling to be oralready published), you'll find inspiration in words like these, scatteredlike gemstones--generous and true-throughout these pages:"...when you areconvinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing inmiracles or you stand still like the hummingbird.The miracle is that thehoney is always there, right under your nose, only you were too busysearching elsewhere to realize it.The worst is not death but being blind,blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of themiraculous." In short, there is much for many: timeless wisdom, notonly for us still living "in this world," but also for us, who, like HenryMiller, have always suspected we are "not of this world." ... Read more

10. The Smile At The Foot Of The Ladder
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 1 Pages (1975-04)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811205568
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smiles and pains, like life itself
Amidst millions of words of autobiographical writing, stands this lonely book, or rather a novella, The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder, Miller's one and only composition that drew inspiration "from the blue", as Miller himself put it. However, do not be mistaken...this novella shines with brilliance. Apart from the exceptional writing Miller's readers are accustomed to, this story is far more complicated than any other novella I had read, ever. Auguste, the centerpiece in this intricate work, is the embodiment of human suffering, a man who carries out his duty until the last breath. His duty being to bring a lasting joy to his audience. For Auguste, there is nothing easier than to make his audience smile, for he is a clown, but the brief moment when he on stage, is not what he is after. His aim is far superior -- Auguste's desire is to unite people with endless joy, the kind that comes only through God himself. But this task, this task bigger than any one human, was a difficult one. When Auguste takes his "trick" to a new level, the audience, as humans tend to do when faced with something they do not comprehend, went up against him. Auguste abandoned the circus and took to wandering. Nevertheless, a man can escape his surroundings, but a man cannot escape himself. For Auguste, his shadow was always with him, in him, unsatisfied, longing. And so, after a nightmare where Auguste was faced with end of his life, he stumbles upon a circus on the edge of the town. His past, his shadow, catches up with him and Auguste is given a new chance to fulfill his task -- one of the clowns fell ill and the circus needs a replacement. Auguste agrees, partly because he wants to relieve his old life, partly because he wants to kill his old life off by making his "persona" more famous than he ever was as himself. With great success, Auguste is back in his element, until the clown, whom he replaced, suddenly dies. It is then, that August discovers reality. The reality of himself, the world, the humankind. The reality that joy is much more than the limited experience he allows his audiences within the boundaries of the circus. Auguste dives deep into himself, into the darkness of the world and he finds the light he was searching for all his life, becoming one with it.

The intricacy of this story, the world in which we live, filled with suffering and joy, the two primary contradicting emotions, is so wonderfully portrayed here. Auguste, complicated like life itself...a man, strong and weak, but above all, vulnerable for he is too human. One of the most fascinating books ever written. Do not be fooled by its size...it will sneak up on you from nowhere, without warning. One of the best works by Miller.

2-0 out of 5 stars WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT??
Like all writers who are ultra-realistic, Henry Miller definitely had a bent of surrealism and magic lying underneath his style. Check out such books as The Cosmological Eye to see that part of him in action. Unfortunately, most writers like Miller are never able to effectively embrace this part of themselves. They are too busy trying to get to the "truth" of human life and thereby do not want to be "unrealistic".

The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder is an example of Miller trying to get to realistic truth through unrealistic means. It was originally written as a story to be placed in a collection of circus and clown drawings by the artist Fernand Leger. It was later rejected by Leger, so Miller decided to publish it himself with his own crude but perfectly suited water paint illustrations.

The story is about a famous clown named Auguste who has become a prisoner of his own celebrity. Unlike most entertainers, he wishes not only to delight his audiences, but to bring them to an inner peace hitherto only realizable through God. He is a master of his trade but one day as he is sitting in front of his mirror, he realizes that he has no life outside of his career. This triggers an attempt to flee himself by wandering through the country anonymously, searching for the meaning of life.

While an admirable try, this short fable on the question of identity and purpose is not very effective. Its very brevity defeats Miller's usually rambling and wayward prose. If he had wished he could probably have made a Don Quixote type novel out of this story but Miller probably got frightened from making something so removed from his own experience and the inborn romanticism of its plot. He should have given it a try. This is a minor work. Seek out his Rosy Crucifixion to get Miller at his zenith.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book in the World.
I give everyone a copy of this I meet. Henry Miller does more in a few pages than most authors can do in a lifetime. I'm not even going to attempt to write down my thoughts on what all the symbolism means to me. I will just say this. Get 10 dollars out of your wallet and buy a classic. Whenever I am down I read Smile, when I'm really happy I read Smile. The blood trickling down his face.............

5-0 out of 5 stars Smiles from start to finish.
An acquaintance loaned me her copy of this 1958 novel."Read this," she said."It's one of my all-time favorite books."

The "everyday world will one day become ours," Henry Miller (1891-1980) writes in the Epilogue to his truly sublime fable."It is ours now, in fact, only we are too impoverished to claim it for our own" (p. 50).Miller's forty-page novel begins and ends with his clown protagonist, Auguste, smiling (pp. 3; 40), and it will leave you smiling on every page in between.Auguste cavorts through Miller's tale "like a crazy goat" (p. 24), aspiring to "endow his spectators with a joy which would prove imperishable" (p. 5).On his hero's journey, he discovers a very important lesson:"To be yourself, just yourself, is a great thing" (p. 22).This is the central theme of Miller's short, but deeply profound novel.Miller's clown is a "poet in action," an emancipated being "untouched, unsullied, by the common grief" of the world (pp. 46-7). Drifting "unknown" and "unrecognized" among the millions he taught to laugh (p. 6), Auguste lives "in the moment, fully" with the radiance of a "perpetual song of joy" (p. 48).

