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Home (Vintage International) Paperback – January 1, 2013
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2012: It takes only a page or two of Home, Toni Morrison’s finely wrought 10th novel, before you find yourself relaxing into the hands of a master. Nobody owns a sentence like Ms. Morrison. Completely at ease in her craft, she spins slender, lyrical prose around a Korean War vet named Frank Money, who retreats into violent memories to escape his fractured present; his sister, Cee, abandoned by her husband and abused by a medical experiment; and the racial, economic, and emotional oppression fostered by their era and situation. In the understated act of saving Cee--he walks calmly into a house and removes her--Frank brings both of them full circle. Nursed by the local women who watched her grow up, Cee emerges robust and newly aware and, as Frank puts it, “mended.” If you pay attention, Home may quietly do the same for you. --Mia Lipman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Haunting . . . [Morrison] maps the day-to-day lives of her characters with lyrical precision. . . . Home encapsulates all the themes that have fueled her fiction, from the early novels Sula and The Bluest Eye, through her dazzling masterwork, Beloved." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Gorgeous and intense, brutal yet heartwarming. . . . Accessible, tightly composed and visceral as anything Morrison has yet written. . . . [A] devastating, deeply humane--and ever-relevant--book." —Heller McAlpin, NPR
"Luminescent. . . . There is no novelist alive who has captured the beauty and democracy of the American vernacular so well." —The Boston Globe
"Powerful. . . . Jaw-dropping in its beauty and audacity. . . . Brims with affection and optimism." —San Francisco Chronicle
“This scarily quiet tale packs all the thundering themes Morrison has explored before. She’s never been more concise, though, and that restraint demonstrates the full range of her power. . . . A daringly hopeful story about the possibility of healing — or at least surviving in a shadow of peace.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“A fertile narrative imbued with and embellished by Morrison’s visionary scope and poetic majesty.” —Elle
“A bona fide literary event . . . an emotional powerhouse. . . . Told in the stark, economical tone of a short story, with all the philosophical heft of a novel.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A short, swift, and luminescent book. . . . A remarkable thing: proof that Toni Morrison is at once America’s most deliberate and flexible writer. She has almost entirely retooled her style to tell a story that demands speed, brevity, the treat of a looming curtain call. . . . There is no novelist alive who has captured the beauty and democracy of the American vernacular so well.” —The Boston Globe
“Profound . . . Morrison's portrayal of Frank is vivid and intimate, her portraits of the women in his life equally masterful. Its brevity, stark prose, and small cast of characters notwithstanding, this story of a man struggling to reclaim his roots and his manhood is enormously powerful." —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Perhaps Morrison’s most lyrical performance to date. . . . Home has a sparer, faster pace than earlier Morrison novels like Beloved or Jazz, as though a drumbeat is steadily intensifying in the background and the storyteller has to keep up.” —The New York Review of Books
“In a mere 145 pages, Morrison has created a richly textured, deeply felt novel. “Home” has a sense of the real with a touch of magic. After 10 novels and a Nobel prize, Toni Morrison certainly isn’t resting on her laurels.” —Louisville Courier-Journal
“Her themes—identity, community, the resoluteness of both good and evil—are epic, and her language uniquely her own. . . . Taut and muscular, Home wastes not a word. . . . In sentences balanced like proverbs, the Nobel Prize winner conjures up the community of country women Frank asks to help save Cee.” —The Plain Dealer
“In this slim, scathing novel, Morrison brings us another quintessentially American character struggling through another shameful moment in our nation’s history. . . . Home is as much prose poem as long-form fiction—a triumph for a beloved literary icon who proves that her talents remain in full flower. Four stars.” —People
“A short, urgent novel, polished to the essential themes that the Nobel Prize-winning author has explored for decades.” —The Columbus Dispatch
“Beautifully wrought . . . [Home] packs considerable power, because the Nobel Prize-winning author is still writing unflinchingly about the most painful human experiences. There’s nothing small about the story she’s told with such grace in these pages.” —The Oregonian
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Home is well written, which I would have guessed without even reading it knowing Morrison. My problem is that the story didn't seem to go anywhere or do anything. I understand that it is a story of hope and survival, but the short handed way Morrison handled it was more like she was outlining a book to her publisher than an actual book. We see Frank travelling with a short background/history of him. We see Ycidra as she grows up and moves to Atlanta. That's pretty much it. Two loosely connected stories brought together in the end, with Morrison trying to shock the reader into a jaw dropping moment.
A huge fan of Morrison, not a fan of Home at all. Well written, but the story is more of an idea of story rather than the fully fleshed out books and characters she has written in the past. Home is still arguably better than a lot of other stuff out there, but compared to her own written work this one pales in comparison.
When truth intervenes, it arrives with a capital `T' and a capital sentence. Unless Frank does something about it. Face this truth: face his humanity, now undone, and reconstruct it. War, of course, has destroyed that humanity. Ironically, it is loss and death (and that frail sister) that are Frank's only chances of redemption. Home is that place where one's humanity is found --redefined, and no smooth ride will ever take us there.
Still, Toni Morrison's readers travel along. Along sadness, frailness, beauty. Simplicity, which is the way of the skillful. Add power and depth to that simplicity, and you know why this is a work of literature by one of its most brilliant representatives.
Short but packed with emotion
I liked it but wasn't blown away by it. It was finely written. It is detailed and descriptive. It was emotive. But it was maybe a little too lean and sparse to be lyrical or poetic. It wasn't overly complex, making it an easy read, but I also didn't feel that connected with the characters. The way the story switched narrators (almost The Done Thing in current writing!) was well done.
I am trying hard not to compare it to Mudbound by Hillary Jordan but there is a similarity in themes (black poverty in the South, injustice for returned black soldiers) and brevity and I found that Mudbound resonated far more deeply.
Most recent customer reviews
Home is a book I would recommend to others to read.