The Deer Park

The Deer Park Amid the cactus wilds some two hudred miles from Hollywood lies a privileged oasis called Desert D Or It is a place for starlets and would be starlets directors studio execs and the well groomed lo

Amid the cactus wilds some two hudred miles from Hollywood lies a privileged oasis called Desert D Or It is a place for starlets and would be starlets, directors, studio execs, and the well groomed lowlifes who cater to them And, as imagined by Norman Mailer in this blistering classic of 1950s Hollywood, Desert D Or is a moral proving ground, where men and women discoverAmid the cactus wilds some two hudred miles from Hollywood lies a privileged oasis called Desert D Or It is a place for starlets and would be starlets, directors, studio execs, and the well groomed lowlifes who cater to them And, as imagined by Norman Mailer in this blistering classic of 1950s Hollywood, Desert D Or is a moral proving ground, where men and women discover what they really want and how far the are willing to go to get it The Deer Park is the story of two interlacing love affairs Sergius O Shaugnessy is a young ex Air Force pilot whose good looks and air of indifference launch him into the orbit of the radiant actress Lulu Meyers Charles Eitel is a brilliant director wounded by accusations of communism and whose liaison with the volatile Elena Esposito may supply the coup de grace to his career As Mailer traces their couplings and uncouplings, their uneasy flirtation with success and self extinction, he creates a legendary portrait of America s machinery of desire.

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The Deer Park

About Author

  1. Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper initially distributed in Greenwich Village In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.

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The Deer Park Comment

  1. Flaws and ApplauseFor all its flaws and they are both numerous and substantial , The Deer Park is still one of my favourite novels of the 1950 s.It deals with two personal interests and obsessions radical Left wing politics in the United States from the 1930 s to the 1950 s including the House Un American Activities Committee and Hollywood the two of which coincided in the Hollywood Blacklist of 1947.I should also mention that it deals with the relationship between the sexes in as explicit a way [...]


  2. I picked this book up when I asked Ms Lynch for American literature book suggestions, and was instantly hooked when I read the blurb, especially the phrase eir uneasy flirtation with success and self extinction creating a legendary portrait of America s machinery of desire and how it linked back to the time when Mr Errico talked about The American Dream in class The thing that struck me the most about this book was how the human mind and actions react when living a lifestyle of an abundance of m [...]


  3. I read it a long time ago, it worked reasonably enough as a novel but there were way too many moments in which I felt stormin norman s sweaty, heavy hands all over F Scott Fitzgerald s delicate and subversively limpid material.This is coming off the sagging failure of Barbary Shore and Norm s trying to talk himself out of his gloom, paranoia, and wife shanking by trying to tell himself he can do Hollywood He can t Not really He gets the booze, a little bit of the desert, the sex as power as mone [...]


  4. An exquisite portrait of the relations between pride and desire Also a great commentary on the artist s condition and a reference point for the jaded, the morally corrupt, the promiscuous and the unsure.


  5. A real teeth gritter, this may be the longest 375 page novel I have ever read And I am a Mailer fan The novel is initially somewhat interesting It is set in a thinly disguised Palm Springs that is populated with characters out of early fifties Hollywood These folks are coping with the fallout from House Un American Activities hearings most significantly a character who seems to be modeled on Elia Kazan with having too much money and time and no real moral compass to guide them as they dispense w [...]


  6. It s quite rare that I don t finish a book Usually, once I start reading something, I have a kind of compulsive urge to finish it, no matter how bad or how dull Occasionally, however, there comes along a book that overpowers me with its banality and mediocrity, a tome that forces me to set it aside and move on The Deer Park, for me, is one such book At the urging of a professor who is helping me with something I m writing, I sought out a copy and started to read it After all, I thought, it s onl [...]


  7. While this book was almost considered obscene when it was published, I would say that it is quite mild according to our contemporary tastes Despite its beautiful language, I found the plot and organization a bit shoddy.


  8. Basically a boring book by a very talented writer At the beginning there are all of these Nick Carraway esque opinions which is great, but after that nothing much happens People have sex, people get depressed, depressed people have sex, sex makes people less depressed, people sell out, sell outs have sex, sell outs bail on their friends And that is pretty much the book Plot need not count for everything, but if your characters are bland and there is no digression then all you have left is pretty [...]