G. Merritt

5-0 out of 5 stars Henry Miller - lifenotes
This is a very short read but so intriguing that you will lust for the last few words so you may complete the mission. Henry Miller nurtures a childhood fantasy of becoming a clown and uses this vehicle to convey a perspective on life that you will find invaluable. Though short and full of entertaining imagery, the complexity and the symbolism (along with the epilogue) will blow your mind. Godspeed, Mr. Miller! ... Read more

11. Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion I
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 506 Pages (1994-01-12)
list price: US$14.50 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802151809
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
First volume in the Rosy Crucifixion Series, originally published not by the Olympia Press, but rather Editions du Chene, Girodias' prior imprint (he was forced out after financial difficulties). Sexus is among Miller's most diverting works, at times erudite, dull, erotic and tame, chronicling the author's first wife, his final days in New York, his crushing failures, and his many women. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Miller's best work!
This is the first book of his trilogy "The Rosy Crucifixion" (Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus).
First time I read this book, tears continually streamed down on my cheeks because of his depiction about his struggle to be a writer.
In this book, he taught us how to be a true artist and taught us that believing oneself ultimately is the most difficult thing in this world. After reading this book, you will know that you are not alone and feel deep friendship with him.

5-0 out of 5 stars book
Henry Miller writes as a seriously imbalanced person and it's fascinating to explore his disturbed writing...although somewhat unsettling...and somewhat stimulating, if you know what I mean. I suppose if you like weird stuff, you'll enjoy his stuff...

4-0 out of 5 stars Hieronymus Bosch, The Marquis de Sade & Emerson
Miller is amazing! At once a devil and a saint, pornographer and philosopher,
who would be right at home in Soddom or Gomorroh. He writes of life in New York
as if seeing it all through a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, channeling
the spirits of The Marquis de Sade and Emerson.

Maybe my favorite of his books.

1-0 out of 5 stars Suxus
Well apparently there are still plenty of people in the world who will call something a work of genius as long as everyone else is doing it. It's a safe and easy way to feel intelligent. When I want well written literature I'll turn to Joyce or Faulkner, and when I want pornography I'll turn to Larry Flynt. Miller makes an attempt to combine the two but fails miserably. Seems like an effort to be controversial, attract publicity and, naturally, sell more books. Like the exploitation films of the 1970's, the buyer soon realizes they've been lured into something that's more hype than quality. I'm sorry if I'm not as enamored of Miller's personal life and perverted fantasies as I should be. Another milestone in the degredation of western culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why can't I be Henry?
Truth...that's what this is more than anything. Sift through the gibberish and the humor...and what is the most important and necessary extraction? Truth...reality. I first heard of this book from the film Cape Fear. A great book to read at any time in your life, but best before or during High School. Living in a culture that is so obsessed with BS, this is one of the most refreshingly real books I've read. And I give it 5 stars b/c I would read it again. Gives the jobless and broke a reason to go on. Keep a dictionary handy, unless you have a prodigious vocabulary. This book has everything, from rants to skanks to trouble with human relations and religion. On the other hand, this memoir-esque novel is quite surreal, and makes me long to be young, single, and in NYC. One thing is for certain: Miller did not hold back in gathering rosebuds, and probably gathered some of yours too while he was at it. You can read this and see how Miller's writing influenced Kerouac's. A vivid and exciting journey, guaranteed to keep Vaseline in business as long as it is in print. ... Read more

12. Henry Miller: The Paris Years
by Brassai
Paperback: 240 Pages (1996-11-18)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$13.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559703474
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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His years in Paris (1930-39) were the making of Henry Miller. He arrived with no money, no fixed address, and no prospects. He left as the renowned if notorious author of Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.

Miller didn't just live in Paris, he devoured it, especially the lurid back alleys and shabby-chic dens of iniquity. It was a world he shared with Brassa*, whose work, first collected in Paris by Night, established him as one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century and the most exquisite and

perceptive chronicler of Parisian vice.

In Miller, Brassa* found his most compelling subject. Using unpublished letters, recollected conversations, and references to Miller's work-and featuring sixteen unforgettable examples of Brassa*'s photography-Henry Miller: The Paris Years is an intimate account of a writer's self-discovery, seen through the unblinking eye of a master photographer. Brassa* delves into Miller's relationships with Ana*s Nin and Lawrence Durrell, as well as his

hopelessly tangled though wildly inspiring marriage to June. Most of all, Brassa* evokes their shared passion for the street life of the City of Light, captured in a dazzling moment of illumination. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic inside view of henry miller from a visionary artist
from the man that created the book "paris by night" - photographer brassai reflects on henry miller's paris years.they were friends and together paint a picture of one of the greatest moments in history - paris before WW2.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning insight into the mysterious Henry Miller
Through this amazing memior, the reader gets a rare insight into the true nature of the mysterious Henry Miller. While most of his books are autobiographical, it's hard to separate fact from fiction. Henry Miller is a much more interesting and complex person than he portrays himself in his books. I highly recommend this book to any fans of Henry Miller as well as anyone who wants to better understand the infamous author of Tropic of Cancer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting to Know Henry
Although Miller's books are largely autobiographical, it is sometimes difficult to discern "Henry Miller" from "Henry Miller's world". In reading this book by Brassai, we learn some of the methods Miller used to construct his world-- thus providing a deeper understanding of the man. While this book is by no means exhaustive, it does provide a glimpse into the man. There are numerous descriptions of Henry Miller available, but to get an insider's view, it is essential to read this book written by a man who knew Miller as well as any person can know another.

