London has lost nothing in power. He has gained in sweetness. There is something brutally strong in Martin Eden. Then there is a gentler background. Someone says Martin is London's self. Maybe in part. Maybe wholly. Martin Eden is concretely explicit and yet potently symbolistic. Here was a man who undertook to civilize himself and only half succeeded. And here also a woman who undertook to uncivilize herself, only half succeeded. How the spirit grew in Martin, and how the flesh grew in Ruth, will bear looked at frankly from both sides.
steadily, forgetful of where he was, his face glowing. Twice he closed the book on his forefinger to look at the name of the author. Swinburne! he would remember that name. That fellow had eyes, and he had certainly seen color and flashing light. But who was Swinburne? Was he dead a hundred years or so, like most of the poets? Or was he alive still, and writing? He turned to the title-page . . . yes, he had written other books; well, he would go to the free library the first thing in the morning and try to get hold of some of Swinburne's stuff. He went back to the text and lost himself. He did not notice that a young woman had entered the room. The first he knew was when he heard Arthur's voice saying:-
"Ruth, this is Mr. Eden."
The book was closed on his forefinger, and before he turned he was thrilling to the first new impression, which was not of the girl, but of her brother's words. Under that muscled body of his he was a mass of quivering sensibilities. At the slightest impact of the o
Wow, the book took my breath away toward the end. And you're unlikely to find a more moving ending anywhere in fiction. The book revolves around Martin Eden's rise from the gutter to literary fame, driven by love (or what he thinks is love). The bitterness of the burgeoning underrated writer is evident throughout. Could have done without the philosophical diatribes but this book is beautiful nevertheless.
Great book, gets more and more interesting as Martin "advances"
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