  9. Since I spent the past week in Palm Springs, I felt like it was a perfect time to plow through this tumescent mess Many other writers have captured Southern California perfectly and maybe Mailer thought he had for the people who read this when it came out in 1955 Even though it includes the occasional bon mot worth remembering Even now she was very patriotic and like most patriots she felt strongly and thought weakly , I struggled to make it to the end if only to remind myself that Mailer is not [...]


  10. The Deer Park was probably a better read when it was first published in 1955 Its exploration of sex and violence and the way in which these two forces are at the heart of the American Dream is fearless It must have been very shocking back in 1955, before the world had been exposed to Burroughs and Selby, and Lady Chatterley and Tropic of Cancer were still banned.The book is plotless because it has to be Mailer creates a social milieu Desert D Or which reminds one of Palm Springs, and he deals wi [...]


  11. Mailer s satiric take on the corruption and shallowness of post WWII Hollywood Set in a fictionalized Palm Springs in the late 40s, it tells a story his of an Air Force pilot just out of the war who winds up in the town to try to write a book and to decide what he wants to do with his life He falls in with the Hollywood crowd that comes there frequently The subject matter and the premise interest me However, not much happens none of the characters are likable Mailer s writing style is a bit self [...]



  12. I really enjoyed this book for its realistic, gritty yet almost loving and longing portrait of post WWII hollywood in all its glamour, hyprocrisy, and ability to create and consume dreams and lives Each character is facing life changing choices, temptations, corruption, in its most seducing the way they meet them, and how they play off each other assuming different roles at every juncture is what caught me in this book Great read.


  13. Keeping in the context that it was written in the mid 50s, the book is a fascinating curiosity for it s depiction of sex Kind of like Peyton Place in Hollywoodwith those red commie bastards Great for any fans of Norman Mailer You can see an author experimenting to find his voice That s pretty much what the book is, an experiment.


  14. Slogging the GemsMy first Mailer novel His reputation as a misogynist preceded him, but given the time and place of this novel it didn t detract for me I sense his portrait of Hollywood celebrity and the malaise and sin of the idle partiers at Desert D or is nearly biography or even autobiography I will research a bit.He writes very well, but the pacing of this nearly entirely interior novel was a chore at times, a bit of a slog However, there were pieces along the way like shells on a sparse be [...]


  15. Prendi una serie di personaggi vagamenti ambigui, mettili in una sorta di lussuosa riserva isolata in mezzo al deserto e lascia il resto all affilata penna di un premio Pulitzer.Il parco dei cervi un libro che regala pagine memorabili sotto il profilo della psicologia dei personaggi, esplorando ogni recondito anfratto delle turbe dell uomo del XX secolo sesso, potere, denaro, politica, morale, integrit , autostima, desideri, autorealizzazione sono solo alcuni degli aspetti messi sotto l attentis [...]


  16. Don t look for a Hollywood expose but Mailer s take on that atmosphere of pretense mixed with real life and real emotions set in a Desert suburb of a fictional LA called The Capital There are a few endearing characters that will stay with you for a long time.Don t look for a Hollywood expose but Mailer s take on that atmosphere of pretense mixed with real life and real emotions set in a Desert suburb of a fictional LA called The Capital There are a few endearing characters that will stay with yo [...]


  17. This one was a little slow going for me so it took me longer than usual to finish I understand the criticisms of this book, particularly against the standard to which folks generally hold Mailer but I would also say that for it s time this book must have been a complete and utter scandal and rather daring The story meanders at times but generally speaking, I am always reasonably invested in the main character s well being in as much as anyone is a main character here Despite the valid criticisms [...]


  18. Some interesting themes explored such as McCarthyism, sexual exploitation in Hollywood is relevant etc but not as interesting as it thinks it is Misanthropy is not necessarily insight None of the characters really lived for me other than as unpleasant two dimensional people I d avoid spending time with in the unlikely event we crossed paths Feels like I spent too much time with them and Norman for now.