5-0 out of 5 stars Henry Miller as few knew him...
This book is a must-read for Henry Miller devotees who want to understand the genesis of this great writer. Written by his close friend Brassai a fascinating story is told about Miller's down and out days in Paris duringthe 1930's and how his vision of writing developed. It is replete withpersonal anecdotes about Miller's views of Paris, his hatred (ambivalent asit was) of his homeland and his relations with the women in his life. Itmore than anything shows Miller as the writer refusing to sell-out byhaving the essence of his writing edited away by the censorius literarystatus quo of his day. ... Read more

13. Under the Roofs of Paris
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 272 Pages (1994-01-18)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802131832
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

In 1941, Henry Miller, the author of Tropic of Cancer, was commissioned by a Los Angeles bookseller to write an erotic novel for a dollar a page. Under the Roofs of Paris (originally published as Opus Pistorum) is that book. Here one finds Miller’s characteristic candor, wit, self-mockery, and celebration of the good life. From Marcelle to Tania, to Alexandra, to Anna, and from the Left Bank to Pigalle, Miller sweeps us up in his odyssey in search of the perfect job, the perfect woman, and the perfect experience.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars just plain genius
The politically correct, and narrow-minded culture of "offendedness" that this country has become in the past few decades, will never understand our greatest author of the 20th century: Henry Miller. Maybe 2,000 years from now they will dig up our technilogically advanced, but culturally bankrupt society out of the ruins and champion Miller for what he was: the 20th century Shakespeare of the English language.

2-0 out of 5 stars two stars for eroticism, 0 for story
This can't be Henry Miller, or if it is in any way, he merely embellished on its original incarnation. Like another reviewer said, if you don't get turned on reading this, maybe you're dead. It does give explicit descriptions of sexual exploits. However if you've read the Rosy Crucifixion trilogy (Sexus, Plexus, Nexus) or Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn and enjoyed those remarkable works of literature, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed in this. Under the Roofs of Paris is not so much a story, but someone whom you'd think did this and that with their lifes (purely secondary), but primarily probed and licked the various women of his neighborhood. It gets a little boring after while. If Henry Miller conveniently took credit for having written this to make a little quick cash, then it figures because that seems right up his alley as I often have thought Henry Miller was a true opportunist who would live off whoever would be willing to let him. But to his credit,his style of writing is much more imaginary that what this amounts to. If there was such thing as a school for masturbators, this would be required reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is not appropriate for train reading.
This is like straight-up porn, for your imagination of course.There is virtually no story.If there is, it certainly gets overshadowed by all the sex.It took me long to read this, and it's because I couldn't get over what was going on.There'd be single paragraphs which I'd read over and over... I guess I couldn't believe my eyes.To think up these things is one thing, but to see it written out, is another entirely.This was one of my train-reading books... while I was commuting to work, I'd read on the train.I read THIS book on the train.I'm a lady.I could never divulge the sort of things I had to do before heading to jobs after reading parts of this book.You can physically feel the things that are going on.It's sick, in a good way.If you're up for any of the things mentioned in here, I'd say this book might make a GREAT gift as well.I highly recommend it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Caresse Crosby is the actual author.
Mary Jacob Phelps, the inventor of the modern brassiere, re-christened herself Caresse Crosby when she moved to Paris after WWI. She and her husband founded Black Sun Press, which published the work of a number of literary giants.

In Paris during 1933, Caresse met Henry Miller. When he returned to the U.S. in 1940, he confessed to Caresse his lack of success in getting his work published. Miller's autobiographical book Tropic of Cancer was banned as pornographic, and he could get no other work published. She invited him to take a room in her New York apartment where she infrequently lived, which he accepted, though she did not provide him with money.

Miller fell to churning out pornography on commission for an Oklahoma oil baron, but after two 100-page stories that brought him $200, he could do no more. Now he wanted to tour the United States by car and write about it. He had a $750 advance, and persuaded the oil man's agent to advance him another $200. He was preparing to leave on the trip but still have not provided the work promised. He thought then of Caresse Crosby. She was already pitching in ideas and pieces of writing to Anaïs Nin's New York City smut club for fun, not money. Caresse was facile and clever, wrote easily and quickly, with little effort.

Caresse accepted Henry's proposal. She wrote the title given her by Henry Miller "Opus Pistorum" at the top, and started right in. Henry left for his car tour of America. Caresse churned out 200 pages and the collector's agent asked for more.

Caresse's smut was just what the oil man wanted-no literary aspirations-just plain sex. In Caresse the agent had found the basic pornographic Henry Miller. Whenver asked afterwards, Miller strongly denied being the author. Some have mistakenly attributed authorship to Anaïs Nin. But it as Caresse who churned out another 200 pages, spending her time writing while her husband, Bert Young, fell into a drunken stupor every night.

In her diary, Anaïs Nin observed that everyone who wrote pornography with her wrote out of a self that was opposite to her or his identity, but identical with his desire.Caresse experienced years of social constraints imposed by her upper-class association in New York. Polly or Caresse had a doomed and troublesome romanticism with her second husband Harry Crosby before he spectacularly committed suicide/murder with his mistress on December 10, 1929. She participated in a decade or more of intellectual lovers in Paris during the 1920s. Perhaps it was a release for Caresse just to take love as casual lust and let it go at that.

So if you like written smut direct and without literary pretensions or adornments, this is apparently the book for you. Miller's name lends it seeming credibility when in reality it has none, either from its substance or its origins.

writers craft laboratory [TRY ON A NEW PAIR OF SHOES ], MAYBE TRY A STAB AT,TITiLATION [SEXY? BIG EASY in the writers laboratory mind EXPERIMENT write for a BLANK A PAGE FILL IT UP a page buckFAST, romp into THE LETHARGICK penisMASURADING AS LIBIDO, not so subtle..DIPICTIONS ofEnCOUNTERS ... empty TOLD OVER AND OVERand backagainTO SeXBACK[thru]alleys romps through blind avenues OF THE MIND, FOR FRILLS spellS annomous EXCESS. ... Read more

14. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 292 Pages (1970-10-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201066
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"Henry Miller is the nearest thing to Céline America has produced.... He aims not at the ears, brains, or consciences, but at the viscera and solar plexus."—The New Leader.In 1939, after ten years as an expatriate, Henry Miller returned to the United States with a keen desire to see what his native land was really like—to get to the roots of the American nature and experience. He set out on a journey that was to last three years, visiting many sections of the country and making friends of all descriptions. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare is the result of that odyssey. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Miller Grabs You by the Mental...
Miller grabs you by the mental testicles and yanks. Scathing social commentary hits the bullseye with clarity and breadth. This happens to be the first work of Miller's I've read, oddly enough, and I'm already an addict. On to more...

