- Hardcover: 523 pages
- Publisher: Thorndike Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786262419
- ISBN-13: 978-0786262410
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 526 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,784,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cry, the Beloved Country 1st Edition
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"The greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa, and one of the best novels of our time."
-- The New Republic (UNKNOWN )
"A beautiful novel, rich, firm and moving . . ."
-- The New York Times (New York Times )
Top customer reviews
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Overall, I was shocked by the power of this novel and while it's not along the lines of things that I would normally read, I am immensely glad that I decided to read it. Following Stephen Kumalo, a Zulu pastor from the wilds of South Africa, in his seemingly hopeless search for his son in the "civlized" metropolis of Johannesburg was a challenge at times, but Paton's writing and the courage of his character carried me through even the deepest and darkest points of his story and helped me to see the wonder of the human spirit regardless of the challenges and trials that it is put up against.
May not have been my favorite novel of all time, but I am glad that I disregarded my inhibitions and picked this up to actually read it. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I would recommend giving Cry, the Beloved Country a chance. You may find something here that you never expected.
The story is that of an aging Zulu pastor who travels to the city of Johannesburg to look for his sister and his son. Life there is difficult for black people who are forced to live in shantytowns and who labor for low wages in the gold mines. What the pastor discovers is horrible. His sister has had to sell her body to men and his son has accidentally murdered a white man who was working towards bringing a sense of fairness to the country.
Easily I got caught up in this very poignant story. There is a sense of poetry in the words. I felt I was hearing the voice of South Africa and it truly gave me the chills. And what was indeed the most chilling of all is that this book was written before Apartheid came and tore the country apart.
The author was born in South Africa, the son a third-generation English mother and a Scot Presbyterian father. At one time he worked as a teacher and later the principal of a reformatory for young African offenders and these experiences certainly did influence whole sections of the book. Mostly though, the book just picked me up and placed me right in the middle of a country that has not yet been able to deal satisfactorily with its problems.
Most recent customer reviews
Bought several and shared with friends.