A riotous and explosive mixture of joys and frustrations, Tropic of Capricorn chronicles Miller’s early life in New York, from his repressive Brooklyn childhood spent amongst ‘a galaxy of screwballs’ to frantic, hilarious years of dead-end jobs and innumerable erotic adventures. Irreverent and ironic, Tropic of Capricorn is both a comic portrait of the irrepressible Miller himself and a scathing attack on respectable America, the very foundations of which he hoped to shatter.
The publication of Tropic of Capricorn and its sister-volume Tropic of Cancer in Paris in the 1930s was hailed by Samuel Beckett as ‘a momentous event in the history of modern writing’. The books were subsequently banned in the UK and the USA for nearly thirty years.
Reviews of Tropic of Capricorn
‘The world of Capricorn is peopled by eccentrics and nymphomaniacs, to say nothing of the incorrigibly eccentric Miller himself. There is also a memorable portrait of his father, a delicate account of childhood, and savage, humane comedy in the bedlam of an employment office. The rest: fornication and anarchism, sometimes very funny, always rich, exultant and honest.’
‘In the course of Tropic of Capricorn, Miller as a Miss Lonelyhearts of the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, hires and fires an inexhaustible queue of ex-convicts and whores who turn the office into a hive of degradation. Miller lives constantly at the flashpoint of violence, which he manages to convert to comedy without undermining the anger’
‘Tropic of Capricorn is a teeming frieze of fights, copulations and epiphanies. The emphasis is on the mysterious value of ordinary life, not its futility’
‘A superb entertainment’
New York Times