5-0 out of 5 stars A funky gem of a book, if you accept it on its own terms
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare was my introduction to Henry Miller, and it inspired me to read much of his other work.I don't love everything he has written, but I always appreciate him, and this book is a greatfind.Miller isn't constrained with his writing here; not by a plot, storyline, or even always making sense.I felt like sometimes he was writing words to have an impact on the reader separate from their meaning.

The beginning of the book is great; Miller doesn't pull any punches about how he sees America after his long stay in France.If you are one of those conservative folk who have a hard time listening to people criticize the United States you probably wont like much of what he says, but he eloquently writes of his keen observations and the parallels to be drawn to problems we face today could fill a book of its own.Although Miller tends to go on long-winded tangents, the book stays light, and the writing is honest, sassy and generally fun to read.

If, like with a friend, you can accept this book on its own terms, I think you will find it very enjoyable.

2-0 out of 5 stars Dated Incoherent Ramblings
A friend of mine gave me this book and said "You ought to read this, it is very old, but his obsevations about America are dead on!"

I found it to be a rambling hash of stories that rarely touches on America at all.

First of all, I am not a big fan of the genre of "America is bad because.." books, as these are quite overdone already, and taking potshots at America serves little or no purpose and is an easy sport.Running down WalMart or McDonalds or the American suburban sprawl is like shooting fish in a barrel.

And such books have been around for a long, long time. (oftentimes the writers of such tomes will gush about Stalin's Russsia, or Mao's China, or today, Chavez' Venezuala, without such a crtical eye as they apply to the US).So another America-bashing book did not appeal to me.It's been done to death and what's the point?

Second, the material is dated.America in 1939 was a different place than today.However, it does offer some scary insight into Miller's thinking.Early on in the book, his dismisses Hitler and World War II in a couple of sentances, essentially wondering what all the fuss is about.Basically he argues that governments come and go, and Hitler will be gone soon enough if we just wait him out.

I wonder if he felt the same way after the liberation of Auschwitz.His blase treatment of Hitler and fascism sort of alarmed me, and clued me in that this guy is not a heavy thinker.In case you haven't a clue, either: Nazis = Bad, OK?Remember that.

Much of the rest of the book is similar shallow trope.He arrives in America to see his dying father, clearly hoping to inherit.Unfortunately, Dad has other ideas and refuses to kick the bucket.A true bohemian, Miller sponges off friends for several months before coming up with the idea of writing an America-bashing "on the road" type of book.He is given an advance of $500, which he spends before he leaves Manhatten.He grouses that he deserves $5000, and much of the book is a long diatribe about how artists like himself are not appreciated.

He goes on at length about his car troubles.Without bothering to learn anything about cars, he buys one, and then like a hypochondriac, takes it to mechanic after mechanic, convinced it is overheating.He indulges in the all-too-common habit of many "educated" people in grousing about car troubles, while simultaneously lauding technical ignorance as some sort of badge of honor.Cars!Tee-hee, they're so complicated!I can listen to "car talk" on NPR if I want that sort of drivel.But he secretly loves his car, even if he does not take care of it properly or bother to learn anything one would need to know to own one.

And here Miller misses the entire point of America.The Automobile transformed America and is also at the root cause of many of its problems - societal, envionmental, financial, etc.Miller completely misses the boat here.But he whines about his Buick a lot (while at the same time, lauding it).

And Miller's very few real observations about America are hardly well-thought-out indictments of the American way.Rather, they are more shallow and superficial observations based often on only cursory views of a city or a particular issue.

For example, his ship lands in Boston.He walks from the dockyard to the train station.Dockyards and train stations are hardly the most glamorous parts of any city, even Paris or London.However, after his two-hour stay in Boston, he dismisses the entire city based upon his experiences in these industrial parts of that town.This is beyond shallow.

Other episodes are confusing and weird.Arkansas is lauded for siding the with Confederacy (apparently slave-owners and Nazis are OK with him!) and he spends the entire chapter discussing the ill-fated "Arkansas Pyramid" and its promoter, who he hails as a man of genius and laments that there are not more like him in the world.The problem is, the fellow who wanted to build this pyramid in Arkansas was clearly a crackpot, and while it is an interesting story, I don't think, as Miller suggests, that the problem with America is a lack of crackpots like him.

As others have noted, other chapters are essentially wasted in long gushing and fawning descriptions of his meetings with other, more important artists, such as Stieglitz.Miller is clearly a suck-up in that regard.It is almost embarrasing to read these parts.He sounds like a groupie.

So much of that sort of thing pads this thin tome that there is little in the way of the searing indictment of American, 1939, that the title and cover art promise.

You can't sell books with titles like "America sure is swell!" in 1939 or even today.People like to hear bad news, and they like to be told how rotten they have it, no matter how wealthy and well-off they are.

But this book fails to even deliver on that level.As an America-bashing book, it does not bash very well.Miller had a good time on his trip and then cobbled together this book from a number of mediocre short essays.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes illuminating, but mostly rambling, dull and pretentious
This book was sort of a sprinter. It started off interesting with pretty solid essays on post-WWII America. But towards the end I found it pretty hard to get through. When Henry's writing works, it's really good stuff, but when it doesn't it seems dated and pretentious. I found his narrative of a Hollywood party to be useless and his long winded tirade about war to be about as valid as some drunk at a bar. It's interesting how Miller's stream-of-consciousness style of writing may have permanently changed modern literature, but if it came out today, I doubt anybody would take it seriously

5-0 out of 5 stars 'But the ashes are still warm.'
In reading Henry Miller's surprisingly contemporary 'The Air-Conditioned Nightmare I experienced the same kind of desire to 'see' America as I did when reading Kerouac's 'On the Road', but for very different reasons.

