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Martin Eden is the story of a young sailor from Oakland who falls blindly in love with Ruth, the sister of a man he saved from a fight. Ruth is elegant, studying lierature at university, bourgois and rather patronising towards the working class, uneducated sailor who neverlheless loves poetry and has a burning desire to learn. Martin decides to make himself worthy of Ruth by educating himself and becoming a writer. The novel is about his struggles to be a success, rejection, the mind-numbing effects of too much hard work and the struggle to be yourself when all those around you don't believe you have it in yourself to fulfill your dreams.


This is a book i'd never have picked up if it hadn't been chosen for one of my book groups and is a prime example of why I belong to them. I was completely caught up in it, it's written in a rather florid, muscular style whch I normally don't like but that didn't matter, it's one of those books where you're happy to have woken early because you've got something so good to read. I was devestated at the end.


Apparently Martin Eden has been an inspiration for generations of aspiring writers.


Highly recommended.

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