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Not Without Laughter (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – April 4, 2008


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Not Without Laughter (Dover Thrift Editions) + The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics) + The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (April 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486454487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486454481
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is another in the new Scribner Paperback Fiction line. Poet Hughes made the jump to fiction with this 1930 first novel of an African American boy's coming of age in a small Kansas town.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 35 customer reviews
I loved it...it was a page turner.
Denea
Despite his considerable output of poetry, short stories and autobiographical work, this is Langston Hughes' only novel.
Eric Anderson
It is a precious story of African American life and of growing up.
Robin Friedman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Eric Anderson on August 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Despite his considerable output of poetry, short stories and autobiographical work, this is Langston Hughes' only novel. It is the tremendously crafted story of Sandy, a black child of the 1920s in rural Kansas. In poignant tightly written chapters, Hughes' depicts various events in Sandy's life often slipping into the perspective of those closest to him. Sandy lives most his life with his strong-willed and deeply religious grandmother Aunt Hager. She is a benevolent woman who desires peaceful racial relations despite the overwhelming amount of racism and discrimination professed by both white and black community members. Sandy's mother Annjee is a loving and hard working woman eternally devoted to her husband Jimboy who is a good hearted man constantly on the move. Sandy's aunt Tempy is a well-off woman trying to immerse herself in white society and denigrating her own race in the process. His other aunt Harriett is a wilful woman who turns from the church for a different kind of existence. Through these expertly drawn characters, Sandy views their examples and he must make the choices that will effect his future. The novel is a tremendous chronicle of the struggle of a family to survive financially. It gives accounts of the psychological dilemma created by growing in a racially divided society and the diffuse joy in life that can be found even in troubling circumstances.
Maya Angelou wrote of Not Without Laughter: "This book was written when preachers had to be poets and poets were preachers, because they needed to be available to all the people all the time." The messages this novel gives are not subtle. But, through its varied perspectives and eloquently written prose, it envelops the issues it preaches with emotionally edifying ideas.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Langston Hughes is a truly gifted writer. In this story he shows six different characters, all afflicted by racism and the numerous tactics each devises to combat its force. Their methods include,hating white america, enduring the blow, assimilating, laughing in the faces and then there is Sandy...He is slowing coming of age amidst all of these adults that he loves and admires, but soon he shall have to pick a path of his own. He knows that he must fight against the threat of racisim with out developing so much anger it consumes him as well. He knows must stand up for the race and culture he loves and some how advance his people with the power of his life. This story, is one of the best depictions of a black family that I have come across and can relate to. I miss Langston, and I love his legacy.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Edward Fulton, Jr. on January 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're not a Langston Hughes fan-once you read this book you'll be a fan for life. I guarantee you'll want to read everything he's ever written. Wait until you discover" Simple". Not without Laughter took me back in time to a small southern town and the loving, secure, life defining relationship I shared with my grandmother.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bethanie Frank on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Such heart! I have read his poetry, but I had never read his prose. So smooth, so wonderful. I adore the characters. They followed me throughout the day. This is written so well, I really felt like I was right there. I also ran through a gamut of emotions while reading this. That's what a book should do - make me feel, make me think, make me wonder... This book did that for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Briana Littleton on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was interesting and provided a genuine sense of life for blacks during the early part of this century. It started slow but towards the middle of the book the pace picked up and I enjoyed it more.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Katie on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I cannot stress enough how much I like this book, and all of Langston Hughes' writings. He is my favorite author, poet, playright and I always enjoy his work. No mattter what race you are (I myself happen to be white), you should be able to realize the social importance of all of Langston Hughes' work. This particular book really sheds light on the plight of so many black people that really isn't tought to young people. The progression that all the characters make in this book is really written quite well. I liked the fact that the book took place over a long period of time. Also, there are some events and plots that are unexpected, but definitely realistic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I had to read this book for school. From the description on the back I didn't think that it would be very interesting. I was wrong. It held my attention with it's colorful words and characters and kept me guessing about some characters. Anyway, overall it was a very good book. I only wish that the ending was developed more and wasn't one of those "use your imagination" endings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Cooper on August 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book by Langston Hughes captures the life of the Midwest through the eyes of a young growing by in the early 1900's. I thought the portrayal of that life, the struggles and hardships, and the community love despite thiese things, was excellent. The writing was simple and provided a good flow to draw me into the story and to be placed in the time frame. This is a keeper for the library collection.
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