While Kerouac's narrative was that of his experiences with people he encountered along his way while traversing the country, Miller seems most at ease in dozens of miles of empty desert highway, alone with his thoughts.

Miller, returning from many years of living abroad, decided to write about his experiences traveling across America, and what his native people were really like; what the country had become, since the ideas and ideals put forth by the founding fathers.

His scathing, relentless narrative berates the 'American Dream' and 'Way of Life'...and the pursuit of such. Americans are painted as greedy, self-indulgent, ignorant of history, bereft of morals, and devoid of honor and dignity.

But Miller also finds along the way things that he loves. A greater understanding of the workings of an automobile, a love of the land itself that he never had while living in America, and much more.

Juxtapositioned with his disdain for American culture and standards, it illustrates how Miller himself learned to separate the people from the place, and love America itself for it's most basic beauty and qualities; while bemoaning those who inhabited its soil.

An excellent read by a gifted narrator, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare is not a book for the very patriotic. While it might give such people cause to re-think their love of life here in the states, it also has the potential to offend.

Highly recommended, but only to like-minded readers. ... Read more

15. Wisdom of the Heart (New Directions Paperbook)
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 260 Pages (1942-01-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$12.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811201163
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Essential Henry Miller
Henry Miller often provokes many emotions in people. Depending on the book or books that they have read. I've always loved his collection of essays, "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird". So, I couldn't wait to finally get my hands on a copy of this book, "Wisdom of the Heart".

The first three essays in the book were quite good and got me hooked. Essentially they were about his philosophy that you must lose something of yourself to find something. To embrace the pain to find the pleasure. Right on track on his writing of my other favorite book from him.

Unfortunately after those brilliant essays, he turned back into that angry man who I met briefly in "Tropic of Cancer". That was a book I really couldn't get into. After a while the anger took over and it was hard to read the philosophy in what he was trying to say. All you felt was anger. So, needless to say I became quickly disenchanted with several of the essays after, "Reflections on Writing". I was hoping it wasn't the only 3 essays that I would like. So, with trepidation, I kept reading.

He finally got back to the writing I've come to really like when I read, "Into the Future". He was back to speculating on artistic life by comparing DH Lawrence's concept of the Holy Ghost with those in history that personify it. It basically asks the question that do artists have to suffer for their art? Is it a necessity? Although Miller seems to have answered it to his satisfaction, I'm not sure he has done so to my satisfaction but I did enjoy his journey into the question.

In the end he explores Balzac and what he considers to be one of his pinnacle works. His essays just didn't have the same flair and philosophy I had come to expect from Miller. Still, he comes off with the philosophy that an artist must suffer for his work and then overcome that suffering to surpass even his own ego. I'm not sure I buy that, but it is an interesting philosophy.

In the end, I did not enjoy this essay book as I had with "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" which is still one of my all time favorite books. His anger in "The Wisdom of the Heart" is very obvious and the book doesn't seem to string the essays in a cohesive way as my favorite book. I'm disappointed, but still have my favorite on my keeper shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Henry Miller - Beyond all manner of classification
I started with the Rosy Crucifixion (Sexus, then Plexus and finally Nexus) and then went on to his collections of essays, including The Wisdom of the Heart and Stand Still Like the Hummingbird. Henry Miller has been a major influence in my life by virtue of these readings. I have read most or all of The Wisdom of the Heart more than once, and the essay which gives the book its title concerning the writer/psychiatrist E. Gordon Howe is one I come back to again and again for inspiration.

4-0 out of 5 stars getting to know Henry Miller
I first purchased Tropic of Cancer prior to this book, but had not as of yet read it when I came across this collection of essays and stories.I enjoyed it so very much.Reading his essays gave me great insight into who Henry Miller was, after reading this book I was able to start Tropic of Cancer with a better understanding of his writing style.It enabled me to better appreciate his writing and understand his significance as a writer.Tropic of Cancer is highly erratic, reading "Wisdom of the Heart" allowed me to understand that this is what Miller would be like and I was ready to embrace him, after coming away from "Wisdom" with a sense of what his philosphies are like.Some of the stories are admittedly trite and the book's entire collection is somewhat ragged, but certain writings really shone, and Miller's philosophies rang loud and clear throughout everything.An excellent read for someone who is curious about Miller the man and not yet ready to embark upon the Tropics.

1-0 out of 5 stars uh?
It wasn't what I expected.I had to throw it away, no one I knew wanted it!I guess I should have read the reviews carefully.

Make sure that you do before you waste any monies!

1-0 out of 5 stars uh?
It wasn't what I expected.I had to throw it away, no one I knew wanted it!I guess I should have read the reviews carefully.

Make sure that you do before you waste any monies! ... Read more

16. The books in my life
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 334 Pages (2010-08-09)
list price: US$31.75 -- used & new: US$22.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1177137275
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Publisher: [Norfolk, Conn. J. Laughlin]Subjects: Literature -- History and criticismNotes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be numerous typos or missing text. There are no illustrations or indexes.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. You can also preview the book there. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars I keep pulling it off the shelf
I've been a major HM fiend for 35 years, and this is one that I keep pulling off the shelf just to read for pleasure.Most of his books you can open at will anywhere and find some gems even in the middle of stream of consciousness paragraphs, but he was at the top of his game here. As a teen I used the list in the back of the book as a recommended reading guide, so I have HM to thank for my love of Dostoevsky, Rimbaud, Hamsun, and Lawrence.

I loved him so much I hitch-hiked down to his funeral, and of course have his "Notice to Visitors" posted in my office.In the old game of "If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?" I'd have Henry Miller, Dostoevsky, Sir Richard Burton, and Rimbaud. I remember stopping off at the HM Library in Big Sur and seeing Emil White sitting in the yard.I was so in awe of course I didn't say a word to him.

