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Cry, the Beloved Country (Oprah's Book Club) First Scri Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"A beautiful and profoundly moving story, a story steeped in sadness and grief but radiant with hope and compassion." --Orville Prescott --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In Cry, the Beloved Country, readers feel an uncanny connection to three things: the land, an old black rural priest searching in a corrupt city for his son, and an old white rural man confronting the loss of his son. All three aspects of the book are connected by a common thread. And a great thing about the book is that Paton doesn't feel the need to build up to the emotional climax by setting the readers against a well defined antagonist, or even an antagonist at all; on a micro-scale, the story is a moving tribute to man's inherent dignity; on a macro-scale, the themes and plethora of symbols are applied to man's all-too mortal nature.
This book is also a can't-miss for any fans of poetry who want to read a good work of prose. As the New Republic puts it, Cry, the Beloved Country is "the greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa, and one of the best novels of our time." I would be inclined to agree.
"Cry, the Beloved Country" is all these things and more. It is forgiveness writ large. It is agape love in the doing. It is the story of two fathers, each with a son. One son is the victim of apartheid and is lost. The other is also a victim of apartheid but of the other side. He seeks to find a way to make things better, to make things right. The lost one kills the seeking one. One is African, the other is Afrikaaner, and therein lies the difference and the ultimate. This difference, this ultimate, this absolute are what drove Alan Paton in the writing of South Africa's most famous, most searing novel of the separation of races in all ways.
Absalom Kumalo's life is limited in all ways because he is black South African. Arthur Jarvis is an engineer and has all the privileges of white South Africa, yet he is keen on social justice and works to bring it to pass. What irony then that the one without kills the one seeking to bring justice. However, it is this very irony that brings their fathers to friendship, to a bonding of black man and white man.
Umfundisi is the black priest (not Catholic) of a simple, poor church in a village located near the home of the rich landowner and farmer, James Jarvis, who really does not know his son until he is dead. It is the getting to know his son that he connects with the African, and the father becomes the son in the ways of love and forgiveness. The umfundisi is one of my favorite characters in all literature I have read because of his humility and reverence.Read more ›
It's a classic that has already withstood the test of time - and will doubtless continue to do so.
Don't miss it, and share it with someone else.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Timeless story. Perhaps as pertinent today in America as in was in South Africa then.Published 8 days ago by Jim R. Jones
A classic that never loses its importance as we continue to struggle with issues of diversity and equalityPublished 26 days ago by jo ford
Book about human failings, tremendous faith, forgiveness, redemption, father's love, family. Dark at times and difficult periods for characters.Published 1 month ago by Sandy Goodman