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Wide Sargasso Sea ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (94)

A prequel to Jane Eyre, it tells the story of how Rochester's first wife went mad.  This book sucked.  I can not imagine how it made the Top 100.  Maybe it's just such a chick book that it's inexplicable to men.

If you liked Wide Sargasso Sea, please leave this website.


Grade: (F-)


I liked the movie and I also have Rhys' book....

- Sharon Mounier

- Mar-19-2007, 04:10


This was an interesting story with discriptions that allowed for detailed visual images while I was reading. I'd give this book three out of five stars.

- Kelly

- Feb-05-2007, 12:59


I loved Wide Sargasso Sea at once. I didn't know at that time that it was the prequel of Charlotte Brontee's Jane Eyre, so to some extent, my mind couldn't be polluted by such a famous novel. What I loved was Jean Rhys's style : in a few words, she describes a whole world (the Carribean islands) an atmosphere, a period (the terrible years following the Emancipation Act of 1833), the difficulty for a young solitary girl Antoinette to find her own identity : like the Sargasso Sea, Antoinette is surrounded by swirling currents such as the racial tensions, man-woman relationships, England versus the Carribeans... It's a short book, you have to read it several times in order to enjoy it even more, like listening again and again to a concerto by Vivaldi or Errol Garner's Concert by the Sea . This masterpiece took me away, made me travel, made me smell the fragrance of the flowers of an island which I may never visit in my life. It made me discover Jean Rhys's deepest feelings for her birth place, since she never felt truly English : she was a brilliant Creole writer and she truly loved the West Indies. A pioneer.

- Clauzon Elisabeth

- Jan-11-2007, 12:58


This is a mediocre novel; it's not like I don't feel somewhat sorry for Antoinette, but that's the whole point; you just *feel sorry for her*. In 1966 writing a postcolonial book might have been somewhat interesting; now, this stuff just reads like dated, vague, modernist stuff for navel gazing college students. There's never been that much to gain from reading laments, has there?

- Horoscho

- Dec-30-2006, 14:42


I read Wide Sargasso Sea. Great title, I thought. Then I started reading, and upon reaching the conclusion, wished fervently that I could throw the book INTO the wide Sargasso Sea. What a horrible novel--simply awful. Hated it! I don't often hate literature if it has any redeeming value, but this story seemed silly and amateurish, and obviously derivative. Writing about the the hitherto unexplored life of Rochester's unseen, insane ex-wife in Jane Eyre is an interesting literary exercise on Jean Rhys' part, but it's pretentious and unnecessarily violent in spots. (No, I'm not prudish about violence in novels: I had to re-read Candide in order to get the foul vision of WSS out of my head.) Lastly, the ending of WSS is so abrupt that it seems the exercise had become a bore even to the writer. Love Jane Eyre; loathe WSS. I agree with Orrin: F-.

- Moon Goddess

- Dec-26-2006, 00:53


"If you liked Wide Sargasso Sea, please leave this website."

- I liked the book, and hence I shall not be returning to your website. I don't think that you have the faintest idea how to understand/appreciate literature.

- Alex

- Oct-26-2006, 17:05


I think it's funny when people say that someone doesn't have a right to think/write something they liked is bad. I think it's even funnier when they call names. The internet is a great anonymizer, bringing out the worst in people...both in comments and in writers.

You know what? It's a free internet, and you're free to go wherever you want. If you don't like the reviews, then read someone else's. If you don't like the reviewing method, that's fine, don't waste your time commenting. All he's going to do is mock you or laugh at you (and after reading some of these comments, I'm mocking and laughing at you, too).

And, since it is a free internet, and it is Orrin's site, I feel that it'd be perfectly within his rights to delete any comments he doesn't like. But he doesn't, 'cause they are there for him to mock, now.

So you see, if you don't agree with him, just move away... because any discussion on a comment board is going to degenerate rapidly into incoherant name-calling.

- Lon

- Feb-17-2005, 17:30


This was a 'forced' read for a particular course - and I must admit, that it is a wonderful read. Painfully sad, heart-wrenching and tragic. The previous 'critics' below were completely right . . . you must have read the first and last pages, while skipping everything inbetween. Those who have read this novel could not possible hate it . . . unless they can relate and they feel they are reading a story about their own painful life . . . I feel terribly bad for you that you are unable to appreciate such a classic.

- Leanne

- Feb-03-2005, 10:29


Right on,man.You're like, my hero. I didna understannn (drunken snore) one word that chick wus sayin. (Start)what? O yeh. Keep it up.(Hiccup)

- Terrance

- Oct-22-2003, 16:00


For your info, Mr. Hotshot, I happen to love that book, and so do millions of others. Just because you can't read doesn't give you the right to criticize one of the finest pieces of literature ever written, or those who like it. Oh yeah, one more thing- I'm a man.

- Allister

- Oct-22-2003, 15:56


My goodness rednecks let loose in a library. Stick to comic books and literary works that do not challenge one's psyche or inherent philosophies. Your review was a waste of space, not interesting enough to be Dada.

- rebecca

- Jun-24-2003, 12:22


Yep you're really keeping the great literary imaginations on their toes with comments like it "sucked." Obviously you're an intellectual genius who has really grasped the inner complexities of Wide Sargasso Sea and more importantly its place within modern literature. In future why don't you just stick to reviewing books with plenty of pretty pictures and small words so as to not embarrass yourself again. No please... comments like that are painful to read.


- May-13-2003, 12:29


how can you say that? you give no purpose as to why you hate it so much, except for the fact that it's a 'chick' book. that's sexist. and people wonder why rochester's such a bastard... all you have to do is look in the mirror... which you can do by the way, as that does not require a lot of intellectual stimulation (in the same way as your review did not require a lot of intellectual stimulation).

imho, wide sargasso sea is a beautifully written novel, and painfully tragic - portraying the emotional consequences of forced dehumanisation - and it DESERVES its place in the top 100.

- unnamed

- May-11-2003, 02:06