Everyone should read Miller, and this is a good start.For New Yorkers, his "Rosy Crucifixion" can't be beat.I actually prefer those to the Tropics.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of Miller's Better books
When Miller was good he was great. When he was bad, he was terrible. "Books of My Life" is in the former category. As with much of Miller's writing, it's difficult for Henry to stay on topic. But his discursions are entertaining, thoughtful, and illuminating. What begins as a book about Miller's literary influences goes in a thousand different directions. But it's more consistent and interesting than "Tropic of Capricorn" or "Plexus," books that are ambitious but also a mess. Written in 1950, in "Books," Miller recounts his favorite works from the first 60 years of his life (which had 30 more years to go). Most of the authors he cites I am not familiar with, and many are the kind of books few people read today (does anyone still read Robinson Crusoe or the Arabian Knights?). Miller was an author whose life was so long that he straddled the Victorian and modern age. And his writing has elements of both. But rather than an exercise in style (which "Cancer" was), or a venue for recounting his own experiences, Miller gives us much insight into his intellectual makeup. Although Miller was incapable of taking the spotlight off himself for very long, he gives many good recommendations to his readers. He is also often funny--Miller humorously concludes that it's not a good idea to read on the toilet. Some people will not like his tastes--he likes Nietzsche but not Shakespeare, he defends de Sade but cares little for Voltaire. I found some of his comparisons odd, yet interesting (linking the democratic tendencies of Dostoyevsky and Walt Whitman, for example). Miller gives some good advice to young writers, but "Books," as its title suggests, is more about reading than writing. What I found most annoying about the book was Miller's weakness for quoting or writing long French phrases. Do I wish I spoke and read French? Sure. Is it necessary that Miller sprinkle French throughout? No. He's merely showing off. As annoying as this tendency of the learned is, Miller was a genius and a great influence on many writers. I would put this book with "Sexus" and "Tropic of Cancer" as examples of Miller's best writing. As the cliche goes, great writers should be great readers. Miller was both, and anyone who aspires to the literary world should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Major Influence on Me
There are many books that have held enormous influence over me. Different books come along at different times and when the timing is right, there is magic. My literary education is an ongoing process. But there is one unique book that stands out among all these books. I couldn't call it the best book I ever read. I wouldn't call it my favorite book. It is simply a book that has provided a guiding hand for close to two decades.

The book in question is The Books In My Life by Henry Miller. This is a book that I originally purchased back in my high school years. I had already begun reading many literary figures. I had discovered the Beats like Kerouac and Ginsberg. I found the French Symbolists like Rimbaud. I was tuned in to Whitman, Blake and Nietzche.

As I continued to seek out new literary heroes, I stumbled upon Henry Miller. I immediately sought out Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. I was struck by the sheer force and passion of Miller's writing. I was willing to overlook his many flaws because he was so exuberant. It also intrigued me that he was so open about his influences. Karl Shapiro wrote a coda to Tropic of Cancer with all kinds of strange names of people I had never read. I learned of a book by Miller that reveals his reading habit.

So that led me to The Books In My Life. This is a book where Miller attempts to provide the reader with his evolution as a reader. He runs through many of the great writers that held enormous influence over him. He also discusses some of the people in his life that impacted his reading and literary development. In his preface, he writes that he wants to round out his life story and includes books as vital experience. He quickly states that this is not criticism and shouldn't be used as a program for self education.

The book includes 14 chapters and an all important appendix of 100 influential books and "books he still intends to read." The chapter order is not really all that important. This is not a book that needs to be read from page one to conclusion. I vaguely remember actually reading it from start to finish about 18 years ago. I have referred to it hundreds of times since then. In fact, I think it is more beneficial to use this book as a reference book.

I use it to seek out names of writers that I have yet to discover. The list of writers I discovered through Henry Miller and this book is staggering: Blaise Cendrars, John Cowper Powys, Knut Hamsum, Jean Giono, Madame Blavatsky, Maurice Maeterlinck, Marie Corelli. This is just a few of the names that I sought out because of this book.

Miller discusses early reading such as Rider Haggard, G.K. Chesterton, and G.A. Henty. He grew up on many of these adventure writers. He retained an affection for Haggard's novel She throughout his life. Haggard is one of four writers to have an entire chapter dedicated to him. Giono, Cendrars and Krishnamurti are the others. He reveled in a book like Alice In Wonderland. He writes of the joy of reading Mark Twain as a youth. He also writes of the overwhelming excitement of reading books like Hamsun's Mysteries or Nietzche's The Birth of Tragedy for the first time.

What I like is that he reveals how certain authors maintained their magic over him while others were dramatic disappointments when he reread them. He clearly disavows any intention of "ever tackling Spenser's Faerie Queen anew." He writes of having few pleasant memories of Dickens. He wrote that he wouldn't care if never read Jack London or Kipling again. He is also honest about many classics that he never managed to read. How many learned individuals would admit that they never read Homer or Aristotle or Robert Browning.

There is a chapter devoted to what he dubs as living books. This includes personal friends as well as writers he met. Lou Jacobs was a friend who provided him with books. He met such luminaries as W.E.B. Dubois, Emma Goldman John Cowper Powys and Blaise Cendrars. This includes some good autobiographical passages. He maintained an intellectual curiosity throughout his life.

The Books In My Life is a unique book. I can think of no other book I have read that is solely about all the different literary influences of a lifetime. Many writers try to hide their influences to make it appear as if they have fallen from space or something. Miller applies his legendary enthusiasm and frankness to the task of recounting his literary development. I have discovered more literature through this book than any other resource I have encountered. And I remain certain that I will probably discover even more in the coming years.

