Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Banana Rose , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 21, Debbie Zapata rated it it was ok Shelves: sundaze. Like many other reviewers, I learned about Natalie Goldberg when I read her books on writing back in the mid's.
I knew then about this book but never saw it anywhere and it wasn't until a few years ago when I discovered my favorite online used book store that I eventually ordered a copy. I noticed that many other reviewers also came to this book after reading NG's writing books. And many were disappointed. Was I? In a way. I suppose like everyone else I expected this novel to match the power o Like many other reviewers, I learned about Natalie Goldberg when I read her books on writing back in the mid's.
I suppose like everyone else I expected this novel to match the power of the author's non-fiction work. So many times she didn't care about what her friends were doing or saying, she just cut them off and turned the situations back to herself. It is hard to care about a main character that acts that way, even when you know that part of the reason for the story is to show the character maturing.
Does she ever become a 'real' artist? I also did not expect myself to be so annoyed with the stiff dialogue. Very few conversations felt real. Another annoyance was the maddening bits of detail thrown in when I least expected it. Once Nell went for a walk and stopped at the store for some gum on her way. Sometimes I would just shake my head as I went along, but I will admit that I wanted to see how it all turned out, so I did keep reading to the end, even with the various aggravations popping up every few pages.
I have seen that NG has not written another novel. I'm not sure I would read one if she did, to tell the truth. But I do think I will dig up her books on writing and skim through them for old time's sake. Jun 26, Emily rated it it was ok. I really like writing down the bones, but Banana Rose just left me cold. The old expression, "those who can't do, teach" comes to mind Feb 11, Ruby Hollyberry rated it did not like it Shelves: literature , not-owned.
Like another author who writes very very well when she writes about herself and about writing Anne Lamott , Natalie Goldberg sucks at fiction. I read all these nonfiction books over and over with love and memorize bits permanently. These two chicks seem to live very firmly in ordinary reality in such a way that they only sound convincing when they are in fact telling the literal truth. Aug 13, Geoff Young rated it it was ok.
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Two of my favorite nonfiction writers are Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. Their voices are conversational, engaging, and unique. When reading their essays, I often feel like I'm listening to a familiar friend full of charm and insight. They inspire me. Unfortunately their attempts at fiction do not have a similar effect. Goldberg's Banana Rose suffers from a first-person narrator that comes off as self-absorbed and shallow, often providing irrelevant details that manage to make both food and se Two of my favorite nonfiction writers are Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg.
Goldberg's Banana Rose suffers from a first-person narrator that comes off as self-absorbed and shallow, often providing irrelevant details that manage to make both food and sex boring while also trivializing the death of a loved one this isn't a spoiler, as the death is revealed in the prologue. Do we really need to know the phone numbers of three different people? Do we really need descriptions of lovemaking so clinical that they risk pushing the reader toward abstinence?
Do we really need to know the color and make of the car she drives to visit her friend in the hospital or which street she turns on to get there? Your friend is in the hospital, for crying out loud, show some emotion. The story lacks energy and focus, the dialogue is largely expository and devoid of wit. Fungible cardboard characters flit in and out of the thin plot for no apparent reason.
If you forget who someone is, don't worry; chances are it doesn't matter anyway. Overall, this was a very frustrating read. I'm both proud of and angry with myself for finishing it. Jul 19, Carla Stafford rated it liked it. I think I struggled with the straightforward simplistic nature of Banana Rose's character.
This may be consistent with her hippie ideals-but her ability to easily accept monumental events in her life Portions of Banana Rose dragged on for me-but not so much that I regret reading it. Jul 19, Rebecca rated it it was ok. I just finished reading Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg for one of my book clubs. I honestly cannot recommend this book. The book has a good premise hippie girl tries to find herself and becomes a real artist in New Mexico but the author does a terrible job fleshing out the characters. They are not believable and the dialouge rings false.
The dialouge feels very contrived and artificial. Almost every chapter sometimes every paragraph had a sentance that just made me say "Ugh! Another thing that annoyed me about the book was that the author had her name and the title of the book printed across the header of each page. I thought the story was decent but I just hated the writing. Nov 13, melydia rated it liked it. Like, I suspect, most people who read this book, I picked it up out of a love for Goldberg's books on writing, most notably Writing Down the Bones.
In those books she emphasizes freewriting and original detail far more than standard stuff like plot, character, and revision, and it is quite evident in this debut novel. Nell is a hippie living near Taos, New Mexico; this is the story of her journey to becoming an artist. The language is vibrant and the metaphors unforgettable, but the story and di Like, I suspect, most people who read this book, I picked it up out of a love for Goldberg's books on writing, most notably Writing Down the Bones.
The language is vibrant and the metaphors unforgettable, but the story and dialogue often fall flat. Nell is a total brat for about the first half of the book, which was long enough that I didn't really care much what happened to her by the end. That said, I cannot overemphasize the gorgeousness of the prose. Sure, the story is about Nell, but mostly it is a love letter to New Mexico. It made me long for the desert.
Hopefully Goldberg's later novels have improved character and story without losing the fantastic imagery. Feb 04, Cdrueallen rated it really liked it. Would her fiction live up to her writing instruction? It did. An enjoyable look at the wild hippy life of a New York Jewish girl. If I had a complaint, it would be that Banana remains painfully naive and without a trace of the political theory th I'd listened to Natalie Goldberg's audio CD on Zen and writing and enjoyed it, so when I saw Banana Rose in the used bookstore, I couldn't resist.
If I had a complaint, it would be that Banana remains painfully naive and without a trace of the political theory that inflamed the 's. The result of too much Zen? May 23, Alison Perry rated it it was amazing. This was the first Natalie Goldberg I ever read and I totally fell in love with it. The book follows Bananna Rose as she deals with love, friendship and life after the hippie-era in Taos, NM.
It's pretty artsy and a lot dirty hippie. I love it. Sep 05, Hope rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. Jul 03, Lisa rated it did not like it. Truly abysmal; I was embarrassed for Goldberg. Notice she's never published another novel May 03, Laura rated it really liked it. This is a great book. I read it in two days. The imagery and the feelings are so real. I have been wanting to read this book for years and I finally did.
I fell in love with the creative works of Natalie Goldberg more than 25 years ago. I have read Writing Down the Bones 4 or 5 times. I have read two of her memoirs and her book on painting. In many of her books on writing, Goldberg talks about the importance of detail in writing. And she practices what she preaches in this her only novel. She builds th I have been wanting to read this book for years and I finally did. She builds the story through attention to detail. James Lovelock. Philip Lymbery. Mark Cocker. George Monbiot. What Nature Does For Britain. Tony Juniper. John Muir.
Small Is Beautiful. The Sixth Extinction. Stephen Smith. Lauren St. Mike Berners-Lee. Henry Thoreau. Happy City. Charles Montgomery. Gorillas in the Mist. Dian Fossey. Mark A. Your review has been submitted successfully. Not registered? Forgotten password Please enter your email address below and we'll send you a link to reset your password. Not in United States? Choose your country's store to see books available for purchase. See if you have enough points for this item. Sign in. While living in New Mexico, Nell falls in love with and marries a free-spirited horn player named Gauguin.
For solace, Nell turns to her friend Anna, a writer who teaches Nell what it means to be an artist. Nell is slowly transformed by love, loss, and art, gaining a new sense of self. The Girl in the Letter: The most gripping, heartwrenching page-turner of the year. Emily Gunnis. Everything I Never Told You.
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