Giovanni’s Room Review

Source: Goodreads

Author: James Baldwin.

Published: 1956.

Rating: 8/10.


Giovanni’s Room explores the themes of homosexuality & bisexuality in 1950’s Paris. It follows Daivd who is seeing a woman named Hella while at the same time being intimate with a bartender named Giovanni. The novel explores the social scenes where homosexuals frequent thus throwing a light on the lgbt communities of 1950’s Paris.

It’s a really good period drama and the setting is well presented. The novel, although being negative at times, shows the pressures which gay men faced at the time. David clearly loved Giovanni but chose Hella because heterosexuality was seen as “normal” at the time. I felt bad for Giovanni because he was treated so badly by the other characters. He was in many ways objectified because of his beauty and no one showed him real love, especially Daivd who was stringing him along.

I was kind of glad David ended up unhappy at the end (I know it’s bad to say) because he did treat Giovanni awfully.

All in all a much recommended novel for anyone interested in lgbt novels (especially historical ones). It’s also a good period drama.

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