14 March 2010

Book Review: Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

I suppose I should preface this review with a warning. This is an explicit book. This book has full of sex. And this book has no plot.

Ten years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. It opened my eyes. It was the first book that I read that had no plot at all, and I was looking for a story in the book, and yet there were none. It was just a three-hundred page rant about the traipsing of the author. I liked it.

This time, I read Tropic of Capricorn, ten years after reading the first book. And once again, I was amazed.

Why did I pick this book? Well, it was first published in the 1930s, but it was banned here in the United States for about 30 years, due to the sexually explicit content of the book. However, I suppose I like this book due to the fact that this gave way to freedom of speech and expression.

So, what is this book about? This is a narration of a character named Henry Miller and his escapades in New York City. He has sex with several women in the book, and it seems that he is the most virile character in literature that I have encountered so far. He describes in painful detail the encounters that he has with several women, Jewish women, secretaries, people he goes swimming with, and other women that intersect with his life. He describes how he is able to have sex with a woman who thinks that her genitals are too small for having sex, he describes how is has sex with a woman who has a fear of drowning in a lake, and he describes how he has sex with a woman who used to be his music teacher.

He has a typology of "cunts" and describes what these various types are, with the "supercunt" as the most elusive of them all. He is perhaps the most sexed up person in literature I ever read. But, as the narrative ends, I realized that Tropic of Capricorn is about Henry Miller's image of women, as the book ends with saying that if you want women to last, you should turn them into literature. And after reading this book, I am glad that I did pick it up, even though it was ten years after I read the first book. 4 out of 5 stars.

See my other book reviews here.

(Dome II, from my Capitol Hill Series)

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