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A dead child, a runaway slave, a terrible secret--these are the central concerns of Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved. Morrison, a Nobel laureate, has written many fine novels, including Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, and Paradise--but Beloved is arguably her best. To modern readers, antebellum slavery is a subject so familiar that it is almost impossible to render its horrors in a way that seems neither clichéd nor melodramatic. Rapes, beatings, murders, and mutilations are recounted here, but they belong to characters so precisely drawn that the tragedy remains individual, terrifying to us because it is terrifying to the sufferer. And Morrison is master of the telling detail: in the bit, for example, a punishing piece of headgear used to discipline recalcitrant slaves, she manages to encapsulate all of slavery's many cruelties into one apt symbol--a device that deprives its wearer of speech. "Days after it was taken out, goose fat was rubbed on the corners of the mouth but nothing to soothe the tongue or take the wildness out of the eye." Most importantly, the language here, while often lyrical, is never overheated. Even as she recalls the cruelties visited upon her while a slave, Sethe is evocative without being overemotional: "Add my husband to it, watching, above me in the loft--hiding close by--the one place he thought no one would look for him, looking down on what I couldn't look at at all. And not stopping them--looking and letting it happen.... And if he was that broken then, then he is also and certainly dead now." Even the supernatural is treated as an ordinary fact of life: "Not a house in the country ain't packed to its rafters with some dead Negro's grief. We lucky this ghost is a baby," comments Sethe's mother-in-law.
Beloved is a dense, complex novel that yields up its secrets one by one. As Morrison takes us deeper into Sethe's history and her memories, the horrifying circumstances of her baby's death start to make terrible sense. And as past meets present in the shape of a mysterious young woman about the same age as Sethe's daughter would have been, the narrative builds inexorably to its powerful, painful conclusion. Beloved may well be the defining novel of slavery in America, the one that all others will be measured by. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Morrison uses poetry and stream-of-consciousness style writing in parts of the book.
While I was reading this, I kept thinking (more like hoping) that the book had to be ending soon, but then I would realize that I was only on page 30.
This book lets you see EVIL but it also shows how people love one another and can forgive and overcome.
Tales of the old times. I read this book in High School and it seemed to stick with me. It tells a great story and no matter the past and present it is worth a nice long read!Published 1 day ago by Barbara K. Shuler
At first, I had a hard time undersanding or holding onto the story. Toni Morrison is an author the kind of which I'd never read before. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Judy Marinacci
I had to read the novel for a class that I'm taking, I started it and could not put it down. I think that it is much better than the movies.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
It was a good book. At first it is hard to read. Once you get used to the time switches it becomes fun. Overall the book is sad, but worth reading.Published 6 days ago by Cece Lafluer
There were moments when I had difficulty following the plot as there were multiple stories going on at the same time... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Penelope A. Lawrence
Rarely have I read a book that moved me more than this one. Reading the story of how people in this little house process their grief and pain was fascinating.Published 26 days ago by JoshEsquire