Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

A beautiful, haunting book about a man who moves to Paris to find himself – only to fall in love with a man and lose himself even more. Giovanni’s Room has great force in all areas: fantastic writing, endless passion, and several strongly developed themes. Our protagonist, David, is repressed by his sexuality and feels lost in his uncouth desires. We know from the beginning that things don’t end well, but that does not lessen the bittersweet heartbreak that unfolds. Even though this book takes place in the 1950s its message continues to play a prominent part in contemporary society. This will not be my last book by James Baldwin.


Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

5 responses to “Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

  1. I’ll add it to my list; thanks!

  2. I don’t know if I would give it a perfect score, but I really liked this novel. I liked the relationship between David and Giovanni, and it was interesting to see a story about homosexuality that takes place in a time when it was perhaps even less understood than it is today.

    I haven’t read any of Baldwin’s other books, but I have read his short story “Sonny’s Blues,” and I really enjoyed that as well. It’s more about race than sexuality, however

    • I liked (well, adored) their relationship too, and the setting was one of my favorite aspects of the novel – the fact that Baldwin had the bravery to publish a book like Giovanni’s Room in a time period where gays were even less accepted than today is amazing.

      My English teacher from last year recommended Sonny’s Blues to me as well, I’ll read it soon! I think most of Baldwin’s books revolve around race as opposed to sexuality, though I want to read more of his work irrespective of what it’s focused on.

  3. Pingback: true Rebels, true Lovers | LIVINGWOMEN

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