  19. Great writing there s even a section that has this meta thing where there s an aspiring Hemingway esque writer and Mailer is writing in a Hemingway style There aren t any real heroes My take is that the theme of this book is how people handle the conflict between their idealistic self image and the compromises they have to make to make it in the real world One guy thinks of himself as an artist Another thinks of himself as a complete cynic about humanity, to the extent that he doesn t think he s [...]


  20. Hard for me to comment on a writer of Mailer s stature A reminder of 1950 s Hollywood and the politics of the House Unamerican Activities Committee.


  21. Upon reading some of the reviews of Norman Mailers The Deer Park after having purchased it during a secondhand bookshop trawl I felt somewhat ambivalent, due to the large pile of well received books I have yet to read, about making it my next literary endeavour Needless to say, I persisted despite this.I have always been of the mind that, a writer should be judged on his her less well received books by which I mean, the way someone performs on their worst day is a clearer indication of skill the [...]


  22. Mailer s third novel, The Deer Park, finds the author searching for a style suitable to his ambitions of being the literary genius who finally sets the world straight on matters of love, destiny, masculinity, sex, betrayal, all that good stuff Mailer failed with the ambition, of course, but we have to love him for trying to swing the bat so that it crack the loudest and result in the the ball not just leaving the park, but the planet as well Many great books were written him, most of them a bril [...]


  23. This early novel by Norman Mailer takes place in a fictional desert resort a few hours from Los Angeles, probably modeled after Palm Springs Mailer chronicles the follies, excesses, affairs and schemes of a group of individuals tied to the movie industry The book is dark to the point of despair, a painstaking exposition of the ways we lie to one another and ourselves, especially about sex and love I can t say I really enjoyed it, but I felt compelled to read it to the end, almost the way one is [...]


  24. I reread Norman Mailer s, The Deer Park, his third novel and originally published in 1955 It is not a great book and I will not take much time on it It is remarkable for two reasons First, it is the last of Mailer s traditional novels for a while In his next book, Advertisements for Myself, he begins to mix journalism with fiction, creating his own very personal style Secondly, Mailer fought hard to keep portions of the book in publication despite the resistance of several publishers who found i [...]


  25. In The Deer Park, Mailer satirizes post WWII hollywood which by his account was an immoral, selfish, venal, and generally corrupt society The story in mostly set in a desert town east of LA Palm Springs , where the studio owners, producers, directors, writers, and actors go to lounge around and drink, party, and sleep around The characters are fickle and unfaithful, cheating on one another and trying to build themselves up by cutting others down, usually in a dramatic fashion befitting Hollywood [...]


  26. I m trying to figure out why it took me a year and a half to read this book when I truly enjoyed it and much of it is genius Maybe because it was written by Norman Mailer, who I have issues with despite how good he is Or maybe it s just one of those things All I know is that it managed to stay with me during those eighteen months, giving me food for thought and igniting moments of great admiration for Mailer s skills In this 1955 novel about a Palm Springs like retreat in the California desert a [...]


  27. Somewhat dated, and somewhat less hedonistic than I anticipated I d read as much about this novel over the years, I think, to be about as long as the story told It is still certainly nefarious and insightful about what else love fidelity and lack thereof set amongst Hollywood back benchers and near elites It gets a little stale and it s hard to really care about the goals at times Also, old Norman uses a bit of a confusing technique where he is both telling the story from first person and rapidl [...]


  28. 3,5 za pewne cytaty, kt re w widrowa y mi si w m zg i gor czkowo przepisywa am je pi rem w trz s cym si metrze Nieustannie do nich wracam.EDIT 29.08.2015 Jednak pe ne 4 Za cz sto my l o tej ksi ce.Mailer mia by moim Literackim Objawieniem Mam spore wymagania wobec tego ch ystka Jest na bardzo dobrej drodze, by tak w a nie si sta o, na pewno mu nie odpuszcz , bo mimo chwilami zbyt naiwnych, zbyt szowinistycznych, zbyt pustych fragment w Jeleniego parku, nie mog am si od tej ksi ki oderwa , przepa [...]


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