This is an invaluable reference guide to anyone who wants to explore great literature as well as philosophy and spiritual development. (Miller writes of Ramakrishna, Lao-Tse, Jacob Boehme, St Francis of Assisi among other religious giants.) Most readers will discover treasures they never heard of before. They may also find inspiration to seek out famous names like Dostoevsky and Boccaccio if they read this book. Miller's ebullience comes shining through in the prose of this book. And contrary to Miller's insistence, it has been an invaluable tool in literary self-education. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Miller, but very much on my mind since I purchased it off Amazon is "The Losers' Club" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book for book lovers
I read this book after not having read Miller for about five years and I was pleasantly surprised.I think that it is better than most of his fictional novels.It really gives you a feel for what shaped his whole outlook on life.And it isn't nearly as vitriolic as the Tropics, rather, it's more of a celebration of his craft.If you are curious about his literary influences (and I was), youwill love this book.In fact, after reading it once, I immediatley read it a second time and I was inspired by it to the point where I purchased some of the books he makes mention of.Parts of the book also made me laugh out loud.I highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sells the Idea of Reading Effectively
As a bibliophile I like to read books that remind me of the value of reading. It reinforces what I already believe. This is representative of that genre.

In talking about the books in his personal library, Miller mentions that his habit was to mark extensively in the margins of the books he likes. That's a habit I possess too and find it to enrich my reading experience by reinforcing key ideas, and providing a source of reference when I go back to that book later.

He equates reading well to writing effectively and sees both as part of the same creative process in a sense. Miller sees the Creator as being the source of good ideas whether communicated through a writer's pen or through the thoughts of a perceptive reader. He says the best readers are writers. In terms of content selection, he notes, "The good reader will gravitate to the good books."

Consider what he says about the process of reading when he writes, "Is it not strange to understand and enjoy what is incommunicable? Man is not communicating with man through words, he is communicating with his fellow man and with his Maker." However, as a Christian, I cannot accept Miller's theology because elsewhere in the book he writes, "Long before I had accepted Jesus Christ, I had embraced Lao-tse and Gautama the Buddha."

I do agree with him on the value of reading,however. He celebrates other readers and presents them as people of action. He says reading adds a dimension to life that would not be there otherwise, a depth of understanding that is acquired only when that portion of the brain is exercised properly.

While I strongly oppose his religious stance, I agree with his advocacy of reading. It is with that qualification that I recommend this book. Read it and enjoy it, but disregard the attacts on the Christian faith. ... Read more

17. The Colossus of Maroussi (Second Edition)
by Henry Miller
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811218570
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Henry Miller’s landmark travel book, now reissued in a new edition, is ready to be stuffed into any vagabond’s backpack.Like the ancient colossus that stood over the harbor of Rhodes, Henry Miller’s The Colossus of Maroussi stands as a seminal classic in travel literature.  It has preceded the footsteps of prominent travel writers such as Pico Iyer and Rolf Potts. The book Miller would later cite as his favorite began with a young woman’s seductive description of Greece. Miller headed out with his friend Lawrence Durrell to explore the Grecian countryside: a flock of sheep nearly tramples the two as they lie naked on a beach; the Greek poet Katsmbalis, the “colossus” of Miller’s book, stirs every rooster within earshot of the Acropolis with his own loud crowing; cold hard-boiled eggs are warmed in a village’s single stove, and they stay in hotels that “have seen better days, but which have an aroma of the past.” ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A work of divine madness and inimitable language
Some critics call "The Colossus of Maroussi"--Henry Miller`s account of his trip to Greece on the eve of World War II--the greatest travel book ever. But, like all great travel books, it's much more than mere depiction of beautiful landscapes, missed connections, bad weather, and surly waiters--though Miller recounts those as well. Rather, the book stands as a compelling paean to the Greek spirit, to liberty, and to life--as well as a barbaric yawp prefiguring the coming cataclysm.

The Canadian critic Northrop Frye once said that the "story of the loss and regaining of identity...is the framework of all literature." That certainly applies well to travel literature, where the journey often occurs within the narrator as well as over the Earth, and in particular to The Colossus of Maroussi. At its core lies Miller's spiritual transformation through welcomed encounters with warm-hearted, generous, high-spirited Greeks, particularly the "colossus" Katsimbalis.

"I love these men, each and every one," writes Miller, "for having revealed to me the true proportions of the human being...the goodness, the integrity, the charity which they emanated. They brought me face to face with myself, they cleansed me of hatred and jealousy and envy."

Like most of Miller's writing, from the joyous novel "Tropic of Cancer" to his trenchant essays, this book succeeds thanks to his freewheeling iconoclasm, his divine madness, and his inimitable language:

"...Out of the corner of my eye I caught the full devastating beauty of the great plain of Thebes which we were approaching and, unable to control myself, I burst into tears. Why had no one prepared me for this? I cried out...We were amidst the low mounds and hummocks which had been stunned motionless by the swift messengers of light. We were in the dead center of that soft silence which absorbs even the breathing of gods...Through the thick pores of the earth the dreams of men long dead still bubbled and burst, their diaphanous filament carried skyward by flocks of startled birds."

Here, as always, we see Miller as primitive shaman, awed and humbled by nature and humanity, disdainful of modernity and materialism: "Mechanical devices have nothing to do with man's real nature--they are merely traps which Death has baited for him."

He underscores this view of us, as animals caught in a steel maze of our own making, by his frequent metaphoric mixing of nature's fecundity and manmade tawdriness, as when he describes the approach to Delphi:

"This is an invisible corridor of time, a vast, breathless parenthesis which swells like the uterus and having bowelled forth its anguish relapses like a run-down clock."

No, this is not your grandmother's travel writing, with its propriety, politeness, and "realistic" depictions, but word-pictures of an emotional landscape. That's the essence Miller strives to show: his subjective, experiential, inner reality. The subject here is Henry Miller, and what matters most is how these objects--the world--affect him.

