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Publisher's Summary

A sensational best seller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961. Set on the Côte d'Azur in the 1920s, it is the story of a young American writer, David Bourne, his glamorous wife, Catherine, and the dangerous, erotic game they play when they fall in love with the same woman.
©1986 Mary Hemingway, John Hemingway, Patrick Hemingway, and Gregory Hemingway. All rights reserved (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"A lean, sensuous narrative...taut, chic, and strangely contemporary....doing what nobody did better." (Time)

What listeners say about The Garden of Eden

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  • Bean
  • 14-05-2020

Faulty Chapter Breaks

I don't understand why the chapter/track breaks can't be organized better. It is a very simple fix, but in "The Garden of Eden," the track breaks do not match well with the book. For example, chapter 5 in the book is marked as chapter 2 in the Audible edition. Chapter 10 begins on the track marked chapter 3. They are broken up into fives for some reason. This is even more confounding as "The Garden of Eden" book is also broken up into sections called "books," e.g., Book 1, Book 2, etc. Yet in the Audible edition Book 2 begins in the track marked "Chapter 1" at about 50 minuntes in, not on a track break. Why? That is what I'm left with. It is a great book and great narration so why must it be put together so haphazardly?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy Buoye
  • 26-04-2020

Loved this book

I wish the book was longer. I love this author and would recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David padgett
  • 03-09-2018

Excellent

I remember reading excerpts from this in Life magazine in the mid-80s I have a hard copy I a hard copy a Kindle copy and an audible copy... in one fo it another this book has accompanied me around the world. The hard copy is stained and dog-eared... I have read it on every continent except Antarctica and it continues to move me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • AnaFxFz
  • 20-02-2015

Great story and wonderful narration

Where does The Garden of Eden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best. Absolutely loved Patrick Wilson's narration

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Garden of Eden?

Everything since when Marita was introduced into the story

Which character – as performed by Patrick Wilson – was your favorite?

David Bourne

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nelson Mostow
  • 22-08-2010

This Autobiograph novel reveals alot about Hemingw

This is an autobiographical account of Hemingway in his earlier years. It was published posthumosly and given the revelations about his personal life I can see why he never published it during his lifetime. Alot is revealed about his sexual experiences but it is so subtle that it is easy to miss alot of it. He tells as a subplot some of his experiences in Aftrica Big Game hunting with his Father. I rate the book as 4 stars.

The reader (Patrick Wilson) did a fantastic job of portraying the characters, which added to my enjoyment of this novel. I rate his reading of this novel as 5 stars.

7 people found this helpful

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  • linda
  • 27-04-2012

Great Story

If you could sum up The Garden of Eden in three words, what would they be?

A story about a young wife struggle in dealing with mental illness and finding herself.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Garden of Eden?

The most memorable moment for me came towards the end when the camels back finally broke.

Have you listened to any of Patrick Wilson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first time listening to Patrick. I thought he did very well.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have if I had the time. I was very long but as with any book I wanted to give it my undivided attention and not miss any moments.

Any additional comments?

This book made me laugh and cry a bit and want to read other Hemingway novels

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dave Marzec
  • 05-05-2018

Oh, To Be Hemingway

If you ever wish you were Earnest, this book seals the deal! Just get past the haircut part.

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  • bailey
  • 27-01-2017

Not my favorite Hemingway novel

The narrative in this novel is excellent, consistent with his best writing. The character development is spotty, in my opinion and leaves the reader wishing for clearer purpose and understanding.

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  • Manfred Knight
  • 14-08-2021

Devolving into Idle-mindedness

It would be natural for the average working person not to empathize with the protagonists in the Garden of Eden, thinking that they are just a bunch of spoiled loiterers - two trust-fund babies and a writer - meandering through life with so much time on their hands that they have nothing better to do than play head-games, evoke conflict with one another and decide that they should dictate another's emotional responses. However, one does not have to be rich to experience this change in personality. It can happen to anyone on an extended vacation, of say, three or four months, with the right (or perhaps the wrong) combination of personalities.

Hemingway's skill as a writer becomes evident at various times in his novel as he skillfully metamorphoses how the writer in the story goes from real-time back to an earlier time, highlighting the book on which the writer is working.

I'm not sure if I can actually give an unbiased review of Hemingway's novel, The Garden of Eden, because it so similarly resembles my own experiences in the south of France, at least as far as the setting, the two women, the swimming, the time of the windy mistrals, the drinking, etc., and the devolving into idle-mindedness - as what invariably happens when one doesn't have to do anything or be anywhere. While my experiences in the south of France differed considerably from those in the novel, as I had relations with the two women at different times, I've concluded, from like life experiences, that this sort of ménage à trois never really works out, regardless of the other circumstances surrounding the event, as rivalries and jealousies invariably develop. If anyone is interested in my experiences in the south of France, here's my story: http://knightsfeather.blogspot.com/2011/10/eternal-summers.html

I very much liked Hemingway's novel, The Garden of Eden. I listened to it on Audible in lieu of reading it. The narration was excellent, as the narrator's voice changed with each change of the principles' turn at dialog.

~Manfred

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  • Sarah Centrella
  • 15-12-2020

I love Hemingway but the dialog here is tedious.

I’m a big fan of his work, and I’m obsessed with the time period and the mediterranean, so this book was really promising. But I have to say the dialogue got really tedious and obnoxious after a while.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-2021

Disappointing

Really struggled to finish this. It felt like reading the same chapter over and over again.

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  • Mercadier
  • 07-04-2013

Weedy.

I'm a great fan of Hemingway and his masculine prose but I was very disappointed by this. I'm not blaming Papa, if he had been alive to finish it he might have licked it into shape but, as it is, I can understand why it was never published in his lifetime.

The female protagonist was repulsively vain and annoying in a way that I don't think was intended. I don't think I was supposed to hate her but I did. The only redeeming part of the story was the short interlude that describes the male protagonist boyhood adventures in Africa. And it was a good narrative effort I suppose.

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