As a result, this 1941 literary bombshell, ostensibly about Greece, documents Miller's memories of New York inspired by a view of Athens, provides a lengthy disquisition on jazz when he's confronted by a French woman who disdains the chaos of Greece, and paints a disquieting, mad, and ominous picture of Saturn when he climbs to an observatory and views it through a telescope. He tells us his dreams and daydreams and what he wished he would have said. Everything is fair game; the seeming digressions frequent and fabulous.

This is still nonfiction, but Miller's imaginative life at the time of his travels is real, and thus an important part of his narrative. In the end it all hangs together like a sumptuous tapestry woven by an inspired madman--which perhaps it is. We come away understanding more about the taste of Greek water, the quality of Greek light, and the magnificence of the Greek spirit than from reading all the objective reporting on Greece in the Library of Congress. He captures it all as it arrests him.

Traveling at times with Katsimbalis, the poet Seferiades, and/or Lawrence Durrell, Miller moves from Athens and Corfu to Knossus and Delphi as if in search of dead Greek gods--and finds them reincarnate.

We are lucky enough to travel with him, enduring treacherous seas, precipitous mountain passes, and heroic debauches, as well as feasting on the simple food, viewing the sublime beauty, and feeling the brotherhood and humanity that come to Miller like beneficent Peloponnesian sun wherever he turns. It is a trip I will make over and over again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Colossal Greece?
This is a classic, no doubt.But it is beginning to sound dated...I know Greece well, and share Miller's enthusiasm for the place.Yet I have a hard time relating to his particular brand of enthusiasm.The writing is brilliant, of course.Happy to have read it (finally!), but I guess I'm confused...

5-0 out of 5 stars Greece Before the War
Henry Miller has long been considered one of the important early voices in the Beat movement, and among free thinkers who evolved into the 1960s reappraisal of social values worldwide.But this interesting tour of Greece in 1941, at the beginning of WWII, has rarely been read as a take on the landscape of 20th-century politics and Miller's own reaction to violence and a deterioration of human values as the world moved toward its encounter with fascism.The islands are marvelous; his friendships unique and open; and his sense of the world, his anti-Christian critiques, and his call for a new kind of spiritualism among humans, are refreshing reminders of what the world was about to discover for itself.But the War plays a role here too, and his almost desperate desire for a new freedom in the face of possible total destruction rings with authenticity and passion.You don't have to be traveling the islands or touring the Mediterranean to appreciate this book, although it remains true in its scope today if you are there experiencing the changes of the last sixty years.

3-0 out of 5 stars Miller goes Native
I enjoyed much of his book for it's incredible descriptions of the landscape and atmosphere that Miller revels in on his trip to Greece just before the War. He is a master of describing exotic settings and the feelings they arouse in him. I also had a bit of a struggle at times when he digresses on his personal philosophy and seems to conclude that traveling free and experiencing a new and foreign culture is far superior than the lifestyle of western developed countries. A bit hypocritical since he attacks the systems that probably made his diversionary trip to Greece possible in the first place. In my opinion he goes down this track a few too many times and it really had me wishing he would drop the polemic and get back to the story on several occasions. That's why I can only give this 3 stars.
There is one section while he is in Cretein particular where he goes down some bizarre train of thought linking Agemenon with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington that had me scratching my head. Poetic license - maybe but it failed to move me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Colossus of Maroussi
Henry Miller's classic is timeless and a wonderful read for anyone. For the traveler to Greece or to anywhere, Miller's views at once open new vistas and insight into a second cultural experience. The romance of an expatriot living in Greece adds much to the enticing style of Miller's Colossus! ... Read more

18. Always Merry and Bright: The Life of Henry Miller an Unauthorized Biography
by Jay Martin
 Paperback: 560 Pages (1980-07-31)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$37.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140055487
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Miller himself tried to discourage the publication of this poor bio
This was the first major biography of this great writer. Unfortunately, Miller felt it was so poor that he tried to block its publication and it stands as an UNAUTHORIZED biography. Those who are deeply familiar with Miller's later writings already know this. I suffered through it and can understand his point of view: it represents everything that Miller objected to in writing: the dry academic tone, the lifelessness of prose, the net effect of taking the magic out of his extraordinary life and making it sound boring, and paraphrasing the biographical material from Miller's own writings with some additional, mostly non-essential details. I remember how disappointed I was when I was unable to find something as basic as his parent's birth dates.

In short,Miller was indeed important enough to be written about as a major literary figure, but not in such a dry academic tone that appears to completely miss the point of Miller's life: joy, aliveness, creativity and acceptance. I think it's important to illuminate Miller's character without pulling the wings off the butterfly.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Miller Biography
I have been a fan of Henry Miller since the early 1960's, when to read his banned work meant trekking up to the Treasure Room of Columbia University's library and having the book delivered to your carrel, a la the research scene in Citizen Kane.When Jay Martin's bio of Henry was published in 1978 I read it immediately with great pleasure.On Henry's birth centenary in 1991 two more biographies came out, which I read, and I'm writing to say Martin's is the best. Incidentally, in June 2002 while driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a little tour, in Big Sur I passed a Henry Miller institute/library, and did a u-turn after a few seconds of realization that this was probably my last chance to pay homage. What a throwback to the '60's (which, btw, I don't think Henry was a fan of.) Anyway, I recommend the pilgrimage for all of Henry's fans. ... Read more

19. Letters of Henry Miller and Wallace Fowlie (1943-1972)
by Henry Miller, Wallace Fowlie
 Hardcover: 184 Pages (1975-01)
list price: US$9.50
Isbn: 0394497376
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20. Nothing but the Marvelous: Wisdoms of Henry Miller
by Henry Miller, Blair Fielding, Blair [editor] Fielding
Paperback: 143 Pages (1999-12)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$21.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 088496440X
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Product Description
Literary Collection. This book is a collection of HenryMiller's "wisdoms", taken from his letters, books and essays. ... Read more

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